Nature Inspired, Kid Friendly Fall Crafts

I love fall--beautiful, floating Autumn leaves, pine cones scattered about, bare branches, and cool weather--and am always looking for ways to help my children experience and explore the amazing natural world around us. These fall crafts will not only encourage your kiddos to explore the world around them, but will look good enough to display in your house all season long.


3D Canvas Art

Age Range

Toddlers and up

Supplies

  • Any size, stretched canvas.
  • Paint and brushes
  • Pinecones, small fir tree branches, twigs, mulch, leaves, rocks (whatever your children find that interests them!)
  • Glue gun
  • Clear spray acrylic





  1. Give your children a paint brush and fall colored paints and let them paint on the canvas. The goal is abstract art like swirls, lines, and blobs, not actual pictures, so even your toddler can paint a beautiful scene! :-)
  2. Grab some coats and a plastic bag and head outside. Have your children collect pine cones, twigs, berry branches, rocks, leaves, mulch, fir tree branch tips--whatever strikes their fancy.
  3. Once the paint is completely dry, have your children arrange their items on the canvas. Encourage them to place larger items like stems and twigs so that the are partially off the canvas, or cluster smaller items like pine cones, rocks and mulch. Remember: This is their artwork. You can make suggestions or offer ideas, but let them lead the way and make the decisions.
  4. Mom's turn (or dad/relative/any adult please) Glue the pieces down using the hot glue gun.
  5. Spray entire piece with clear spray acrylic. This step is optional, but will help it last longer. After a few weeks, the leaves and pine branches will start to crumble if touched.
  6. Hang up your beautiful fall artwork in you home and enjoy!

Fall Wreath

Age Range

5 and up

Supplies

  • 2 bowls to use as templates
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Yarn or Twine
  • Craft Glue
  • Sticks
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • (Optional) Pine cones/fake leaves/fall berries/fir branches/etc
  • (Optional) Spray paint and Clear spray acrylic


See Each Step

Click thumbnail to view full-size

This is another craft that can easily be made to any size you wish. To keep everything looking proportional, the maximum diameter of the cardboard should be roughly half of that of the entire piece.

  1. Decide how big you want your circle to be and find 2 round bowls (one to make the inner edge and one to make the outer edge of the circle) to use as templates.
  2. Cut a donut-shaped circle out of a piece of cardboard. A pizza box or cereal box works well for this.
  3. Wrap the circle tightly in yarn or twine, gluing down every few inches using craft glue.
  4. Get outside with those kiddos and find sticks. Grab way more than you think you'll need (it takes a bunch) and don't worry yet about size. You can always break larger sticks in two. You don't want uniform length, anyway!
  5. Using a hot glue gun, glue the sticks around the circle. To make sure the sticks are distributed evenly around the circle, take 4 sticks of similar length and divide the circle into fourths. Divide each fourth in half by making an X. Continue like this until the circle is completely filled in.
  6. Time for finishing touches. Add pinecones around the center like I did, or add some fake fall flowers, fall berries or a cardinal. Consider spray painting the sticks silver or black for a different, less natural look. If you will be hanging your wreath outside, spray a coat of clear acrylic over the front and back.
  7. Loop a length of yarn or twine (measure from the center circle to end of the sticks, double that measurement, and add 2 inches) through the center circle and knot the top to hang your artwork.

Decorating with Fall Leaves

  • Scatter fake leaves on your bookshelf, underneath lamps, candles or under other fall décor items.
  • Glue leaves around a glass jar or candle holder.
  • Spruce up your dining room table by laying leaves over a neutral table runner.


© 2014 Sarah

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