How to Make Striking Autumn Leaf Suncatchers- Easy DIY

Autumn is here! With the leaves starting to turn color this Fall, it's time for some fun autumn leaves arts and crafts

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There are a whole lot of things that you can do with colorful fall leaves. But, my favorite Fall craft project is suncatcher craft; creating autumn window clings or autumn leaf suncatchers using dried leaves and transparent, adhesive laminate paper ... my very own autumn leaves window stickers.

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My little cat inspecting my autumn leaves suncatchers. She approves!


This whole suncatcher craft process is just so enjoyable; from collecting and pressing the leaves to arranging these gorgeous, dried leaves between clear, adhesive sheets of contact paper/ laminate to preserve the beauty of the leaves.

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And once hung up in the windows, these DIY window stickers take on a whole different hue when the sun shines through them. The varying colors and shapes of different maple leaves, gingko, oak leaves and other colorful leaves of the season are so stunning and absolutely mesmerizing.

This is an enjoyable craft project for adults looking to introduce some DIY Fall decorating ideas to their home, but it's an equally fun autumn leaf craft idea for toddlers and preschoolers. Kids will enjoy collecting, pressing and crafting leaf curtains/suncatchers that can be enjoyed long after the the last leaf has blown off the trees.

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DIY Window Cling Art. Overlapping the edges on a couple of leaves render an interesting effect.


Suncatchers with Dried Pressed Leaves or Fresh Leaves?

I've made my suncatchers with dried pressed leaves. But you can certainly use fresh leaves too. Fresh leaves will be very vibrant in the sunlight. They are also easier to work with since they are not as fragile as dried leaves. It's also quicker to prepare your suncatcher with fresh leaves rather than waiting for 10 days to dry the leaves. So, for toddlers and preschoolers who have limited patience, working with fresh leaves is a good idea.

However, do note that if using fresh leaves, the leaves will lose their color and start deteriorating after about 2 weeks. If you use pressed and dried leaves instead, the leaf colors are preserved and the suncatchers can be used for multiple years for fall decorations if stored properly. When storing suncatchers, they should be stored flat and not rolled, or else the fragile leaves will break.


How to make Autumn Leaf Suncatchers with Dried Pressed Leaves


Materials Required:

1. Dried, flat colorful leaves 

2. Clear, adhesive laminate or contact paper like Duck Contact paper or Easy Liner shelf liners. Make sure it is transparent.


Step-by-Step Instructions:

A. Collect colorful leaves

Go for a walk, take a little basket with you and gather different colored autumn leaves. Pick them up from the ground or try to catch them as they fall. It's fun (and not as easy as you think) to catch falling leaves. Plus, they say it's good luck to catch falling leaves. For every falling leaf you catch, you get to make a wish!

Try to gather freshly fallen leaves that are not wet. 


B. Press freshly collected leaves

As soon as you return from your walk, place leaves between sheets of newspaper and press the leaves between two flat surfaces. For this project, since we require quite a lot of leaves, I like to press the leaves under my carpet. The leaves will take about 7-10 days to dry out and flatten out completely.

maple leaves, pressed and dried leaves
Colorful dried and pressed maple leaves


C. Arrange dried leaves between contact paper

  1. I use adhesive, clear, Easyliner shelf liners or clear Duck Contact paper or laminate to create the suncatchers. Measure the width of the window/ door, you wish to create the suncatcher to hang in.
  2. Cut the clear, adhesive contact paper to size using the provided gridlines on the back of the paper. To make 1 suncatcher, you will need to cut 2 sheets of contact paper.
  3. Working on a clean, flat surface (the dining table is a good place to work), carefully peel off the backing on 1 sheet of contact paper to expose the sticky side.
  4. Arrange the leaves onto the sticky contact paper and press gently to adhere. Overlapping the edges of a couple of leaves give a nice effect. To mimic falling leaves, place leaves in a haphazard fashion rather than arranging neatly.
  5. Now, here's the tricky part. Work slowly and don't rush. An extra set of hands is helpful here.  To apply the second layer of contact paper over the first layer,  peel the backing only off the top portion of the second sheet of contact paper. Do not remove the entire backing. 
  6. Carefully line the top edges up. Use a cloth to smooth out bubbles from the center out.  Slowly, pull the backing off a couple of inches at a time, to stick the sheets together. Apply pressure with the cloth to smooth out the laminate and any trapped air bubbles.
D. Hang Leaf Suncatcher in window

Stick the autumn leaf suncatcher in a sunny window and enjoy the leaf show when the sun comes poring in.

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For another (much easier!) autumn leaves art and craft idea, make an Autumn Leaf Bunting with dried leaves.

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Or find other (even easier ways!!) to bring the Autumn outdoors inside.

Framing dried leaves


Or try making a natural fall wreath


natural fall wreath, golden rod wreath, yellow and purple natural fall wreath, statice


For more Autumnal inspiration, click on the "Autumn" label below.


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