Autumn Leaves

Fall is in the air!  Each season I try and find one thing our kids can help make to decorate our house.  They love being included (in the words of our 2yr old “we’re making the house SO pretty!”).  Searching around I found this idea for Tissue Paper Leaves and loved it for both it’s simplicity in making as well as how nice it actually looks.  Sure, there are tons of things they could have glued, cut, and painted with just paper but I liked the nicer window catcher look of these leaves.  Here is how we made them.  It took just under 45 minutes to complete.

Complementary Book Suggestions (for ages 4-5):  Leaf Jumpers and Why Do Leaves Change Colors?

Step One: Create an Outline

The site above has a template you can print out.  Instead of doing that we went for a walk and collected some leaf shapes of our own from around the neighborhood. I took those leaves, traced them onto black construction paper, cut them out, and then cut out the middle leaving a thin outline.

If the leaves had a jagged edge I used my scrapbooking scissors to cut out the outside to give the outlines a similar look.

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Outline

Step Two: Tear up/Cut Tissue Paper and Fill the Outline.

Want to know how to entertain young kids for 30 minutes?  Give them tissue paper and kid scissors and let them at it.  The girls cut and tore the orange, red, and yellow paper into small pieces for quite a while.  We used a laminator so I just opened up the laminating pocket, put the outlines in, had the girls fill the outlines with the tissue paper scraps, flipped the top sheet back down, and ran it through the machine. I did have to use a ruler to poke some of the filling back inside the outlines once I closed the top.  Laminating paper is very static.  If you use contact paper, cut two squares the size of the leaf outline, stick the outline and fill on one square and then place the other square on top when finished.

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Step Three: Laminate

You can use a machine or clear contact paper.   Warning: You DO NOT want to use glue for either of these options. The contact paper is already sticky and the glue will gum up a laminating machine.   You can leave it as is or trim it to the leaf’s shape.

Side note: A year ago I acquired this Purple Cow laminator and it has served us well!  We are just now reaching the end of the free laminating pages it came with. Definitely worth the investment if you have a preschooler in the house.

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Finished!  Aren’t they fun?

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Placemat Alternative:

We have lots of tissue paper scraps leftover so we might make some placemats for the kids to use at Thanksgiving.  Using this Patchwork Acorn idea with black construction paper and contact paper (so we can make them larger than 8×10).