These leaf people are so cute!! Collect fall leaves on a nature walk around your neighbourhood and make this adorable (and easy!) fall leaf people craft.
Celebrate the changing colours of the leaves and use your imagination to create this fun autumn craft. You only need a few simple craft supplies to create a leaf man or woman, and it’s a great fall activity for at school or at home.
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How to Make Leaf People
Check Out The Video Tutorial:
Step 1: Find what you need
- Gather your supplies and materials.
Step 2: Attach the pipe cleaner arms and legs
- Fold 2 pipe cleaners in half.
- Open each of the pipe cleaners slightly so that they form "V"s. Separate them and set them on the back of a leaf with the tips of the "V"s in the center.The pipe cleaners should slightly overlap, forming a diamond shape.
- Add two dots of hot glue where the pipe cleaners will go.
- Place the point of one "V" shape in the bottom dot of glue so the ends point towards the top of the leaf. Place the point of the other "V" shape in the top dot of glue so the ends point towards the bottom. Hold them until they stay in place.
Step 3: Bend the legs and arms
- Turn the leaf over and fold the bottom pipe cleaners into the leaf person's feet.To do this, bend the end of the pipe cleaner up about 1 inch, and then bend it so the foot is pointing outwards. Make a slight bend halfway down the pipe cleaner to create the knee.Repeat on the other side.
- Create arms from the top pipe cleaners. Bend them down and make an elbow curve at about the half-way mark.Then fold the ends of the pipe cleaners in about 3/4 inch to create hands. Don't forget to make a slight bend at the "wrist".
Step 4: Add googly eyes and draw a mouth
- Add hot glue to the back of a googly eye.
- Place the eye near the top of the leaf. Repeat with a second eye.
- Use a black permanent marker to draw a mouth on your leaf person.
- Your leaf person is complete!Now have fun making more leaf people with different colours and shapes of leaves.
- If you’d like to preserve your leaf people, put the leaves through a laminator first. And be sure to check out our post on how to preserve leaves.
- Attach your leaf people to a popsicle stick to create a leaf person puppet!
- If needed, you can rinse off the leaves to remove any dirt and bugs and then dry them with a paper towel before crafting with them.
What leaves are best for making leaf people?
You can make this craft with pretty much any leaves that are available. Here’s a few tips:
- Try to pick leaves that are freshly fallen. Once the leaves crisp up they crumble and fall apart easily, making them difficult to work with.
- It’s also fun to try and collect a good selection of colours. Bright yellows and reds look great, but orange and green leaves work too!
- Choose larger leaves, such as from a maple, aspen, oak, elm, or sycamore. These leaves are big enough to fit the googly eyes and pipe cleaners.
How far in advance can I collect the fall leaves to make a leaf man craft?
We suggest gathering the leaves the same day you make the craft. The leaves are much easier to work with when they’re fresh, and the longer they’re inside, the more they’ll dry and curl up.
If you have to collect the leaves the day before, store them in a plastic bag in the fridge. If the leaves are really wet, add a couple pieces of paper towel into the bag to collect the moisture.
Can I make leaf people without real fall leaves?
It’s fun to craft with real leaves, fresh from nature, but if it’s not the right time of year — or you want your leaf man to last longer than a day or two — there are some other options.
You can use faux fabric leaves, which you can purchase online, at craft stores, or even at the dollar store. They would make really fun and colourful leaf people, and there’s lots of other leaf crafts you can make with them.
Or you can buy paper leaves, or create your own. Use our free leaf template and print the leaves on coloured paper, or trace the outlines onto scrapbook paper or cardstock.
Finally, you can use those same leaf templates to create coffee filter leaves and transform your creation into a leaf man!
Can I make this leaf people craft without pipe cleaners?
We love the look of the pipe cleaner arms and legs on our leaf people, but you can definitely make a leaf person without pipe cleaners.
You can glue smaller leaves to the larger leaf to create arms and legs for your leaf man. Or you can glue the large leaf to a piece of paper and draw the arms and legs with marker.
You can even glue beads or pom poms to the paper to make the leaf man’s arms and legs. It’s so easy to be creative with this fall activity!
These leaf people are so cute and friendly looking, and they’re really easy to make. Younger kids can practice their fine motor skills, and older kids can have fun creating their own leaf characters.
So gather some autumn leaves and make these adorable leaf people – it’s so much fun for the whole family!
Here’s even more leaf craft ideas:
Our book Low-Mess Crafts for Kids is loaded with 72 fun and simple craft ideas for kids! The projects are fun, easy and most importantly low-mess, so the clean up is simple!