Create vibrant mandala art with this simple leaf printing technique!
The bright, block colour backgrounds have a pop-art look about them, and a group of these together makes a stunning wall display. Mandala leaf printing is a creative Autumn art activity for older kids, while younger kids like pre schoolers would also enjoy the process of leaf printing but it might be easier for them without the mandala patterning.
Mandala art is a good way to learn about and practice symmetry making it a fun STEM or STEAM activity too.
You might also like our DIY nature craft construction kit
Whilst I’ve themed this activity as an Autumn or Fall art idea, it’s perfect for Sprint or Summer too. It doesn’t matter what colour the leaves you are printing with are so long as they are tot too dry and crumbly.
Before you make your mandala art you’ll need to head outdoors into nature to find your leaves – physically going outside and collecting the them is one of the best parts!
I miss the days when my kids would dawdle along picking up interesting-looking sticks, rocks and leaves to bring home. For this activity I had to collect some all by myself one morning after walking the girls to school, and it just doesn’t feel the same. Boo-hoo!
Here’s a video of the leaf printing I’ve created which includes a time lapse of the mandala above, or scroll down for step-by step instructions and the materials list.
Mandala leaf printing technique
You will need:
• Bright coloured scrapbook paper, I’ve used card stock. Here is a link to a nice selection of colours, although it doesn’t appear to have the nice textured affect of the paper above
• Acrylic paint – this paint is good for gaining a bright, opaque colour against the equally-bright background. Poster paints or a good quality kids paint would also work well.
• Paintbrushes – a soft, wide one is best
• Leaves in assorted shapes and sizes
- Add some colour to a leaf using your paint brush
- Press your leaf onto the paper, somewhere near the middle but slightly off-centre so you can create a mandala pattern. Rub the back of the leaf with your fingers in order to get a better and more detailed print.
- Slowly peel the leaf away.
- Repeat, using different leaves, in a circular and symmetrical mandala pattern.
• It may help to lay the leaves out in the pattern of your choice before you print it to ensure it fits and works well in the space
• You can use the same leaf multiple times if using the same colour
See, super simple! I love how bright and colourful they turned out.
More nature art ideas kids will love
• Create outdoor nature art using materials from your garden
• Use chalk and nature to create drawings outside
• Make your own ochre paint from rocks
• Head to a nearby beach (or sandpit) and create earth art
• Here are 20 ways to create art from nature by some of my favourite creative bloggers from around the web