Nov 13, 2009

Leaf rubbing and paint mural

Lots of lovely leaves around to make beautiful decorations with! Whooo!

This activity was really easy and I always like the art activities where kids can work on one thing collaboratively. Especially something that is all about the process and not how well you can draw etc, so the three year olds were able to contribute just as much as the five year olds and you can't even tell which bits of the art work were done by which kids. It's just one lovely mural that they all had a hand in producing.


I used painters tape to stick a big strip of butchers block paper to the kitchen floor. I used regular packing tape a while back and had to resort to scrubbing the floor with isopropyl alchohol to get it off, which I wasn't expecting. Here's my older daughter helping me to cut bits of tape.




One that was done, the kids positioned the leaves with the veins facing up. We took our time and arranged them so they filled the paper, then rolled over another layer of the butcher block paper and taped that down too.



A few days ago we made some autumn coloured crayon cakes. Crayon cakes are ace, we've been making them ever since the girls were teeny, because they are so much easier for littlies to get a grip on when they start learning to make marks on paper. They are even better for leaf rubbing!

I haven't done a post on crayon cakes, because I'm sure there are lots out there already. Here's a good one from WhiMSey Love.




The kids had at the paper with the crayons for about 20 minutes, all haphazard with the different colours. The shapes of the tiled floor came through in the rubbings too, but it's not that distracting.









The leaf rubbings were rather pretty just on thier own, but I figured we could get another 20 minutes or so out of this activity, if I watered down some food colouring and let them paint over the rubbings to get a wax resist effect. They thought this was really cool, especially when the yellow rubbings showed through the darker food colouring.








We ended up with what I think are quite wonderful textures and colours. Here are a few close up pics to show you what I mean.











And here is our fall mural proudly in place in the kitchen. I thought about making it into a poster with "happpy thanksgiving" written on it, but really I don't want to cover up any of the leaf rubbings with text, so we'll make a separate banner and enjoy the mural as it is.

50 comments:

biancifiore said...

what a wonderful idea! congratulations!

SandyQuilts said...

WOW.

Sherry said...

I think this is stunning! I love it!

Fiona said...

Just amazing!
I am going to have to do this with my girls soon, before all the gorgeous Autumn leaves are gone.
Thank you for another beautiful craft idea.

Anonymous said...

Im going to give this a try to use as wrapping paper! Thanks!

Patrick Linehan said...

Beautiful!

maryanne said...

We've done leaf crayon rubbings before, but nothing on this scale, and I LOVE the final product! I wonder how long I can keep my kidlets busy with this?

Heather - CROQZine.com - Dollarstorecrafts.com said...

This is completely awesome & beautiful! Love your twists on traditional activities!

jojoebi said...

wow, it looks great, I love large scale art projects for kids.

Beth- the mama bee said...

thanks! We've been trying leaf rubbings, but they just move around under the paper. taping it all down will be great! tomorrow we have a project!

Ann Martin said...

SO pretty. Well done, Mom and daughters! :-)

Gary S said...

Wow, that is seriously cool! Thanks for posting.

Kristine said...

That looks beautiful. I'm really enjoying your blog - thanks for sharing!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Very nice - it really is quite beautiful.

Frogs Mom said...

Lovely idea!

Jimmie said...

So easy and what a lovely result! Truly striking in its simplicity.

bylittlehands said...

This is just a beautiful idea! If we were not in the middle of a wicked Noreaster I would get my kids out to collect leaves right now!

Crescent Moon said...

That is really beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous - looks just like Bali batik fabric

Liz said...

I love this! It's one of the coolest things I've seen lately.

Jennifer said...

Love the rubbings. Never would have thought of the watered down food coloring! Our leaves are just starting to change, it's so late compared to what we are used to that I would love to celebrate it! What a great idea!

Anonymous said...

This is a work beutiful!! A good idea!
Greatings

http://www.flickr.com/photos/anabelu/

SkylarKD said...

Wow, that is beautiful!! What a great fall decorating idea.

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Whoa...way gorgeous, I love it! thanks so much for the great idea, I'll be linking.

Rachel said...

That's beautiful! How did you hang it on your wall? It's hanging so nice and flat.

Court@Beauty Full Used said...

What a gorgeous piece of artwork!

5orangepotatoes said...

Gorgeous! Love the wax resist element!

lisa

Kristen said...

Absolutely gorgeous! It looks like something you could purchase at a department store for $50 or more. Thanks so much for sharing! It's beautiful.

Kerry said...

