Fall leaf lacing is a fun beginner sewing project for kids. Learning to sew helps develop and strengthen the fine motor muscles in the hand necessary for writing and more detailed handwork. (First published August 25, 2015; this post is updated and republished to improve the content.)
Learning to sew with fall leaves is an easy sewing project for toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, and beginners of all ages. Make fall leaves into homemade lacing cards with this easy fall leaf sewing activity for kids! Using sturdy fall leaves makes this beginner sewing project economical and eco-friendly.
Alternative leaf sewing ideas for more advanced sewing students are also included. Easy sewing projects for kids, such as fall leaf lacing, make learning how to sew FUN for children of all ages.
Try this sewing idea for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners at home or in the classroom. The complete step-by-step directions for this fall-themed beginner sewing project for kids are listed below. For another great beginning sewing project idea, try Teaching Kids to Sew with Burlap and Yarn.
Related: Top 10 Fall Nature Crafts
Fall Leaf Beginner Sewing Project for Kids
Teaching toddlers and preschoolers how to sew is a great way to help them strengthen their hand muscles. Make DIY lacing cards out of natural fall leaves for a fun and easy way to help young children develop more control over the fine motor muscles in their hands.
Beginner sewing projects like fall leaf sewing can help children develop fine motor skills and prepare them for writing and more detailed sewing projects such as sewing a button or making a pair of hand-sewn Lovebirds.
Sewing Materials for FALL LEAF DIY LACING CARDS
Before deciding which sewing supplies you’d like to use, please scroll down to read the step-by-step sewing instructions for leaf lacing. We have a few different types of sewing materials depending on the ability of the student you are (or have) and the kind of fall leaf sewing project you would like to do.
- Sturdy fall leaves (Magnolia leaves are pictured here)
- Mod Podge with a foam brush (optional)
- Single hole punch AND blunt darning needle OR large eye stitching needle
- Cotton yarn OR cotton embroidery thread
- Sewing thimble for kids (optional)
Please look at our Amazon list if you would like to see more of our favorite sewing supplies for kids–>HERE!
Fall Leaf Sewing Project Step-by-Step Directions
Kids of all ages will LOVE this beginner sewing project–try fall leaf sewing today! Using sturdy fall leaves to learn how to sew instead of lacing cards makes this beginner sewing project economical and eco-friendly. You might also enjoy creating crafts and watercolor painting with fall leaves.
First, get outside to collect sturdy fall leaves. Next, follow the step-by-step instructions to make your own homemade fall leaf lacing cards. Then, invite toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners to try this easy beginner sewing idea for kids! Simply show children how to sew a simple running stitch along the edge of the leaf. Invite older children to get creative by sewing designs and patterns.
Another idea is to embroider the leaf. Different fall leaves can be used to make various sewing crafts. Experiment, and have fun! The step-by-step DIY lacing card instructions below have all the details you need. You might also enjoy this Narwhal Sewing Project for kids and adults.
1. Collect Fall Leaves.
- Get outside to collect fall leaves that you can use for this autumn-themed sewing activity for kids. For example, we collected and used leaves from magnolia trees to make the lacing cards shown in the photographs.
- Gather fall leaves that are sturdy enough to make into fall leaf lacing cards for toddlers and preschoolers–or anyone learning how to sew. Or find leaves that you can stitch with a needle and thread for more advanced sewing students.
- While at it, go on a nature hunt in search of other natural items to make fall nature crafts. Treasures are always waiting to be picked up and made into something beautiful.
2. Preserve Fall Leaves (optional).
- This step is optional and doesn’t work well with all leaves. In other words, you don’t have to preserve leaves for this activity to work. We did NOT preserve the magnolia leaves in the photos showing how to do this beginner sewing project, and they worked great!
- If you are working with a different leaf type and want to try preserving it before turning it into a DIY lacing card. Use a foam brush to paint Mod Podge onto one or both sides of the leaf. For more detailed instructions, hop over to learn how to preserve leaves.
3. Punch holes into A sturdy fall leaf to make leaf-lacing cards (optional).
- Next, punch holes in the fall leaves to turn them into eco-friendly DIY lacing cards.
- Or, invite advanced sewing students to make holes with a sewing needle and the strength of their hand instead of punching them with a single hole punch.
- Inviting children to use a sewing thimble to protect sharp tips from delicate little fingertips is also a good idea!
- If you are working with beginning sewing students and want to make homemade lacing cards, use a single-hole punch to make a lacing pattern around the edges of the fall leaves, as shown in the photo below.
- Or, try punching different designs you want to sew into the leaf for another fun leaf-sewing idea. More advanced sewing students can also try to embroider fall leaves with basic embroidery stitches and patterns.
4. Thread the needle with yarn and/or embroidery thread.
- Cut one or more sections of yarn and thread through the eye of a blunt darning needle for beginning sewing students. (More advanced sewing students can use a large eye stitching needle and embroidery thread in a leaf without any holes punched into it.)
- Next, tie the sections of yarn together to form a large knot.
- Please ensure the knot is big enough not to be pulled through the holes in the fall leaf before inviting children to try fall leaf sewing.
5. Invite children to sew fall leaves.
- Use the fall leaves with holes punched along the edges in the same way that you would use lacing cards.
- Invite children to try leaf sewing. Have them sew a simple running stitch, whip stitch, or blanket stitch along the edge of the fall leaf.
- If your child has never tried any other lacing or sewing projects for kids, demonstrate how to sew a fall leaf first. Young children learn best by watching and imitating others.
Related: Leaf Baby Craft
Fall Leaf Lacing Cards Sewing Idea
Fall leaf lacing is an easy beginner sewing project and a fun way for kids to develop strong fine motor skills. Sewing with kids is an easy way to strengthen the fine motor muscles in the hands necessary for writing and more detailed handwork.
Using sturdy fall leaves make this beginning sewing lesson for kids eco-friendly and economical. For more autumn-themed fun, check out fun ways to celebrate the fall autumnal equinox and this list of fall crafts.
Learn More about Rhythms of Play HERE!
More Beginner Sewing Projects for Kids
- Teaching Kids How to Sew with Burlap and Yarn
- Pocket Pet Mouse
- Lovebirds Sewing Project
- Narwhal Sewing Project
- How to Sew a Button
More Fall Leaf Crafts
- Best Fall Nature Crafts
- Nature-Inspired Sensory Bottles
- Watercolor and Fall Leaves Art
- Fall Leaf Baby Craft
- Turkey Leaf Mason Jar Lantern
- Heart Leaf Lanterns