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Muddy Faces

Standing tree decoration

A simple leaf craft activity using basic tools.

Art & Creating


This activity is great for developing fine motor skills (scissor use and hand drilling) and also a good way to use a disc with a hole in it. We have added a seasonal twist but you can do this at any time of the year.

* 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

  • leaves
  • scissors
  • wooden discs
  • palm drill
  • materials to decorate (optional)

This activity has been provided by

Useful items from our shop

Item available from our shop

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 leaves
  • leave no trace

Health & Safety Considerations

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

  • tool use
  • natural materials (NOTE - some evergreen leaves are poisonous)
Art & Creating

Step #1 Find an evergreen leaf

If you have a bay laurel in your setting then these leaves, although smaller to work with, will smell nice too!


Use can use large evergreen leaves such as cherry laurel or rhododendron. These are however poisonous if ingested so risk assessment will be required.

Art & Creating

Step #2 Cut a tree shape

Using scissors, cut a tree shape out. You could try folding the leaf in half to explore symmetry.

Use the stalk of the leaf as the trunk of the tree.

Art & Creating

Step #3 Drill a hole in a disc

Drill into the centre of the disc or, if you have a larger disc, you could drill several holes and create a mini-woodland.

Drill right through the disc for more support.


For tips on using palm drills and drilling holes in discs - look at our drill a wooden disc activity.

Art & Creating

Step #4 Stick the cut-out tree-leaf into the disc

Hopefully the stalk will be thick enough to hold the decoration upright. If it's not you could reinforce it with a twig or tape.

Ta dah! A lovely tree decoration! We decorated ours but they also look lovely au naturale.

Take it further

  • decorate your leaf with drawn-on baubles or stuck on natural items
  • hang several trees on a string to make bunting
  • decorate your disc - maybe a little clay creature sitting by the tree?

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.

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