Art School | Spring Leaf Painting

by , posted on April 2nd, 2013 in Art School

spring leaf art project for kids

Spring is in the air! Gardens are getting planted in my home and the days are longer. All of a sudden trees are blooming and there’s green everywhere. Spring is the inspiration for today’s art lesson. Oh, and did I mention kids will get to use a hammer? Joy of all joys for children everywhere!

This is a great opportunity to talk with your child about this season we call Spring. They may have noticed that their bedtime is getting increasingly lighter, the reason for this is the Earth is tilting and it causes daylight to increase. This makes the Earth begin to warm, both air temperatures and ground temperatures. This warmth causes plants to “spring forth”, the reason we call it Spring! Take a nature walk, or explore your backyard, visit a park, take note of the trees flowering, the different color of leaves and bring home a few.

leaf painting

You’ll also need some kind of acid-free paper, I used watercolor paper that has a nice thick textured quality to it, along with paper towels, hammer, a solid surface like a cutting board and tweezers.

using leaves for pigment

For the leaves, any leaf with too much moisture won’t work too well, it’ll become a gooey mess. So stay away from succulent leaves and the like. Leaves that worked well for us were plum trees, sage, fern and basil. Lay the leaves out in whatever pattern you’d like on the paper. I would recommend you lay them with the vein side down, or whichever side is more colorful.

painting with plant pigment

Cover leaves with a few paper towels, I took one and folded it so there were two layers between my leaves and the hammer.

Now carefully hammer the leaves going up and down slowly over each spot. You don’t want to move them side to side or the leaves may shift. Be sure you remind your children to keep fingers out of the way of the hammer.

art lesson for kids using natural materials

Quickly you’ll notice some moisture on the paper towel. Keep hammering.

Carefully peel back the paper towel to check on your progress.

kids art lesson using organic materials

If you think they’re ready, go ahead and use tweezers to peel back the remaining leaves that are still attached to the paper.

spring leaf art project

Signing of names is very important in this household.

spring leaf art project

And there you have a Hammered Spring Leaf Print.


I have to say it is a beautiful contrast next to the Fall of the Leaf art lesson we did last Fall. The two seasons really are visually represented in these pieces.

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4 Responses to “Art School | Spring Leaf Painting”

  1. Lacy Says:

    April 2nd, 2013 at 9:29 am

    So cool! My babe and toddler are too young so I might have to do this one myself. :)

  2. curate the day Says:

    April 2nd, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Just when you think you’ve seen everything. I like this! My three year old would love the chance to wield a hammer and I’d love to see how I can incorporate this into my art too.

  3. Jen Says:

    April 7th, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    This is a really fun idea, my toddler is just starting to notice the leaves appearing on the trees and is really getting intereted in plants and things growing, so this is a fab springtime project we can make together. Might have to do the hammering though!

  4. My favourite craft tutorials 2013 Says:

    January 11th, 2014 at 4:56 am

    [...] from left: spring leaf painting from classic play; dreamcatchers from crafting connections; magnetic frames from this heart of [...]

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