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Painted Leaf Critter Art Project

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It’s easy to fall for falling leaves. They’re just so pretty!

All autumn long I find myself picking up leaves – admiring their color, trying to identify their shape. My kids are on board with the leaf love as well. With hands full of reds and yellows and oranges, they’re constantly showing me bouquets of pretty fall leaves.

With our collection of leaves, we sometimes get crafty. Most recently, we painted our assortment of leaves and added google-y eyes so they all looked like little critters … bugs and mystery animals; the cutest little things you ever did see!


  • Paper towels
  • Pressed leaves
  • Variety of acrylic paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Google-y eyes
  • Patience 🙂


First things first, head outside, preferably on a dry day, and gather a bundle of pretty leaves. Arrange them on a paper towel and place another paper towel on top. Add a pile of books to press them flat, overnight if possible.

Now that your leaves are flat – start painting! It takes a few coats for bolder colors, or you can let the natural leaf color show through and just add polka dots, stripes, and other critter embellishments. Let your imagination be your guide! Between every layer, let the paint dry for best results.

Choose which part of the leaf with be the critter’s head and paint it black. Again, let it dry. We started painting in the morning, did chores, came back for more, had a snack, did another layer, then naps. Basically, plan for a painting station to be up and running for a day or so.

Add google-y eyes with glue to bring your critters to life. Allow to dry completely.

These leaf critters can launch darling imagination story play … just be careful because leaves crunch and crack easily, can be added t a fall banner, or be glued to a piece of paper and displayed on the fridge.

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