Fall leaf crafts have to be some of the cheapest kids crafts around and of course you don’t have to travel far to find your materials so put on your shoes and get outside to grab your leaves for this pretty butterfly fall leaf craft! This activity uses our free butterfly template making it super quick for you to prepare once you’ve got those all important materials in place.
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Crafting with real leaves
While you can buy fake leaves to craft with I personally prefer real ones, unless of course you want to create a keepsake as real leaves obviously won’t last forever.
Getting hands on with nature is always a good thing and I think most of us have memories of kicking leaves or throwing them up in the air.
Fall leaves also give us a good opportunity to talk about the different seasons and about change. I must admit that I’m not always great about identifying different trees but I do enjoy teaching my kids about oak trees and sycamores and talking about the seeds from the trees and all that sort of thing (we’ve got this book* which has been really good for learning a bit more about trees)
I’ve also found that when I’ve wanted to go out for a walk with my kids and they’ve been *ahem* slightly less than keen, giving them a job to do like searching for the prettiest fall leaves they can find has made it slightly easier, just remember to take a bag with you to put the leaves into so you don’t end up with a pocket full of leaves!
If you like this craft make sure that you bookmark it or pin an image for later so that you can return to it when you’re ready to make it and you can grab the template too.
How to use real leaves in crafts
One of the joys of crafting with real leaves is going to collect them first, look for different colours and shapes to use.
You can use real leaves to glue down in crafts such as this and I also love Red Ted Art’s leaf lanterns as a way of displaying the leaves you fine.
I’d also recommend crafting with dry leaves rather than wet just because they are a bit nicer to handle.
What is the best way to glue fall leaves?
There are two main ways to stick real leaves onto paper – double sided sellotape* or school glue* (PVA glue). For this craft I’ve used glue (as that was what I had at home) and for my previous butterfly craft we used double sided sellotape.
Both ways have pros and cons.
Double sided sellotape* makes it really easy to glue leaves down permanently, they won’t move if someone accidentally knocks your child’s picture and you don’t have to wait for them to dry. However, likewise if you change your mind about where you want to stick a leaf it’s pretty hard to move it.
School glue* takes longer to dry and unless you use a lot of glue might not hold your leaf in place, especially if its bumpy or curved (which a lot of leaves are!). It’s easier to moves your leaves around though if you change your mind.
Of course you don’t need to glue the leaves down and you can just place them on the printable to make patterns. But if your child does want to keep this then go with the method of sticking the leaves down that will suit them best.
Free butterfly template
Click here to find our free butterfly template which I’ve used in this post.
Butterfly fall leaf craft
Use fall leaves and our free butterfly template to make this gorgeous fall art for kids.
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- Butterfly template
- Fall leaves
Print off as many copies of the butterfly template as you would like.
Gather some fall leaves.
Squeeze some glue on to the back of each leaf before you glue it into place on your butterfly.
Glue the leaf where you want it to go on your butterfly template.
Fill in the rest of your butterfly with your leaves.
As well as leaves I’ve also used acorn caps, just be sure to allow enough glue for these.
More fall crafts for kids
If you enjoyed using the template with this craft check out our fall tree painting ideas for kids which has loads of ideas for creating fall tree art using another of our free templates.
These fall leaf suncatchers are really popular too and are a great way to decorate the windows.
Got some acorns left over? Why not try this rolling acorn painting?
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