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Autumn Wreath Craft for Kids (Even Preschoolers!)

How to make an Autumn Wreath Craft for Kids - simple and easy enough for preschool or kindergarten to do with help. Very creative with flowers, leaves, and acorns. Easy DIY with sunflowers would look lovely on the wall or on the front door. Great decoration for Thanksgiving.

I was wondering around the craft store few weeks ago, without my kids (which never happens!), when the fall flowers caught my eye. Each stem was 79¢, 99¢, or $1.29.

I bet they'd be even cheaper now being that Thanksgiving merchandise is already on clearance.

Because, you know, Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away.

So anyway, I was there and I thought all the flowers were pretty and that the girls would really like them. I bought an assortment, picked up wreath forms, and went happily home to help the girls make fall wreath crafts.

I'm sure this is going to be another 1500 word blog post (because the process has many steps and took a long time – an entire afternoon which is, in craft time, an eternity), but it was fun and the results are gorgeous. The wreaths made by my 2-year-old and 6-year-old have been oft complimented in the last month.

Autumn Wreath Craft for Kids Materials

Autumn Wreath Craft Materials

  • Wreath forms – These wreath forms cost less than $3 a piece. After I bought them, I found out that my sister has a stash of them in her shed. There may be more wreath projects in our future. (Coming soon – spring flowers wreath! ha!) {I bet she's thinking, “You can't have my wreaths. They're mine.}
  • Lots of silk flowers and leaves – I bought one each of the following. Looking at the piles below, I may have gotten two of some of the leaves. I don't remember.
    • Orange glittered leaves
    • Orange flocked leaves (flocked means they're soft and velvety)
    • Red flocked leaves
    • Small sunflowers
    • Large sunflowers
    • Small purple daisies
    • Purple mums
    • Red and orange mums
    • Yellow mums
    • I also ended up with some very small pink flowers, but they must have come on one of the other stems. There were just a few of them.
  • A hot glue gun – I used a high temp hot glue gun because I had it out from an earlier project with Mod Melts, but I strongly recommend that you use a low temp glue gun instead. This project requires you to hold leaves and flower petals in place as the glue solidifies. You may slip and touch the hot glue by accident. A high temp glue gun is over 400 degrees, and it makes a very painful blister before your brain is even aware you've been burned.
    Also, a high temp glue gun melts through plastic flower stems completely in less than a second, making this project a little dicey if you put too much glue on a particular stem.
    Be careful with the glue gun! Kids Fall Leaf Wreath
  • Glittered acorns that have dried completely
  • A small bird, a big bow, or other decorations as you see fit. I didn't think it needed much since the flowers were already so colorful and full.

(The Rainbow Loom bracelet seen in the photo above is not required for this project.)

Making an Autumn Wreath Craft with Big Kids and Preschoolers

1. The first step is to remove the plastic stems from all the flora.

Note my children's cute matching nightgowns. I sewed them myself. And yes, we were still in our nightgowns after lunch, when we started this project.

Remove flowers and leaves from plastic stems - Autumn Wreath Craft for Kids

Some of the leaves will have plastic pieces in their centers. Pull these out.

I did not, however, remove the small stems from any of the leaves or flowers. I thought those would be helpful to give the wreath height, and I was right.

Autumn Wreath Craft for Kids - Remove plastic ends from leaves and flowers

Especially for the green leaves (which will be almost entirely covered up), this empty hole in the center is fine.

Silk leaf with plastic stem removed - Autumn Wreath Craft for Kids

2. Sort the fauna into categories. This is good for the preschooler, who is just learning what categorizing is all about. She is learning that everything has characteristics which make it the same as some things and different from others. Narrate the process with her and ask lots of questions as if you don't know where anything should really go.

Because of the steps to follow, we sorted into green leaves (which accompanied every single set of flowers), colored leaves (we should have further separated into flocked and non-flocked leaves because I had to do that later), and flowers. We further broke the flower group down by color.

To make it a richer educational experience for your big kid (and maybe your preschooler), you could talk about math here, too. Count the items as a whole and in groups, compare numbers of objects in each group, talk about greater than and less than, even add and subtract items.

As far as colors and color theory goes, you can talk about the color wheel, shades of colors, what is darker and lighter, how yellow and red make orange, how yellow and purple are complementary colors (across from each other on the color wheel and so they bring out each others' best qualities, also called contrasting colors), and how red and orange are analogous colors (next to each other on the color wheel and not so interesting to look at).

You can also bring in a science connection, talking about how leaves change color because they lose their chlorophyll (which is what makes the plant's food from sunlight), and how that color was covered by the green of the chlorophyll. You can talk about how plants make their own food, how they know by the shorter, cooler days of autumn that it's time to stop making food, and how they rest all winter, living off the extra food they made all summer.

