Supplies: Scotch tape, scissors, construction paper in autumn colors, printed out leaves to use as a drawing guide (optional), pencil, glue dots, ribbon or string
Print out silhouettes of leaves or find fallen leaves you’d like to use as a guide for drawing the leaves on your banner. Here are the images I used: oak leaf outline, maple leaf outline. Google image search terms that worked well for me were XYZ leaf stencil, XYZ leaf outline and XYZ leaf silhouette. I hate using my printer, so I opted for “outline” in my search to save on ink.
Fold your sheets of construction paper in half, and then cut the folded paper in half. See above left image for an example. Using your leaf or leaf image as a guide, draw a leaf on one of your folded and cut pieces of construction paper. Cut out your leaves. This is where your folded paper comes in handy, resulting in 2 leaves per stencil.
Once you’ve cut out your first leaves, use one of them as a stencil for cutting out all of the others. This will help make your leaves look uniform. For more variety, freehand draw your leaves each time.
Arrange your leaves in a color pattern you like once you’ve finished cutting them all out. Tape one leaf to your ribbon or string, as shown in the picture second from the right above. Then apply a glue dot near the top and bottom of your leaf. Stick and identical leaf on top of the taped leaf and press down over the glue dots, securing them. Voila! Now you have one leaf attached to your string, no gluing or drying necessary. Repeat this process until all of your leaves are attached to your string. Mount your banner across an archway or on a porch, and you’re done. Really easy. This project is great for kids, because they get to practice a lot of fine motor skills in a fun way that they can show off. Doing this made me feel like a kid again.
An easy variation on this project: Rather than stringing your leaves in pairs to create a banner, you could also use the glue dots to stick them on the wall. If you get the removable glue dots, you don’t need to worry about your paint. Just an idea. I’ve been thinking about deconstructing this banner and arranging my leaves on the molding you see above to make my work go further.