Dropper Painting Fall Leaves


I love all the colors of fall. My kids and I are always collecting fall’s beautiful leaves as we go for walks or play at the park. As part of our fall theme week, we made some colorful leaves of our own. It was the perfect dreary fall day activity.

What You’ll Need

  • coffee filters
  • food coloring or liquid water colors
  • plastic droppers
  • water
  • scissors
  • plastic or paper plates
  • leaf template


I drew a freehand leaf on paper and cut it out to make a simple template. I laid it on top of 5-6 coffee filters at a time and cut around my template. If you don’t trust your own artistic abilities, try this.


I didn’t have liquid watercolors on hand so I used food coloring instead. I mixed about 10 drops per 1/4 cup of water.

I must warn you, if you don’t like your kids getting messy, this is not your activity. My two year old has yellow hands today and I had to clean up some splatters of food coloring in the kitchen. I don’t mind…messy kids=happy kids, I always say.

Lay a leaf or two on a paper or plastic plate and let your kids go! My oldest has used the plastic droppers at home before, so he needed no instruction. My youngest had never used them before. I took a few minutes to show her how to squeeze the top, insert it into the food coloring, let go and then move it to the paper where she could squeeze to her little heart’s content.  She caught on quickly and did a great job.

My kids used the droppers to put the lovely colors on their coffee filter leaves. They experimented with small drops and big puddles and used all the different colors. My oldest even used a plastic syringe (the kind used to dispense kids’ medicine) to paint his leaves. They had so much fun they asked me to cut out more leaves!



After painting the leaves, we left them to dry on the plates. I wouldn’t suggest trying to move them to wax paper to dry- they’re quite delicate and dried just fine on the plates.


The leaves dried fairly quickly and the colors remained vibrant.


We used tape on the backs of the leaves to hang them in a window.


My oldest couldn’t stop admiring his leaves!


Aren’t they lovely? The colors of the leaves are nearly as beautiful as those on the leaves we find outside!

6 thoughts on “Dropper Painting Fall Leaves

    • Thank you! Spring flowers is a great idea- I might give that a try with my kids this spring. I love your blog by the way. Congrats on your soon to be bundle of joy!

  1. I love this idea! My youngest is 12, but she loves art and anything messy, so I think I’ll let her try making these. 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up with us on the Hip Homeschool Hop!

  2. They turned out so pretty! We’ve done watercolor paint on coffee filters, but I like the idea of a dropper. We don’t have any actual fall leaves here yet, so maybe we should make these! Thanks for sharing with the #made4kids linkup.

  3. Pingback: Leaf Coasters and X-Ray Craft - Preschool and Kindergarten Community

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