Separate silk flowers by color - Autumn Wreath Craft for Kids

The kids had had enough of this flower and wreath craft business at this point, so they went to watch tv for a bit while I did the next part without them.

3. If you have only one child or are making only one wreath, skip this step. If you have multiple children making multiple wreaths, this next bit will save you a whole lot of fighting.

While the children are away doing something else, separate the stuff. I divided it right down the middle – one green leaf for Grace, one green leaf for Allie. Green for Grace, green for Allie. When the green were all doled out, I moved on to colors. One orange flocked for Grace, one orange flocked for Allie. One yellow smooth for Grace, one yellow smooth for Allie. It may seem unimportant and a pain, but seriously.

Even good, nice, honest, generous, grateful angels like mine fight over who has more orange flowers.

{ahem}

Except they didn't this time because I counted them out one by one by one.

Next, ask your children what color flowers they want. Allie wanted yellow and purple only. Grace wanted a little of everything.

Here's how I divided up the flowers:

  • Grace got everything that wasn't yellow, purple, or dark pink. I think that gave her 5 very large flowers and some assorted smaller ones.
  • I gave Allie an equal number of very large yellow and purple flowers and an equal number of yellow and purple smaller ones.
  • Then I did as with the leaves. One small sunflower for Grace, one small sunflower for Allie. One purple daisy for Grace, one purple daisy for Allie.

Everything came out even, and they could totally tell that by looking at their piles.

And also by the fact that I told them four times, “EVERYTHING IS TOTALLY EQUAL. I COUNTED. YOU HAVE THE SAME NUMBER OF EVERYTHING, AND I KNOW YOU DO BECAUSE I COUNTED IT ALL.”

I ma have said it more than four times.

Make everything fair - Autumn Wreath Craft for Kids

Okay, until now, you have actually just been preparing to make fall wreaths. Now the wreath-making can actually begin.

4. Cover the wreath form with green leaves. (Wondering why our wreaths are painted? I talked about that on Monday.) Try to cover all the plain wreath with green leaves. If you don't have quite enough, that's okay. Just cover what you can.

Glue on green leaves first - Autumn Wreath Craft for Kids

5. Hot glue colored leaves on top of the green leaves. I tried to explain the concept of triangles and focal point in design to Grace, but she didn't care. She put her leaves all over. Whatever.

Because we were using the super hot burn your finger off glue gun, I glued each leaf where Grace said to put it.

Allie threw all her leaves at the wreath and said, That so nice! My love it! so I glued them down for her.

Fill in the wreath as you see fit. Grace didn't use all her leaves.

Glue colored leaves on top of green leaves - Kids Fall Leaf Wreath

6. Prepare the flowers. For most of the flowers, you will want to cut the stem shorter so that they lay nicely against the leaves.

Leave a few smaller flowers with long stems to fill in at the very end.

Cut long stems from silk flowers - Autumn Wreath Craft for Kids

7. Glue the flowers on the wreath, beginning with the biggest flowers. If you glue on the small flowers first, when you get to the big ones, there won't be enough space. If you glue the big ones on first, there will be plenty of room to fill in with the littler ones.

Don't get in your kids' way. Glue the flowers on wherever they want. Again, try to emphasize contrasting colors, which make each other stand out, rather than analogous colors, which blend together. She didn't care, as you can see below.

This wreath is Allie's. I handed her the flowers in alternating order – yellow, purple, yellow, purple – and she arranged them nicely in that order. It contrasts and the yellow stands out beautifully.

It worked out perfectly! I still did all the gluing, of course. She pointed to the spot, and I glued and stuck the flower.

Kids Fall Leaf Wreath Craft - Finished Wreath

8. Add the decorations. Grace chose a little bird, wanting to leave her glittered and painted acorns for another project. Allie did want her glittered acorns glued onto her wreath, but I managed to not get a picture of any of those close-up. You can see the sparkle in the picture at the very bottom.

Kids Fall Leaf Wreath Craft - Finished Wreath

Grace's wreath is above. See how it has many analogous colors together? There's not much contrast, so it all blends together.

Kids Fall Leaf Wreath Craft - Little bird

I don't remember whose wreath this is. I just thought it was a pretty picture.

Kids Fall Leaf Wreath Craft - Small details

So here are both wreaths. The light isn't great because they're in my inside hallway (no natural light). I hate that the colors are so washed out and bland in the photo because they're really, really lovely in person.

Allie's is on the left (note the sparkle especially in the centers of the big sunflowers), and the big cluster of flowers at the bottom right.

Grace's wreath is on the right. I like that it's so full.

Autumn Wreath Craft for Kids

Have you ever made a wreath with your kids?

© 2013 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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