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Fall is such a beautiful time of year – colorful foliage, apple-cider, and bold scents! I’m always trying to invent new ways to paint at Crayon Box Chronicles and today was no different! I was browsing through the Dollar Store today looking for inspiration, then I saw a pack of combs. My first thought was to use bright colors and make cool designs with the combs. But, I’ve been working on my twig mobile idea, well, for nine months, so when I saw the fall glitter, it hit me – glitter leaf mobile! I wanted this to be a quick, inexpensive, and simple art project for kids! Afterwards, we ventured to the park to gather twigs for our project. Nature activities are so fun! Plus, you can sneak in some science tidbits about weight and balance. Materials:
- Leaf Template
- White Glue
- Combs, various sizes
- Glitter, various colors
- 3 Twigs, 1 ft long each
- Fishing Wire
- Brad Poker (optional)
Once you have your supplies together, let’s make the glittery leaves. The kids will love the cool effects the combs make! No time to make a mobile? The leaves make a fun art project too.
Print out your leaf template, then cut. I used 5 total, varying the sizes. Just change the scale sizing under print functions. The larger ones are full-scale and the smaller ones are 75% scaled. Pour the glue on to a paper plate or piece of paper, dip, and paint!
The comb stokes are so interesting. I used three different types of combs, purchased at the Dollar Tree, 3 pack. Total project cost, just $2 for the combs and glitter!! Once you have applied your glue strokes in different directions, its sparkle time! Add glitter, lots of glitter. I chose warms colors for a nice fall feeling.
Allow to dry completely! They’re so pretty, right!? If you don’t have time to make the mobile, simply string the leaves through fishing wire and make leaf garland – so fun! As an added touch, I applied dark brown ink to the edges with a sponge dauber.
Next, let’s assemble the mobile. This is a great opportunity to explore weight and balance together. C kept saying, “Pull Mommy, up and down!” The movement was so fascinating to him. We love science activities!
Using a brad poker or a nettle, poke a tiny hole in the top of the leaf. Cut and attach fishing wire to leaf – tie a knot. The green yarn is just a visual aid so you can clearly see where the fishing wire goes. Tips:
- When you tie your knots to the branches, tie loosely. Once you find your balance point, tie tight!
- Assemble it as you see, on the ground. It’s easier to find your balance points once everything is together and the mobile is hanging.
- Work your way from the bottom – up!
- To find each balance point, start from the bottom, holding the middle string that attaches twigs A/B together. Once it balances, temporarily tape the fishing wire to the stick and work your way to the next point. Remove the tape once you’re balanced.
Tie the other end of the thread to the end of a twig A. Repeat on the other end of the stick – attach another leaf to twig A.
Tie a thread to the middle of this twig A and attach it to the end of twig B. Attach a leaf to the other end of twig B.
Using a short length of thread, attach what you’ve made to the end of twig C. If you want the twigs to stay horizontal, tie the thread where the mobile will balance. Attach a leaf to the other end of this twig C. Tie a longer length of thread to the top twig C – this will be what hangs your mobile from the ceiling – loop the end. Attach a screw hook to the ceiling and hang through the loop.
Inexpensive, fun, and sparkly! Looking for more Fall tree activities?
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Heather is a former creative director and stylist from the Big Apple. See more on her blog, Crayon Box Chronicles, where she explores creative messy play, recycled art activities, and small world play with her son.