Recycled Cardboard Leaf Suncatchers

We're ushering in the autumn season with this easy and sustainable craft to celebrate the season ahead.

For this tutorial head to your recycling bin and pull out some cardboard. You'll also need cellophane, which is compostable and can break down in 3 months’ time when placed in the earth.

Here's how to create this eco-friendly fall craft project that breaks down just like the leaves!

A child puts glue on cardboard for an eco-friendly fall crafts project

What You'll Need

-Recycled cardboard

-Cellophane sheets in various primary colors

-Scissors or Xacto knife

-Non-toxic glue

-Yarn or twine

Series of cardboard leaves for an eco-friendly fall craft project.

Color mixing with cellophane

First, trace a series of various leaf shapes onto your cardboard to create frames for your cellophane. Depending on your child’s age you can cut these out in advance or let them help with scissors. We used an Xacto knife to easily cut the window into each leaf.

Cut your primary colored cellophane into small pieces to cover the “windows” you’ve made in your leaves. Cellophane is a cellulose film made from wood, cotton, hemp, or other organic sources, and its see-through nature makes it an exciting sensory experience for little one’s of all ages.

Cellophane is a fun way to explore primary and secondary colors and how they mix together. Try using red and yellow, layering them together to create orange.

A child glues biodegradable red cellophane to cardboard for an eco-friendly fall craft project.

Let your glue dry then use your new fall colored leaves to explore the autumn colors.

Hold your leaves in front of a flashlight or window, use them as funny spectacles as you look around the playroom. Color sort your other toys to match each leaf.

Afterwards you can use yarn to hang leaves in the window for a colorful suncatcher effect.

The possibilities are endless with these simple eco-friendly materials!

A child holds up cellophane and cardboard leaves to see the colors mix.)

A stack of cardboard and cellophane leaves laying on a table.

Series of cardboard leaves hanging from red yarn in a window.

What are some of your favorite fall crafts to do with your children?

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