Use leaf rubbings to make these easy and effective autumn crafts for kids.

Leaf rubbings were one of my favorite activities as a child. As a mom and a teacher I have been able to share the fun. These activities use leaf rubbings to make cards, bookmarks and even a thanksgiving turkey!

First collect leaves.

This can be as fun as doing the leaf rubbings. Take a basket or a bag and go on a nature walk in your garden or the local park. Try to collect a good variety of leaves. Discuss the shapes, sizes, textures and smells of the leaves with your child. Collect leaves that are not too dry as they can become brittle and break when you rub over them.


When you have collected your leaves, select the ones you would like to use for rubbings. Place the leaves on a hard surface, a little apart from each other. You can use double sided tape if you wish, to stick the leaves to the table – this stops the leaves from moving around.

Cover the leaves with a large sheet of paper and rub over paper with crayons. the pattern of the leaves will be revealed on the paper. Young children love to see this and will want to do this again and again. I find these beeswax block crayons work really well with leaf rubbings as they have a larger surface.

When you have finished you will have a lovely collection of rubbings – this looks great on it’s own and is good for wrapping paper, laminated for place mats or even framed. But if you would like to try the crafts below, you and your child will need to cut the leaves out.


This is such a simple, but effective activity. Cut a strip of card about 1.5 X 7 inches (5 X 18 cm). Choose three leaves and glue them along the card. This is an easy gift for your child to make for grandparents or teachers.

Take a blank card and have your child glue leaves onto it in a pleasing way. You could choose two large leaves like the one below or make a border of smaller leaves and have your child draw a picture in the middle.

Thanksgiving turkey

My daughter and I made this cute card using the Turkey Template. We glued a large leaf to the bottom of the card and made a fan of leaf rubbings as seen in the picture. We then glued the turkey over the top.

Hope you have fun with these activities and are inspired to explore and experiment with other leaf rubbing creations.

These are my favorite crayons for leaf rubbings