Leaf Rubbing

Projects & Activities

As part of the Great Lakes region, also sometimes called the woodlands, Indiana has an abundance of deciduous trees – maples, sycamores, oak, birch, elm, dogwood, redbud just to name a few! These trees shed their leaves at the end of each growing season creating a beautiful sea of reds, oranges and yellows in autumn, and have inspired artists for hundreds of years.

This activity encourages you to look closely at the different leaves found in your own backyard. As you are collecting leaves for your artwork, examine each one carefully. Can you identify which tree each leaf came from?

Materials Needed:

Leaves of different shapes and sizes

Crayons with wrappers removed



Step 1:

Collect dried or freshly fallen leaves of different shapes, sizes, and colors.


Step 2:

On a hard flat surface, place a leaf bottom side up on a piece of paper.


Step 3:

Select the crayon colors you would like to use! Make sure the wrappers are removed.


Step 4:

Rub the side of a crayon gently on the area over the leaf.


Step 5:

Try to keep the leaf in place with one hand while you color with the other hand.


Step 6:

You can use one color or multiple colors!

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