We are slightly obsessed with suncatchers in this house. I’ve shared our cute pumpkin suncatchers before but we’ve actually made loads more that *gasp* didn’t make it online just because I thought it might be overkill! I couldn’t help but share these sweet autumn leaf suncatchers though, both my kids loved making them and it was a great way to sit down and chat about the changing seasons with them. This easy autumn craft is also a great way to practice scissor skills with your child or for an excuse to chat with them about colour mixing – what will happen if you put the red and yellow together? My kids were one and four years old when they first made these too so I know that it’s a craft you really can do with younger children. As is often the case for younger kids they will need a little help with some parts and of course you will need to supervise but the results are great and this is a craft that we had displayed up in our home for ages!
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To make these Autumn leaf suncatchers you will need:
Contact Paper / Sticky Back Plastic
Needle and Thread
You could also use our free autumn leaves template if you don’t want to draw your leaves freehand.
Lets make it:
This is a post I originally shared a couple of years ago but I thought I’d share it again as it was so popular with my kids and I’ve added a little video to show how easy they are to make. If you scroll to the bottom of this page you’ll also find links to some of our other favourite autumn crafts and activities.
Want to make sure you don’t forget this idea? Bookmark this page or pin an image now so that you can have this to hand later when you need it!
Now, normally at this point I talk about the importance of prepping your activity before your child gets started. Well, that totally didn’t happen with this. I managed to cut out two templates in advance but as soon as I suggested this activity both of my kids were desperate to get involved so I was cutting, sticking down contact paper and trying to keep the peace at 100 miles an hour. More stressful than normal? Totally! It was good to know that they both really wanted to make these though! My main regret with this craft is just that I didn’t take enough photos, they looked fabulous and I wish I could show them off a bit more.
The first thing to do is to cut out some leaf shapes from coloured card. Keep it as simple as possible and allow about a 1cm border round the edges. If you’d rather use a template for this make sure you print out our free autumn leaves template (it’s great to give to the kids for painting or colouring too!) Contact paper can be tricky to work with just because it’s so darn sticky! To keep it in place I start by washi taping two corners to the floor or table and then removing the covering paper and sticking the other corners down. As my youngest is only one I stuck down more of the sides for her as she loves contact paper and is liable just to tear it all up.
Want to check how these are made? I’ve put a little video together for you as I know I find it easier to see things visually sometimes!
Place your leaf shapes carefully down on the contact paper and then let your kids fill the insides of the shape with the coloured cellophane. You can cut the cellophane into shapes yourself or invite them to cut it up depending on their age. I’ve recommend coloured cellophane rather than tissue paper because the colours you will get are so much brighter and if you are practising scissor skills then it’s also really easy to cut as well. It doesn’t matter if the cellophane goes outside of the shapes (making this a great activity for toddlers too) and likewise it’s fine if the colours get piled on top of each other – I think the colour change it makes make them look even more autumnal, plus it gives you the chance to discuss how different colours are make – what happens if you put a bit of red cellophane and a yellow bit together? This is my one year old’s leaf, she loved just sticking on the biggest bits she could find!
One you are finished, seal them by placing another bit of contact paper on top and then cut your autumn leaf suncatchers out. Using a needle and thread make a hole in the top and then tie a knot so that you can hang them up! I love that this craft is good fun without getting the whole house covered in paint! If you like mess free activities for kids then make sure you check out our mess free autumn tree craft too!
Autumn Leaf Suncatchers
- Optional: needle and thread
- Sticky back plastic (contact paper)
- Coloured card
- Washi tape or sellotape
- Optional: leaf template
- Cut the leaf shapes out from card or alternatively use our leaf templates
- Stick some contact paper down using sellotape or washi tape to hold it in place
- Cut out pieces of the coloured cellophane
- Stick the cellophane onto the contact paper
- Seal the leaves by sticking another piece of contact paper on top
- Cut out the leaf suncatchers and attach to your window (using a needle and thread if you wish or sellotape / bluetack)
More Autumn Crafts For Kids
We love this round up of 15 autumn suncatchers kids can make for more pretty things to hang in your window!
Or a autumn craft that you can adapt depending on what you have at home, check out our autumn tree painting ideas that use our free tree template.
Finally we love this round up of autumn activities for preschoolers with over 45 awesome ideas!