Recycled Autumn Leaf Mobile

Create a beautiful autumn leaf mobile using recycled cardboard packaging, fall colour paints, and glitter glue. A lovely autumn craft for all ages that focuses on the art process with a lovely end result too!Recycled autumn leaf craft

To make these  painted autumn leaves we picked up a large cardboard fruit box from the supermarket (they are usually freely available in the fruit and veg section and are fantastic for play and art activities!) Then I set this out along with some autumnal coloured paints, gold acrylic paint and glitter glues with a range of paintbrushes. [Read more about the idea behind creating invitations to play here.]Invitation to create autumn leaves

They all enjoyed this as a group activity and it made a nice after-school wind down for Cakie. We talked about mixing the colours to see what shades they could make and set the challenge to cover up every inch of the cardboard so only autumnal colours remained.

Tip: by setting out a limited range of colours it is much less likely that it will all end up in a brown gunge by the end!Painting autumn leaves

When they had finished adding colours we squeezed glitter glues directly over the top of each section and they spread them over the paint like a wash, which made them sparkle beautifully. Painted fruit box autumn leaves

When the tray had dried I cut each section into a leaf shape using the natural curve of the box. Older children could do this independently as the cardboard is thin enough to cut through fairly easily.Recycled autumn leaf activity

The finished leaves looked so pretty sparkling in the sunlight, and we used them to make two separate displays. For the first I sewed through the tops of the leaves and fasten behind each one with a piece of tape, then suspended it across the mantelpiece for an Autumn garland.Fall leaf garland craft

For the second the girls wanted to make the leaves hang from a real tree branch to become a mobile. We found a twig in the garden and we tied individual leaves hanging from thread which I had sewed through the tops. The end result looks gorgeous hanging by the window!Cardboard autumn leaf mobile

More leaf activities you might like:

Salad spinner leaves

Shaving cream marbling leaves

Leaf crown

Search the whole of our Autumn Activities Collection here

Follow my Autumn Play and Learning board on Pinterest too!

Cakie: 5.1

Pop: 3.6

Bean: 19 mos



  1. Louise R says

    Looks gorgeous! Another great idea. Strange question, but how did you get the twig in place so that the ‘leaves’ could hang? Thanks x

  2. says

    Honestly, these look absolutely beautiful! I had NO Idea what material you used! I’m surprised at it being just a fruit box as they really do look very stunning! Excellent job and thanks for always sharing the inspiration with us!