Autumn is my favourite time of year! Long woodland walks and making the most of the fresh air before the weather really turns. Autumn is also a great source of craft ideas there’s things like leaves, fireworks, Halloween, apples, pumpkins and lots of other crafts. Here’s my guide to some easy Autumn crafts you can do with the kids.
A lot of these Autumn craft ideas use leaves, so the next time you’re out in the woods (or even just going for a walk in your local area) make sure you collect a variety of leaves in all colours and sizes. My first autumn activity idea is actually to try and catch a falling leaf. It’s much harder than you think, but every time I do this with the kids we end up in fits of giggles.
Autumn leaf crown craft
We’ve tried LOTS of different ways to stick the leaves to the crown. As much as I avoid using plastic whenever possible in my crafts, the best way to secure the leaves to this crown is using double sided tape. Cut two 5cm wide strips from the long side of a piece of A4 white card. Tape one end together and then measure your child’s head and secure the other end. Then stick away! It’s ok for there to be some overlapping of leaves, but not too much otherwise they won’t stick.
Scarecrow paper plate craft
To make this scarecrow paper plate craft I used a paper plate, some pink EVA foam cut into circles, googly eyes, straw coloured felt, orange paper cut into thin strips, an EVA foam flower sticker, yellow paint and PVA glue.
This simple craft is really cute and you can make it as easy, or complicated, as you like. With younger kids can you get everything cut out and painted beforehand. With older children you can get them to help you paint the paint and cut out all the shapes. Then just glue everything in place. There’s also a witch version and other Halloween paper plate crafts on my Halloween crafts page. The paints that I’ve used in all of these Autumn crafts are these ones from Baker Ross. They’re really good AND they wash out well (affiliate link).
Paper plate hedgehog
To make this simple autumn craft with the kids all you need is one paper plate, a small piece of pink EVA foam (or paper), one googly eye, some brown paint, PVA glue and a decent selection of dried leaves. Cut the plate in half and glue to two halves with the front sides together so there’s a little gap at the bottom. Paint approx half the plate in brown to be the hedgehog’s face. Cover the other half with leaves starting with the edge and moving towards the face. Add the nose and googly eye and allow to dry.
You can use these leaf people either as a stand-alone craft activity, as a decoration or as puppets. If you’re making whole bodies then you’ll either need long leaves or to cut one in half for the limbs. Alternatively make a face using the leaves as hair and twigs to make the nose and mouth. Both seem to work better on coloured paper than white. Cut around your creations to turn them into people. You could even glue a lolly stick to the back to make them into puppets.
Leaf salt dough prints
Making salt dough couldn’t be easier. You’ll need 1 cup of plain flour, 1/2 cup of table salt and 1/2 cup of water. Just mix them together until it forms a ball. If your dough seems a bit too sticky then just add a bit more flour. To harden simply cook on the lowest heat for a couple of hours. How long depends on the thickness of the design. You can also leave in a warm place to air dry, but it will take several days. If your oven is too hot (or if you use self-raising flour by mistake) then your salt dough will bubble up, ruining all the detail)
Once your dough is ready just press different leaf shapes into the dough. You can then turn these into ornaments buy cutting into shape before baking and painting once dry.
Apple tissue paper crafts
This is such an easy Autumn craft you can do with even young kids. All you need is some white card, tissue paper, PVA glue and a felt tip pen. Cut the card into the shape of an apple (it doesn’t need to be perfect, but don’t forget either a stalk or leaf at the top so you can tell it’s supposed to be an apple). Add PVA glue to a small section at a time and scrunch small pieces of tissue paper until it’s all covered. Colour in the leaf/stalk and allow to dry.
There’s no limit to the autumn shapes you can use for this craft – pumpkins, leaves, acorns, pears etc.
Autumn sun catcher
A lot of suncatchers use contact paper, but this is a plastic-free version to make with the kids. You’ll need two paper plates, a sheet of white tissue paper, small cut-up pieces of tissue paper in autumnal paper, PVA glue an some paint. You can hang with either blu-tac or a thread. Obviously this should be hung in the window but I just couldn’t get a decent picture of the frame so I’ve shown it hanging on the door.
To make these autumn suncatchers cut out the centre section of two plates. Covering the hole, glue a sheet of white tissue paper to the front of one plate. Using just a small amount of glue stick the shapes wherever you like on the white tissue paper. Be careful not to use too much glue as tissue paper is really fragile when wet. Once you’re happy with the design glue the second plate on top of the first to seal and then paint the border.
The story goes that s’mores are so-called because everyone always wants “some more”! I don’t know if that’s true, but they make a lovely bonfire-side snack. Who am I kidding? They’re yummy all the time! Obviously you can toast your marshmallows over a fire, or you use a microwave if you don’t have an open fire available!
This is how to make s’mores using a microwave. You’ll need digestive biscuits, marshmallows and thin chocolate. I’ve always used Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Little Bars and broken them into three pieces. Simply sandwich a marshmallow and a piece of chocolate between two biscuits. Microwave for approx 20/30 seconds (depends on the strength of your microwave). Once the marshmallow starts to puff up you should be good to go.
The most observant of you will notice that some of the biscuits above are rich tea, not digestive. Middle Child hates digestive biscuits (weird, I know!) so I made him some using rich tea. They’re still nice, but definitely not as satisfying as digestive.
I really like the idea of fireworks painting and there are lots of different suggestions of how to make them. I tried several of the most common suggestions out, but I didn’t really like how they turned out. In the end we used two methods. The top photo was done using a washing up brush. It was nice and easy for Smallest Child to do by herself (even if in one version she just rubbed all of the different paint colours together so instead of fireworks there was just one massive brown mess). In the bottom picture we dropped blobs of paint onto the paper and then dragged it around using a lolly stick to create the explosion effect.
Other methods you can use; 1) water the paint down and the blow it through a straw to create an explosion look, 2) use the prongs of a fork as a stamp 3) cut lots of thin strips 3/4 of the way down a toilet roll tube so it fans out.
Another firework related craft activity you can try is this easy toilet roll firework.
This craft is actually one we did in the summer but, because you can use it with any flowers or leaves, you can also make an autumn version with the kids. It might be really nice to make one for each season! Here’s now to make it.
Do an autumn craft kit
Sometimes it is just easier to get someone else to do all the prep for you! There are lots of autumn craft kits on the Baker Ross website, including these cross stitch kits that I did with Biggest Child. You can have a look at the full range here. (affiliate link)