We have been treated to some gorgeous, sunny Autumn days this month, and a good way to celebrate that is by making a clay leaf mobile. Miss K and I have been collecting some coloured leaves on our walks and decided to use them as templates for clay leaves and turn them into a mobile. Miss K is 4 years old and although she needed a little bit of help with this she made a good attempt at doing most of it by herself, and was very proud of the clay leaves she made.
You will need:
• Leaves (they don’t need to be Autumn coloured fallen leaves, green will do just as well)
• Air drying clay
• A kitchen skewer or similar to poke holes in the clay for hanging
• Kids acrylic paint and brushes
• A sealer (optional) – we used a decoupage non-toxic water based sealer
• String and a stick to hang them with
Roll the clay out to a thickness of around 5mm. Press a leaf into the clay and roll it in with a rolling pin. Cut around the leaf with a blunt knife (we used a plastic kids knife), peel the leaf off and remove the excess clay from around the cut out leaf shape. Carefully lift the leaf shape from the table, poke a hole somewhere near the top with a skewer for hanging later on, and put it onto a tray to dry out, it should take at least a week and depending on your weather and humidity conditions it may take even longer. We left ours for two weeks before we took them down from the shelf for painting. Make as many leaves as you like.
Miss K helped me paint the leaves in Autumn colours and then decided to paint her hands too.You can either paint one side at a time and let it dry or paint both sides and prop the leaf up against something so that both sides can dry at the same time. I propped them up against the sides of the wooden tray we were working with. They took a couple of hours to dry in the Autumn sunshine outside.
Once the paint had dried I took the optional step of painting the leaves with a water-based sealer that is generally used for decoupage. It gave it a clear, glossy coat on top of the paint.
So pretty. Do your kids like to make things with air dried clay?
For more seasonal themed crafts why not visit our Seasonal Crafts board on Pinterest. If it’s not Autumn or Fall wherever you are right now you’re sure to find something for Spring or Summer instead.