Fall Craft Idea: Fall Nature Hike Framed Collages

fall collage craft idea at
My daughters have always loved to collect leaves, acorns, fallen flowers, and other colorful treasures during fall nature hikes. While they love collecting cool finds—I am never really sure what we should do with some of the things to avoid bits of dried leaves and grasses all over the house. A few years ago, we began to frame brightly colored leaves to display on Halloween and Thanksgiving during parties. This year, we decided to take the leaf frames to another level by making fun, fall collages from a weekend hiking adventure.  

Supplies needed to make Fall Nature Hike Framed Collages.

  • Cheap photo frames, any size—any color to suit your decor. Cheap ones really do work best for this because the frame backing is much more flexible (i.e. flimsy) in cheap frames so you will be better able to "stuff" in the nature materials—and if you accidentally break the glass or the frame, it’s not a huge loss. 
  • A collection of various leaves and fall nature finds—like grasses, random wildflowers, small branches, flower petals, etc. 
  • Plain white computer paper or lightly colored construction paper—cut to fit the frames. 

Instructions for making fall nature hike framed collages:
Gather supplies. Make sure that items collected are fairly flat—or flatten easily--and that leaves are not too brittle. You will also want to encourage the kids to find a few colorful pieces—even if they are white clover flowers—so that the collages are not too dull. Gathering the supplies was most of the fun in making our Fall Nature Hike Framed Collages! We used the day to visit one of our favorite parks. Mister Max, the foxhound, was able to sniff until he could sniff no more, the little girls rode bikes for over an hour, and then ventured along into the woods for some artifact collecting--and I got to visit one of my favorite trees.

Large tree in Reynoldsburg Ohio's Civic Park at

Sort collage material.  If your kids are like mine—they are throwing things into their collection bags as like wildfire. You may get home with a few oddities (I had a rather large spider and a few varieties of fungi that that I did not necessarily wish to frame!) Lay out some newspaper and sort things out a little so that you know what you have to work with.

Build the collages. Open up the photo frames and begin laying your fall leaves and such directly onto the glass. Play with the positioning—moving things to the front and back of other items until you think you have the collage space fairly filled.

Framed fall collage craft idea at

My middle daughter, who is currently in her “everything is boring unless it involves Facetime” phase, even admitted that building the collages was fun.

Seal up the frames. Carefully place the cut paper over the collage and press it into the frame’s edges (if there are any).
Adding paper backing to framed fall collage at

This is where the little girls lost patience with the project because it was hard for them to hold things in place and press in the frame backing.

Finishing framed fall collages at

If you are gentle and careful, you will be able to seal the frames without too much shifting of the collage.

Enjoy for a week or so—and repeat the process with new finds. Our girls have already booked our next 5 Sundays for outdoor hikes so that they can create new artwork as nature’s offerings change. New leaves, new colors—something new on our windowsill or mantle every week. It’s perfect because nothing is glued in place—we simply recycle or compost last week’s collages and create a new one!

Happy Fall Treasure Hunting!

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