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You Won't Be-Leaf How Easy It Is to Make These Cool Clay Leaf Dishes

Preserve a piece of nature with these lovely clay leaf dishes!

Camp + Project Kid by Amanda Kingloff

Clay Leaf Dishes Craft

Amanda Kingloff | Project Kid

This nature-inspired craft for kids uses a real leaf to create a clay impression that preserves the leaf's texture and shape long after the real one has dried out and crumbled away. Kids will love spying all the tiny natural details captured in clay, and these clay leaves can be used as trinket dishes for jewelry, tiny toys, or other itty-bitty treasures — or mount a collection of clay leaves inside of a frame for instant room art! These also make a beautiful homemade, kid-made gift for Mother's Day, Father's Day, or any special occasion.

The project works best with leaves with defined veins, such as beech or birch tree leaves, ivy leaves, or rosebush or hydrangea bush leaves.

Here's what else you'll need:


  • Air dry clay

    Rolling pin


    Mixing bowl

    Acrylic paints

    Clear varnish

How to Make It

1. Use a rolling pin to roll out a chunk of air-dry clay that's a bit larger than your leaf. The clay should be about 1/4-inch thick.

Textured Clay Leaf Dish Craft

Amanda Kingloff | Project Kid

2. Put your leaf textured-side-down onto the clay, and use the rolling pin to press the leaf gently into the clay. Then use the toothpick to lift the leaf off of the clay.

3. Use the toothpick to cut out the leaf, following the edges as a guide. Remove any excess clay and smooth the edges with your finger.

Clay Leaf Bowl Craft

Amanda Kingloff| Project Kid

4. Place the clay leaf in a bowl to give the leaf a curved shape. Leave it undisturbed until completely dry (at least 12 hours). 

5. Mix a squirt of acrylic paint (about 1/2 teaspoon) with about 4 tablespoons of water. Mix until the water and paint have combined. 

Dried Clay Leaf Bowl Craft

Amanda Kingloff | Project Kid

6. With a wide paint brush, brush no more than 4 strokes of paint onto the clay leaf. (Dried clay will return to wet clay with too much water, so the fewer strokes the better!)

Clay Leaf Impressions

Amanda Kingloff | Project Kid

7. Paint the edges of the leaves with acrylic paint (not mixed with water). 

Leaf Impression Clay Craft

Amanda Kingloff | Project Kid

8. Once the paint has dried, add a coat of clear varnish to seal.