DIY Clay Leaf Bowls

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These little leaf clay bowls turned out great!

This is such a fantastic little activity to do with your kiddies – or on  your own, much easier than it looks and they really do make the most special gifts!!!

We used air dry clay as it is easy to work with, does not need to be fired and can be painted in bright colors! It is also much stronger than salt dough and does not go soggy in a humid climate!


Easy to make Air Dry Clay Leaf Bowl

Air Dry Clay Leaf Bowl Materials:

Air dry Clay – we used this Air Dry Clay  as I think it is the best to work with!

Paint we used Acrylic Paint

Optional Sealer – to make it shiny and to last longer Clear Acrylic Sealer Aerosol Spray, Gloss or Clear Acrylic Sealer – Matte. I used a slightly glossy spray as I wanted the bowl to shine – but Matte would also look great!

Rolling Pin, I used a wooden one like this…

A big Leaf


How to make an air dry clay bowl?

First you need to roll out your clay into a sheet about half a cm / 5mm thick…

Then you place your clean dry leaf – vein side down – over the clay and give it a good roll – don’t be scared to push a little – this imprints the clay with the leaf shape and the veins. When choosing your leaf, look for one with good veins – this really does make the difference!

Emma shows us here – with some play dough. She was making a zillion play dough bowls to my 1 clay…


rolling our air dry clay art




Once the leaf print has been rolled onto your clay, cut around the outside with a sharp knife or cutter…

I improvised a little with the stem – I thickened it…



Autumn-Fall Leaf Bowl:


At this point you need to find another bowl and place your leaf inside it to dry. This will give it the bowl shape. To make a bowl like mine, the drying bowl needs to be quite big – so the leaf drys sort of fanned out…

I let it dry for a few days and then carefully lifted it out. It needed a day out of the bowl to dry the underside.

Making Clay Bowls with air dry clay


Once the leaf has dried, if there are some rough edges you can gently sand them off.

Ready to paint!

I used acrylic paint, once the paint was dry I sprayed it with sealer (that is specific to acrylic paint.)

This finishes the bowl off nicely and gives it a bit of a shine!

I turned mine into an Autumn/Fall Leaf. You can paint your leaf any which way you like!

Air Dry Clay Bowls



The perfect craft activity and gift in one!

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We have an Autumn / Fall Pinterest Board too – with all our favorites!!

Autumn Leaf bowl made with air dry clay. This is a great fall time craft project for kids of all ages! They make the best Christmas Gifts!!

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  1. Renee

    This looks like so much fun and a great fall project for the kids. I can’t wait to try it! Thank you.

    1. Emma Owl

      I painted it with acrylic paint – using a dark orange and a gold. I made sure the whole leaf was covered with the Orange, and then a painted a little gold here and there once the orange was dry. Hope that helps!

  2. Janis Parker

    My granddaughter and I skype once a week to do craft projects. I know she will be great at making these for family and friends. My daughter-in-law(mother) is a great helper. They will get the leaves when outside playing or walking, dry and clean them and be ready for me. This is a wonderful project for all of us. Can’t wait to start. Thanks.

  3. Tree

    Hi There, these look lovely. I’m going to do it at our ecotherapy group, but could you let me know how much clay is needed per large leaf?
    Thanks for sharing

    1. Emma Owl

      Hi! Hope it goes well, I would love to see some finished pictures!!
      The amount of clay depends on the size of the leaf – for an adult hand sized leaf you need about a tennis ball sized amount of clay.

  4. Sara

    Any idea if I could do this but with Sculpey instead? Maybe even a colored Sculpey and not have to paint after (but would use a sealant after baked)?

    1. Emma Owl

      I’m sure you can! If you do I would love to see your results!
      You may need to bake it in a form so that the leaf says shaped – often when baking with products like sculpy clay the heat flattens it a little.
      Good luck!

  5. Tove Maren

    These are so cute – and easy. We have a lot of big leaves in our backyard and I can only imagine the kids will love to make these. THANK YOU for the inspiration!


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