Autumn Leaf Art

By Liska Myers

Inspiration struck me as I was looking through the pages of book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. I generally enjoy book illustrations, but I found the ones in this book particularly unique – all of them are beautiful leaf collages. Leaf roosters, ducks, turtles and other animals run across the pages. Some animals are easily recognizable, while others require a little bit more work on the part of associative thinking, which children usually excel at.

The story does not have a complicated plot, but rather a poetic one. The author is wondering where a Leaf Man went, listing all the possible places and concluding his search by saying that you, the reader, may find your own Leaf Man to take home. A perfect way to encourage children to go outside and look for leaves! Which is what we did. 

We took a walk around our neighbourhood, collecting leaves from the ground. Maple, oak, a different kind of maple, birch, a decorative bush of unknown name... We picked up some acorns and pine cones at the same time.

When we returned home, we set to making our own Leaf Man. Looking at the book, we loosely based our leaf man on the design presented on the cover. It is great for getting in the mood for leaf art, and the book acts as a good prompt for reluctant artists.

Afterwards, we felt confident creating on our own, and you certainly wouldn’t need the book in order to enjoy creating autumn mosaics.

Here are a few other tips for making interesting leaf collages:

1. If you want to have some simple fun with children, collect leaves and set to playing without further ado. But if you think that your children would like to keep the collages they will make, you might want to dry leaves between pages of books for a couple of days – or iron them to make them flat.

2. Once the leaves are flat, they can be glued to paper with white glue or double-sided tape.

3. Use twigs, acorn caps, flowers, and pine needles for details in the collage.

4. You can also draw on leaves with markers, or paint with tempera to add details.

5. Some shapes can be created with scissors or hole punches!

Have fun creating! And after you are done, please, share your creations with us on our Facebook page or Twitter. We would love to see your work!

Liska Myers is an author of the blog, Adventure in a Box, where she shares ideas on how to make wooden toys, set up a home puppet theatre, and choose the best children's books. Accompanied by her husband and son, she lives and adventures in Ontario, Canada.

Posted on Sep 23, 2014

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