How to Make Beautiful Air Dried Clay Leaves

by Sarah - Craft Invaders

This project is a really good way to get you looking at leaves properly; their shape, thickness, colour and most importantly their structure and texture.

Use leaves you have collected to make these beautiful little air dried clay dishes. Great, simple, fun craft for kids.

We used the leaves we gathered both to make prints on our clay, and also as templates to make little leaf dishes. Here, we are using air-drying clay, so our pieces will not be waterproof; I’d recommend sealing them with a coat of varnish or pva glue if you want to extend their life and be able to wipe them over in the future.

Use leaves you have collected to make these beautiful little air dried clay dishes. Great, simple, fun craft for kids.

First we donned our wellies, and went out to collect leaves. We looked for big robust leaves to make our dishes that had well defined ribbing; after lots of examining we chose plantain leaves and those from the creeper that grows on our house. We also collected smaller more delicate leaves to use for our imprints.

Use leaves you have collected to make these beautiful little air dried clay dishes. Great, simple, fun craft for kids.

Once the kids had chosen a leaf each, they rolled out the air-dried clay to the thickness we wanted (about 3-4mm), then placed the leaf on it and rolled it flat into the surface.

Use leaves you have collected to make these beautiful little air dried clay dishes. Great, simple, fun craft for kids.

Use leaves you have collected to make these beautiful little air dried clay dishes. Great, simple, fun craft for kids.

The kids used a combination of knives and scissors to cut around their leaves and clay, and used tin foil to support the leaves in a gentled curved shape ready to leave to dry. Once safely cradled, they gently removed the leaf from the clay, exposing the pattern underneath.

Use leaves you have collected to make these beautiful little air dried clay dishes. Great, simple, fun craft for kids.

Use leaves you have collected to make these beautiful little air dried clay dishes. Great, simple, fun craft for kids.

We left our clay leaves overnight to dry. Once dry, the kids got busy painting them! Originally I had planned to suggest using pens to pick out the detail once the leaves were painted, but in fact, the paint really highlighted the detail as you can see in the photos, so we didn’t need to.

Use leaves you have collected to make these beautiful little air dried clay dishes. Great, simple, fun craft for kids.

We used the smaller, more delicate leaves to make imprints on plaques of clay, which also looked great! The kids loved this activity, it was clear they were delighted with the results, and there was lots of talk between them about why leaves might have the structure they do while they were working away.

Use leaves you have collected to make these beautiful little air dried clay dishes. Great, simple, fun craft for kids.

 

For more nature craft inspiration, please check out our Making Willow Balls tutorial, and our Sticky Nature Pictures.

Use leaves you have collected to make these beautiful little air dried clay dishes. Great, simple, fun craft for kids.

 

If you have enjoyed this post, please share with others x

Use leaves you have collected to make these beautiful little air dried clay leaves. Great, simple, fun craft for both kids and adults

 

 

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25 comments

Sara | mumturnedmom August 27, 2015 - 9:35 pm

These are brilliant, what a great idea! We waxed leaves a couple of years ago which was successful, but I really like the idea of doing this 🙂 #brilliantblogposts

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Sarah August 27, 2015 - 10:00 pm

Thanks for popping by:) Just been admiring your beautiful blog x

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Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows August 27, 2015 - 1:17 am

Wow- lovely idea. So simple and effective. Will be giving this one a go!

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Sarah August 27, 2015 - 8:19 am

Kids loved making these. Thanks for popping by x

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Jenny August 16, 2015 - 8:59 pm

I love these! I made something similar for my mum’s birthday when I was at uni and strapped for cash. The only difference is that I clingfilmed inside a bowl and placed the clay leaf shape inside to get a bowl shape. I love these, they look amazing and will be treasured for many years to come!
Thanks for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

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Sarah August 16, 2015 - 9:08 pm

Using a bowl is a great idea! Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment x

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Karen (@karenjwhitlock) August 2, 2015 - 5:45 am

I absolutely love this!! Such a simple idea but those finished leaves are so beautiful – the detail is amazing. I must have a go at this with mine this summer. Thanks for sharing this!
#CountryKids

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Sarah August 2, 2015 - 8:57 am

The paint really does pick out the detail nicely 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment x

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Coombe Mill - Fiona Cambouropoulos August 1, 2015 - 5:50 pm

I love this, such a simple craft yet so effective, I guess the more structured the leaf the better as it will have the surface needed to create the pattern. Paining them really does bring out the design too. Thank you for linking up to Country Kids, though you may also want to link to my Monday linky Trash 2 Treasure which is for all recycling projects from rubbish or nature, this really does fit them both!

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Sarah August 1, 2015 - 6:26 pm

Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment – looking forward to linking up on trash2treasure on Monday x

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