Make: Autumn Magic Paper Leaf Wands

There’s just something about autumn that’s pure…magic, isn’t there? This week we’re bringing fall to life indoors from the comfort of our warm, cozy craft table with the help of our free printable leaf activity kit. From mini nature shrines to DIY paper leaf stick puppets, we’re giving the kit a full fall workout!

Make magic paper leaf wands with simple art supplies and our free printable leaf activity kit! | via barley & birch

For this particular project, we took a quick nature walk to gather a few extra sticks and supplies – a splendid time of year for a stroll outside! And fairies-in-training will love this part: a whisk of the wand welcomes fall with a soft thumping of acorns and tinkling of tiny bells.

These paper leaf magic wands are a cute kids craft you can easily make with nature and art supplies plus our free printable leaf activity kit! | via barley & birch

In addition to being a calm afternoon activity, these leaf wands look fab sitting in a vase when not in use. They make a darn good (eco-friendly!) DIY Halloween costume accessory too. Adaptable craft bonus? By changing up the colors, you can use this as a spring or summer project too!

For our autumn magic paper leaf wands you’ll need:

Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains a few Woodpeckers Crafts and/or Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates, we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*


  • 1-3 sheets of heavy cardstock or watercolor paper
  • Watercolors, chalk pastels, or other coloring supplies
  • Scissors
  • A glue stick
  • A low-temp glue gun or craft glue
  • Small bells or acorns for noise-making


DIY Autum Magic Leaf Wand Instructions:

  1. Print our free large leaf templates or draw your own leaves

    Download our leaf activity kit and print the page of small leaf templates. You can also draw your own, or trace real leaves onto watercolor paper. Color and let dry if necessary (we used watercolors).
    Color your leaf templates
    If you want to add hand-drawn embellishments (like veins) to your leaves, this is a perfect time!

  2. Cut out your leaf templates and prepare your stick wand

    Carefully cut out your leaves. Decorate, then gather into a small composition and use a glue stick to keep your bunch together.
    Tie ribbons to a stick to make a wand
    Find a stick (our sticks were about 8 inches long). Wrap a piece of 18 gauge craft wire around the top of your stick 4 or 5 times, making a small loop at the top (this will give your leaf bunch a little bounce and works well for hold feathers, etc). Next, tie a couple of colorful ribbons around the stick.

    Tip: Don’t have craft wire handy? Although it’s handy for holding feathers and threading bells, it’s not necessary – just skip it!

  3. Use a glue gun to affix your leaf bunch to the stick wand

    Once you’re finished decorating your stick, use a hot glue gun to affix your leaf bunch to the wire loop at the top. Be generous with the glue so your wand will stay together through vigorous wavings and magical spells!
    Use a hot glue gun to affix your leaf bunch to the end of your stick wand.
    Didn’t use wire? Just hot glue your leaf bundle right to the stick!

  4. Tie small bells or acorns to your wand

    With a whisk of your hand, you can create sound by tying tiny bells to a ribbon and threading through the wire. Or hot glue acorns to two sides of a small strip of ribbon. Add to the back of your leaf bunch with a small dot of glue in the middle of the ribbon. When you move the wand up and down they’ll thump together.

More ways to decorate your leaf wands

We kept our leaf bunches fairly simple, but there are so many lovely ways to decorate your wands! For more ways to work in different art mediums and nature items you can...

  • Add veins to your leaves with white and black chalks or oil pastels.
  • Add some real leaves to your bundle! After finishing these I found myself wishing I had grabbed a handful of brown oak leaves from the park – they would have added a nice natural fall touch and the perfect autumn leaf-rustling sound effect.
  • Cut up real leaves and paste the clippings on your colored paper versions.
  • Use a stamp to make fun patterns on your leaves, or make them extra magical with a little (eco-friendly!) glitter.
  • I love filling these projects with sensory experiences, and coloring a few leaves with coffee would be a great way to work in smell. It’s one of my favorite unique painting supplies, and the color is perfect for autumn!
Decorate these lovely paper leaf wands with fun craft supplies! | via barley & birch

The wonderful thing about paper leaves is that they’ll last a little longer than just one season (and you can make your leaves the most fabulous colors – so much room for reimagining the season!).

For another way to celebrate fall leaves with your littles, make a gradient leaf banner. Or try a unique art process with our photocopied fall leaf collages!

Make paper leaf magic wands with simple art supplies and our free printable leaf activity kit! | via barley & birch

Itty-bitty autumn-revelers might enjoy making mouse mail, or practicing counting and colors with this DIY super-soft felt tree and rainbow leaves.

Love this download? Try our Nature Explorer Printable Pack! Filled with pages of outdoor observation and exploration prompts, it’s perfect for hours of self-led nature learning and play.

*A note about affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Amazon or Woodpecker Crafts. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click-through to make a purchase, we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!

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Amanda E.
With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help kids and families discover their creative potential through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. Amanda has a background in graphic design, environmental design, and art curation. When not playing with ideas and designs for barley & birch, she enjoys working in freelance design, art, and illustration.


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