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How to Do Leaf Rubbings: Fall Crafts With Kids

I'm a stay-at-home mom with a teacher's heart. I'm always looking for new, fun things to do with my kids that are educational & memorable.

How to Do Fall Leaf Rubbings

How to Do Fall Leaf Rubbings

Fall Is Here!

Fall weather is here, even in Las Vegas. We're all enjoying the cooler morning temperatures as we get the kids off to school in the morning. A few things about fall that we miss out on living in Nevada is seeing the tree leaves change color, the crunch of leaves underfoot, and the particular "fall" smell that comes with decomposing leaves and nature.

Never fear, if you're like me and live in a part of the world that doesn't have many leaves to choose from, have someone mail you some! My mother-in-law sent the kids a zip locked bag of leaves to do the craft below, and they LOVED it! You can also do this craft with leaves that aren't your typical maple leaf, or leaves from a large-leafed tree. When we lived in Texas, I got creative and took leaves from bushes and a few pine needles—most foliage will work to some degree.

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."

— Albert Camus

How to Make a Leaf Rubbing

Making a leaf rubbing is fairly simple.

  1. Place leaves under a piece of paper.
  2. Using the flat side of a peeled crayon, rub it back and forth over the paper, so the leaf makes an impression on the paper.

You can vary the types of leaves you use, as well as the colors to make a beautiful fall picture.

Making Leaf Rubbings

Making Leaf Rubbings

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A Few Extra Tips

  • Using freshly picked leaves will make it easier to get a nice rubbing. Once the leaves begin to dry out, they will start crumbling and may break before you're able to get a good rubbing.
  • If you do not already have peeled crayons, use a knife to score the side of the crayon paper to remove it easily without having to pick small pieces of the paper off of each crayon, which takes a lot longer than the method mentioned above.
  • When doing this craft with little kids, I found it helped to have an adult hold the paper still while the child moved the crayon back and forth. My daughter got frustrated when things were moving around and her leaf rubbing wasn't as clearly defined as her brothers.

© 2018 Lisa Bean


Celeste Wilson on November 03, 2018:

I love this idea. I volunteered at my son's elementary school where they used large waxy leaves in pottery class. They pushed the leaves into clay, then let it dry. The results were amazing. Your hub just brought back a fond memory. Thank you

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 01, 2018:

This is a great project for kids. I would love to do this project with my little granddaughter.

I actually used a similar procedure to put leaf imprints on a pot for a plant one time. It turned out really well.

RTalloni on October 31, 2018:

Doing leaf rubbings with kids is a tried and true way to spend time with them talking and building the relationships. Thanks for this nice look at the craft project. You might consider adding a new capsule that includes doing things with the rubbings, like cutting them out and making a mobile. I wish my grands were here so I could do it with them right now! :)