maker monday

Maker Monday: Coffee Filter Leaves

Maker Monday straddles the line between nature and art with Coffee Filter Leaves, an activity that offers STEM lessons. Enjoy sunny fall days with a stroll through your favorite park or just explore your own backyard. Find a variety of leaves in different shapes and colors.

When you find interesting leaves, look up and try to find the tree from which it came. Are there nuts — like acorns or buckeyes — among the branches? Or fruit, such as apples? How might you describe the bark? How wide or tall does the tree appear? Are the branches reaching to the sky or bent willy-nilly?

Use a printable chart to identify the tree by its leaves. Then, make bright leaves of your own.

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Coffee filters


Spray bottle with water


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Smooth out a coffee filter and trace a leaf with a marker.

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Choose colors found in nature or go crazy with more unusual colors. Color the leaf, adding veins, if you like. Use a variety of colors. All of the white space does not need to be filled in. The colors will blend once you move to the next step.

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Spritz the coffee filter leaf with water and watch the colors spread and mix, almost like a tie-dyed pattern. It might not look too pretty just now, but don’t worry. As it dries, the colors will brighten.

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Once dry, cut out the leaf and admire your handiwork. Notice the leaf shows its colors on both sides, making it a lovely addition to a window. You can string up a line of leaves to hang as a decorative garland. Or attach your leaves to thin twigs and create a vase of fall colors.

For more Maker Monday projects and other fun stuff for kids, visit the Kidsburgh Activities page.