Vibrant Fall Leaf Mobiles with Tin Foil and Sharpies

Nov 23, 2016

Fall is winding down here in Ontario, and we’re sad to see it come to an end. Autumn has been simply glorious this year. With sunshine and warm temperatures stretching well into November, we’ve been able to max our outdoor time and truly enjoy this beautiful season.

Today, we’re bidding farewell to fall with one last leaf craft, and celebrating the season's colours before Old Man Winter arrives. We’re using tin foil and Sharpies to make a vibrant fall leaf mobile. We’re hoping it will add a splash of colour to our playroom this winter when the days are dull and dreary.

Tin foil covered leaves attached to a stick with yarn sitting on a table

We love to make mobiles using natural items and common household materials. Did you see the colourful pinecone mobiles we made this past spring?  They turned out beautifully.

Mobiles are fun and easy for kids of all ages to make, and using natural materials gives us an excuse to get outside to hunt for our supplies. For today’s mobiles, we started our day off with a hunt for sticks.

We searched in our yard and a nearby field for sticks that were smooth and dry. When we’d gathered enough, we headed back home, and rounded up the rest of our supplies.

A basket with orange, purple, red, yellow and pink sharpies with a couple sticks and leaf-shaped tin foil

To make our vibrant fall mobiles, we used:

  • smooth, dry sticks
  • cardboard
  • aluminum foil
  • Sharpie markers
  • yarn
  • hole punch

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To start, I drew a leaf shape (just a pointy oval) on a thin piece of cardboard. The hooligans used that as a template, and they traced a bunch of leaves on a thicker piece of cardboard.

Younger children will likely need you to cut out their leaves for them. Older kids who can safely  manage scissors sharp enough to cut through the cardboard can cut out their own leaves.

A pile of leaves cut out of cardboard beside two sticks on a tablecloth

When the leaves are all cut out, the decorating begins.

For each leaf, tear off a piece of tin foil, and wrap the leaf in it. Press the ends of the tin foil together, squeezing the foil together so it stays in place. You can use a bit of glue to stick any loose ends down but we didn’t find it was necessary. The tin foil really clings to itself.

When all of your leaves are covered in foil, have the kids choose Sharpies in bold, vivid colours to decorate them. We chose colours that most resembled the leaves that we see in our yard and neighbourhood: red, orange, yellow, brown, magenta and green. 

A child uses a green sharpie to colour on the tin foil covered leaf

If you’ve never coloured on tin foil with Sharpies before, you’re in for a real treat! The feeling of a Sharpie gliding over the foil is kind of slick and slippery. It’s a wonderful sensation. The results are beautiful as the colour of the ink becomes shimmery and iridescent on the foil.

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You’ll want to colour both sides of your leaves because they’ll spin and turn when they’re hanging from the mobile. One side might be more crinkly than the other but that’s ok because Fall leaves are crinkly!

Five completed leaves, coloured on in sharpies, sit on a table beside a stick

When your leaves are coloured, punch a hole in the top of each leaf. Slip a length of yarn through the hole, and knot it. Now, tie several leaves to a stick, staggering them at different heights.

To finish your mobile, cut a long length of yarn for hanging, and tie each end to opposite ends of the stick.

Leaves with hols punched at the top and yarn through them hanging from a stick on a black backdrop

Now, hang your vibrant fall leaf mobile in a place where you can enjoy its shimmering colours.

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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