Archives Arts and Crafts

Leaf Rubbing Art

An image of final project: a paper with a leaf rubbing design with the supplies leaves, tape, and crayon

Go on a walk with your friends or family to discover all the hidden patterns of nature and the changing colors of leaves.

Collect the leaves that you think will make a good imprints. You want them dry, but not crumbly. Then we’ll turn them into beautiful works of art!


Leaves, Crayons, Paper, Tape


1. Walk or roll around the neighborhood to collect leaves. You’ll want to find a variety of leaf shapes to experiment with. Try to find slightly flexible leaves that aren’t too dry.

Cartoon image of 3 people walking and 1 person in a wheelchair. 1 person is blind and using a walking stick. They are walking on a path collecting leaves.


2. Place the leaves on a flat surface in the design you want.

Illustration of fall leaves on a table


3. Place paper on top of the leaves and secure all 4 edges with tape. For an added challenge, skip this step and use your opposite hand to stabilize the paper.

Illustration of paper with blue tape on all 4 sides


4. Color the paper, so that you begin to see the shape of the leaf. It’s easiest to remove the paper around the crayon and place the crayon horizontal to the paper.

Illustration of leaf rubbing


You can make this activity easier or harder to find that “Just Right Challenge”. It should be difficult enough to stay engaged and easy enough to prevent frustration.

  • To help develop the arches of the hand, use egg shaped crayons
  • To help develop a tripod grasp, break crayons into small pieces
  • To help develop overall arm and grasp strength, work on a vertical surface by taping the leaf and paper to the wall or an easel
  • To help with a weak grasp, use foam tubing around the crayon
  • To help those that are unable to grasp, use a universal cuff or strap
  • To work on bimanual skills, don’t tape the paper down to the table. Use 1 hand to stabilize and the other to color


Fine Motor

Hand Strengthening


Utensil grasp

Gross Motor

Social Skills

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