Paperclay Leaves – Part 2

Last week I shared Paperclay Leaves – Part 1. Today, we are going to finish the project by painting and sealing the leaves. After that, you’ll just have to decide where they should fall! I made 12 leaves, and put them on my Harvest Cupboard. They look so beautiful I want to make more for here and there around the house. Also, I want to make some with the wee ones. I can only imagine how beautiful theirs will be!

To begin with, I collected all the supplies I would be needing. Although you can use any paint on these, I wanted a translucent quality to the colors, so I used my Stockmar Watercolor Paints.

To replicate the coloring of the autumn leaves, head outdoors and collect a handful. Unfortunately, a number of our trees haven’t turned yet, so I collect some photos online and printed them for a reference.

I began by using a very thinned yellow “whitewash”. I covered the front and back.

Then, I started adding other colors, mimicking the photos of leaves, but mostly just putting colors together in a pleasing fashion. I started by adding watered down colors, working my way up to deeper tones. I tried to varying the colors on each leaf. Then, I let the leaves dried and finally used a “dry brush” method to add accents. To dry brush, use your watercolors full strengths, dabbing your brush on a cloth before starting, then brush very small amounts of paint on the leaf for shading. Finally, I turned my brush over and adding dots here and there on some leaves to show imperfections.

Finally, I used Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish from Dick Blick as a sealer, but you could also use a product like Mod Podge.

When the leaves are dried, add them to your seasonal decorations.

NOTE: Although all the materials I used are non-toxic, these aren’t meant to be played with. The clay is thin and can break if over handled. Of course they are plenty sturdy to have the wee ones help you decorate with them.  



  1. These are simply beautiful. I’ve only recently started crafting. Having my first child and mostly on bedrest so I’ve had a lot of time to discover what I have been missing. I love your blog and these leaves are so pretty. So much to learn.

    1. Welcome to the world of crafting, Sherrie. You’ll never go back! Your first baby, how exciting. Wishing you the best 🙂

  2. I’m taking a pottery class — it’s more like a free-for-all with clay and access to a kiln — and when I saw your last post on this project I new I had to try it. Mine will go through the kiln and become glossy with the glaze, but I absolutely LOVE how realistic yours came out. Awesome job on the painting!

    I’ll be sure to share how mine come out on my blog, Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. I’ve always wanted to take a pottery class but never have. Make sure when you get something posted on your leaves that you leave a comment back here. I don’t want to miss seeing them 🙂

  3. Hi… I want to do these with my daughter’s second grade class, and I was wondering how many leaves you can make with each block of clay? If I got the 16 oz blocks… how many leaves (palm sized) could I make?
    Any other tips for working with 2nd graders on this? I figured one week we’d make the imprints, and the next week we’d paint. I’ll Mod Podge them and get them back to the kids in time for Thanksgiving.

    1. Wow! What a fun project! If you haven’t done so already, read through the lesson plan on the Dick Blick site: They recommended 1 oz. per child/leaf and that seemed about right. Also, she had the children palm flatten the clay, then press the clay on the back of the leaf, pushing the clay to reach the edges. I would recommend her method with children since you do not need to use a knife to cut out the leaf.

      Good luck! I would love to see photo’s of the classes completed project 🙂

      1. Thanks! I guess I missed that part on the Dick Blick site about the 1 oz./kid. I will let you know once we’ve done the project and you can see pictures!

  4. What a beautiful way to recognize the beauty of this season. So pretty, like the real ones on the ground all around us.

    1. And these will keep their color longer 🙂 Although, I do love to bring the real leaves indoors, too.

  5. I love these and your other decorations! Any chance they will be for sale in the shop? I enjoy some crafting, but I prefer buying in this season of life.



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