Warning: Making "Painted Leaves" is not for the faint of heart.
If the thought of spilled paint all over your kitchen table and floor (not to mention your kids or your dog) gives you anxiety, than you do not want to attempt this fun project. If it is warm enough outside you might want to do your painting outdoors.
We actually had a lot of fun painting leaves. This clever craft can be found on page 32 of the November 2010 FamilyFun magazine or online here.
We tried to follow the instructions of using paint brushes for the first layers of paint, but the only brushes I had were those little watercolor paintbrushes and they just weren't wide enough for the job so we ended up using some cut up sponges to paint and blend the leaf colors.
I wish the instructions in FamilyFun gave a specific water to paint ratio because once our paint dried it became apparent that our colors weren't nearly as vibrant as those pictured in the magazine. In fact there were huge sections of the painting that were faded and bleached out, but I am thinking that could be caused by our really hard water. Digital Man comforted me by telling me that he thinks the washed out look makes the leaves look more authentic. The templates were super helpful for tracing and cutting out leaves, especially since the kids lost interest for awhile at this point and I cut out most of the leaves myself.
We put our leaves on the doors to our den and wrote things that we are grateful for on them in preparation for Thanksgiving. I want to get some brown paper to make a tree trunk and branches and turn the whole thing into a tree.
Robo Dude and Cyber Princess gave this activity a 4 out of 5 fingers and thought the funnest parts of this craft were painting and writing things they are grateful for on the leaves. Robo Dude said, "I think that making the turkey was more fun, so I only gave this 4 fingers". I enjoyed helping my kids with the painting process, but the project took more time to complete than I expected.