Up here in the northeast U.S., the leaves are just starting to turn. And if you or your kids are like me, you can't help but pick up the finest, most beautifully hued specimens. If you want to make projects with your leaves, and you want them to last more than a day, you need to preserve them somehow. I like to preserve leaves by placing them in between the pages of a heavy book, placing another heavy book on top, and semi-purposefully forgetting about them for months. (It only takes about a week until they're ready to be used.) If you are more careful than I, and have nicer books, sandwich the leaves between two pieces of copy paper before inserting them into the book. This link has 6 ways of preserving autumn leaves, and it seems accurate from my experience, although my book-pressed leaves are still pretty colorful. (The letters spelling "LEAF" in the graphic above were cut, via a craft knife, from a leaf I placed in a book two years ago.)
Don't wanna make crafts with your leaves? I love this simple display idea for your finished leaves, from Art Bar Blog. The post I link to is about the Thanksgiving Day craft on the table, but check out the leaves above — they're just affixed to the wall with bits of washi tape.
Anyway, on with the list! Easiest/youngest-age-suitable crafts first, harder/older kid or teen crafts last, all according to me; your mileage, as they say, may vary.
I like a project that forces you to finally print out a picture from your computer, dammit! (Just me?) Jennifer at Teach Them To Fly photographed her students as they pretended they were the wind blowing the leaves through the air. She printed out the portraits, and had them add real leaves to the scene. Cute!
Will you and your family collect leaves this year? Let me know what you end up doing with them! Me, I've got my eye on another book to fill...
I'm Debbie Way, an artist and writer who enjoys making things.