No-Mess Autumn Tree Painting

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I loved art projects as a kid. You could often find me downstairs early in the morning, poring through craft books and determining which project I’d attempt that day! 🙂 Sometimes, I followed the directions step by step; other times, I made up my own craft!

Even though I’m an adult now, I still really enjoy doing art projects with kids. I’ve made fun crafts with my nanny kids over the years, and I experienced a lot of art projects as an elementary school teacher, too! But what I’ve been looking forward to the most is doing art projects with my own children!

Sophie may not be one yet, but we still recently attempted (and had success with) a fun, age-appropriate autumn craft!

If you’re looking for a no-mess solution that still allows your little one to paint, then today’s post is for you! Enjoy!

No-Mess Autumn Tree Painting

What You Need:

  • White construction paper or white cardstock
  • Acrylic paint to squirt onto the paper: I got yellow, green, red, orange, and brown.
  • Gallon-size Ziploc bag (a freezer bag is nice because they have thicker sides, but either is fine)
  • Paper towels 
  • Optional: Cotton swabs for applying the paint, and tape to securely close the bag

What to Do:

1 // First, lay your white paper next to the gallon-size Ziploc bag to make sure it will fit in the bag. If not (mine wouldn’t have), just trim off one end of the paper so it’s the correct size.

2 // Lay the white paper out on some paper towels. Squirt blobs of paint to “start” the autumn scene for your little one. I squirted green across the bottom for grass, brown for the tree trunk and limbs, and some random yellow, red, and orange for leaves. You can use cotton swabs to move the paint blobs around a little until it’s ready to go.

Hint: You want enough paint for your child to squish around – otherwise it will literally be your own art project that they can’t alter, haha. But don’t go too crazy on the amount of paint or it’ll be super hard to get it to dry!

3 // CAREFULLY (and over paper towels) ease the paint-covered paper into the Ziploc bag. Seal the bag closed. If you’re worried about your child opening the bag on their own, you can close it even more securely with tape.

4 // Hand the bag to your child! 🙂 If they’re about Sophie’s age, they’ll probably be fascinated by it and slap it with their hands! You may need to encourage them to squish the paint around by demonstrating. But you’ll soon see that it doesn’t take long for the abstract autumn tree to be done! (That’s another nice thing about this craft – it works well for shorter attention spans.)

^^ Ta da! I love how it’s very much a Sophie project, but it still looks like a pretty fall tree! ^^

5 // Lay the bag somewhere for a few days where it can dry undisturbed. Sometimes it can be difficult to get out of the bag. I suggest just doing it as carefully as possible, so you don’t rip any paint off. I actually cut the Ziploc bag apart so I could carefully peel off the part of the bag touching the paint.

I hope this post gave you a fun idea that you could try with your own littles! 🙂 Happy fall!


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