The nights are drawing in and the weather is starting to finally feel a little chilly. Autumn is in the air and it’s time to dig out the PVA, sticky-backed plastic and card and get crafting.

Leaf lions

The changing colours of the leaves make them perfect for creating leaf lions.  First, take an A3 piece of card and draw out a lion’s face.  If you’re not confident about your artistic skills, find one online, print it out and trace it.  You’ll only need the main features, eyes, nose and mouth and the shape of the face.

Colour or paint the face.  If you want a shiny, black nose then first paint it black, let it dry, then cover the black paint with a thin layer of PVA to give it a shiny effect.

Once the face is finished, it’s time to create the mane.  You can get your children to collect different coloured leaves while out walking or on the way to or from school.  Use these colourful leaves to create a fan effect by placing them around the face working from the inside out.

Remember to tuck the next layer of leaves slightly under the top layer so that they fan out. PVA glue will work well here or, if you have one, a hot glue gun, but this will need to be used under adult supervision and remember the glue will be hot when you press the leaves down.  Three layers of leaves should create a suitably fluffy, leafy mane.

Put this in pride of place on the fridge or noticeboard.

Conker faces

This is super simple.  Simple grab some Sharpies and draw different faces onto your conkers.

If you want to make them extra special cover each conker in PVA and roll in glitter or cut short pieces of string and PVA them to the top to create hair.  You can make these as elaborate as you like and even create your own little conker family.

Splatter paint

This is a fun, but messy, craft.  You’ll need:

  • Soft, wide paintbrushes
  • Poster paint
  • Card
  • Stencils
  • A large wipeable or washable cloth to cover the area you’ll be working in so your floor and furniture are protected.

First cut out some stencils.  These could be pumpkins or witches for Halloween, fireworks for bonfire night, or trees and people.  Whatever you fancy, just remember these will be what you see with the paint splatter surrounding them. It’s great to have different sizes, some layered over others and sharp edges work best.

Then arrange your stencils onto a large piece of paper.  You want them to stay still, but be easy to remove.  So use heavy enough card that it won’t move when you flick the paint, or stick them down with low tack masking tape that you’ve doubled over.   You can get a roller that has temporary sticky stuff on that can be applied to the stencils and works a bit like Post-it® notes.

Now the fun bit.  Mix poster paint with a little water, around two thirds paint to one third water should work fine, but you can always do a test, and some types of poster paint are thicker than others.

Now – Splatter!

Load some paint onto the brush and either flick the paint over the stencils or hold it above and tap the brush handle or do a mixture of both.

  • Layer different colours
  • Try flicking from further away or close up
  • Use more or less paint
  • Experiment with thicker and thinner brushes

The world is your Splatter!

Once you’re happy with the mix of colours, leave for a couple of minutes, then carefully remove the stencils.  You don’t want to do this when the paint is dry as you won’t get as sharp an edge but equally, you don’t want to lift the stencil and find the paint runs into the outlined area, so test a small corner first.

Once you’ve lifted the stencils off, leave to dry.  For a gloss effect you can add a layer of PVA either all over or on just a few areas.  Alternatively you could add glitter.