What a gorgeous way to take traditional leaf rubbings to the next level. I can't wait to give it a try!

Kami said...

Beautiful, love this!

Beth said...

I love the mural. I enjoyed watching the boys do rubbings at tiger cubs this week, but this mural, made together and hanging on your wall, with the crayon marks glowing through the food coloring, is really gorgeous and takes it another step. Thanks! Beth

pam said...

Absolutely fabulous. I wish I could have been there playing! This is one of the best leaf projects I have seen this season. So simple and so beautiful when completed and hung. You have given your children a treasured memory they willnever forget.

Kitten Muffin said...

Thank you to everyone that stopped by to say they liked the leaf mural. The kids are still very proud of it.

Rachel, I just used sticky tape to stick it to the wall. Not very professional I'm afraid. I was thinking when I take it down I may stick some contact paper on the back to make it last longer, and varnish the front to stop the food colourings from fading too much. Our snail art from 18 months ago was done with food colouring and that has faded quite a lot after being up in the kitchen so long.

mbsings said...

That is absolutely stunning and looks beautiful in your dining room. What a great piece of art that you can treasure for years. My daughter is too young for this now, but I'll keep this on my list of things to do.

Anonymous said...

Love the leaf rubbings. Could clear contact paper be used to preserve the project?

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic! Your blog is amazing. We live in Costa Rica and have a very creative household but your blog is truly inspirational. Should you ever publish this into a book I will be the first in line to buy a copy for us and for all our friends.- Jenna and family

janimal said...

Love Love Love this. My little girl is too young for this now - but she already loves crayons and scribbling in her coloring books. I'll bookmark this post and when she's a bit older we will definitely try it. LOVE IT!

Denise said...

Revisited this project this autumn since it came out so beautifully last year. The paper we used became brittle and got torn so I decided to try white cotton sheeting. The results are equally beautiful. It will make a gorgeous runner for our table this Thanksgiving.

Molly said...

how do you tape it down so well and then remove the tape so neatly? Is the blue tape the trick?

Lindsey said...

Absolutely Molly. The blue tape is "painter's tape", which is not very sticky. "Masking tape" would work even better if we'd had any handy at the time :)

Miriam the Mommy said...

I was really juiced about this idea (I had 8 five year olds over this afternoon!). Each had papers, leaves, crayons. Rubbings went fine. Then the paint... but the wax effect didn't happen almost at all!

I think the problem was... these are washable crayons!

I tried to write words on a page with heavy thick crayon, then paint with the watered down food coloring - and some of the letters I wrote just dissolved and disappeared.

So cheap, non-washable crayons may work better here!

Hani@Craftionary said...

Hi Lindsey,

You have been featured at Craftionary for your great leaf inspired idea. Great idea to keep kids busy and have a fab wall art. :) Come check it out:
http://craftionary.blogspot.com/2011/07/wednesday-wordplay-leaf-inspirations.html

I will appreciate, if you grab your featured button and place it some where on your blog.

Thanks
Have a great day!

mericherry said...

I absolutely love this idea. We did it in my kindergarten class last week and it was a huge success! I blogged about it here. http://mericherry.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/leaf-rubbing-mural/

Thanks again for your incredible inspiration and idea. Your blog is amazing.

Heather said...

Absolutely Gorgeous!! We're buying our first house & I've been looking for ideas to decorate it and I think this would be wonderful in our living room framed. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

Anonymous said...

What a lovely idea! I linked to it here: http://ajewintherain.blogspot.com/2011/11/muskrats.html

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful! My oldest is only 3 but I think we could manage something a little smaller during naptime for my youngest.
Thanks so much for the idea!

Vickie said...

Just lovely as fall craft. My kids may just like doing this. I will credit you and send you a pic.

http://reusecrafts.blogspot.com/

elie said...

This is really beautiful and would perfectly capture our brilliant Michigan fall colors! Thanks so much for posting!

Jennifer Hughes said...

I'm writing because I run a sensory site and am looking for great ideas for Thanksgiving, like this leaf rubbing idea. And as any parent, we’re looking for terrific Thanksgiving crafts and ideas for kids with Sensory Processing Disorder and on the Autism Spectrum. Would you add a link to a craft idea or two on our blog? Here's the link to share and get more traffic to your site… http://thesensoryspectrumblog.com/2012/11/04/calling-all-bloggers-fun-family-thanksgiving-crafts-ideas-wanted/

bloooog said...

Those leaves are SO BEAUTIFUL!


Old drawing game made new.