Completed and colourful scratch art fall leaf collage


Learn To Make Colourful Fall Leaf Scratch Art Collages

Nov 14, 2018

Scratch art never fails to fascinate me. It’s one of those good old-fashioned art techniques that we all enjoyed as kids. The process involves colouring a piece of paper in a rainbow of colours and painting over your colours with black paint. Then you scratch a picture into the black paint, and the colours underneath are magically revealed in whatever you doodle or draw.

A colourful scratch art fall lea collage

Happily, kids today still find scratch art just as mesmerizing as we did when we were young, and we’ve been having quite a bit of fun with it in my daycare.

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Recently, we made some spooky Halloween scratch art and when we were finished, we had enough homemade scratch art paper leftover to do a second project. We decided to experiment with some fall leaf scratch art, and we ended up creating some gorgeous fall leaf collages.

Let me show you how easy it is to make scratch art paper for your kids or students so you can make some vibrant leaf collages of your own.

Materials you'll need for your scratch art

What You'll Need:

  • white card stock (or similar heavy-weight paper)
  • oil pastels (crayons will work, but not quite as well)
  • paint brush
  • black tempera paint or poster paint (we used powdered tempera)
  • dish soap
  • pointed wooden craft stick (or a wooden skewer or toothpick)
  • leaf shapes to trace (cookie cutters or paper templates)

A young girl colouring a piece of paper in rainbow shades

To start, you’ll need to prepare a piece of scratch art paper. Have the kids use the oil pastels to entirely cover their piece of paper in lots of different colours. They’ll need to use some pressure because you want a nice thick layer of colour. If you don’t have pastels, you can use crayons for this step, but we do find pastels work better.

Next you’ll need to prepare your paint. You’ll get the best results if you stir some dish soap into your black paint. We added 1/4 teaspoon of dish soap to 1/4 cup of black paint. If you skip this step, you may find that your paint flakes a little when you scratch through it.

A young girl covering the coloured paper in black paint

Have your kids brush a layer of the black paint over the coloured page to completely cover up their colouring. One layer of paint should give you good coverage, but if you need to apply a second coat, let the first coat dry first.

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You can begin scratching while your paint is still wet or you can wait until it’s completely dry.

Scratching leaves into the paper with a pointed wooden craft stick

To scratch the leaf shapes onto our paper, we used a pointed craft stick to trace around leaf-shaped cookie cutters and leaf templates that we had cut out of paper.

Cookie cutters and stencils beside fall leaf scratch art

When our leaf tracings filled the paper, we spent quite some time scratching over the outlines to make them wider so they would reveal more of the vibrant colours underneath the paint. 

Completed and colourful fall leaf scratch art

Aren’t the results beautiful?

I’m going to pick up some inexpensive frames at the dollar store so we can hang our scratch art leaf collages in the craft room.

Article Author Jackie Currie
Jackie Currie

Read more from Jackie here.

Jackie Currie is a mother, daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind the blog Happy Hooligans. A self-proclaimed glitterphobe, she specializes in easy, affordable arts & crafts and good, old-fashioned play.

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