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Muddy Faces

Leaf decorations

Combine leaves & cookie cutters for a fun and effective natural art project for children.

Art & Creating


* Muddy Faces actively promotes child-led outdoor play & learning. We recognise and believe in the curiosity that children have and their drive to explore and discover. We hope that you will bear this in mind when considering more prescribed activities like this one – often much more creative ideas will occur if resources are simply provided and children are given the time and space to explore independently.

What you'll need

  • collection of leaves
  • cutters
  • hammer
  • glue
  • glitter
  • paints

This activity has been provided by

Environmental Considerations

Consider the environmental impact of preparing, carrying out & completing this activity. Could this impact be reduced? Specific considerations for this activity could include:

  • source of natural materials
  • glitter - use biodegradable glitter or don't use

Health & Safety Considerations

Follow your usual operating procedures and carry out appropriate risk benefit assessments.
Some considerations particular to this activity include:

  • collecting natural materials
  • tool use


Head out for an autumn walk through your park, woods or other outdoor space and collect lots of fallen leaves – all different shapes, sizes and colours. Use the opportunity to discuss whether or not you should pick leaves off live trees and plants, or only use the fallen ones.

Art & Creating

Step #1

Decorate some of the leaves using glue and glitter, or paints.

Art & Creating

Step #2

Cut some of the leaves with the cookie cutters.


In winter, leaves tend to be a bit tougher because they have dried out. To get nice clean cuts through these leaves tap gently on the cutter with a hammer.

Art & Creating

Step #3

Glue the leaves and cut-out leaf-shapes together in layers of different shapes and sizes.

Paint over with glue to help preserve shapes and colours.

Art & Creating

Step #4

Use a hole punch to carefully punch a hole in your leaves, then lightly thread a thin ribbon through to create a lovely decoration.

Take it further:

  • try colour-clashing or colour-matching different leaves, or sticking different shapes together so they overlap in interesting ways
  • try cutting them with different-shaped cutters
  • or draw around a template and then cut with scissors
  • use your decorated leaves to make a collage or leaf mobile.

Disclaimer: Muddy Faces cannot take any responsibility for accidents or damage that occurs as a result of following this activity.You are responsible for making sure the activity is conducted safely.

Key Features


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