I remember making these as pumpkins as a child in preschool- a great way to re-use paper bags and develop your fine motor skills!  This is a process that you can use with any shape that you want- I seen it done with hearts, stars etc. 


  • Paper bags
  • Paint
  • Paint brush/tools
  • Hole punch
  • Yarn
  • Plastic needle
  • Stuffing material (Old phone book pages, newsprint, plastic bags etc.)
  • Optional:  Leaf template

We always find these items useful too:



  • Go out into nature with an adult and look at the shape of leaves for inspiration.
  • Open your paper bag, spread it out and cut off the bottom section.  Grocery bags are perfect for this purpose, but you can also use a shopping bag.
  • Draw your leaf shape.  If you need help,  we have a free leaf template in the Materials section.
  • Cut out your leaves (you need two) and flip them over so that you are painting on the side without any print.  Paint your bag as your like.  The kids enjoy this scrape painting technique with an old gift card.  Allow to dry overnight.
  • Cut out two copies of your leaves.
  • Line your leaves up (we used some binder clips to help hold them together) and punch holes around the edges.  We went with approximately 2.5 centimetres/ 1 inch apart, 1 cm in from the edge.
  • Tie your yarn on and sew around the edges- you could up and down with a straight/ running stitch or wrap it around to the next hole as a whip stitch.
  • Sew around the edges but leave out a few holes so you can insert your stuffing.  We used phone book pages ripped into strips, but you could crunch up any recyclables that you might have or scrunch up a grocery bag.
  • Sew your leaf shut.  Hang your leaves up on display.  Follow the same process to make a pumpkin or any shape that you like!

Pin the idea

SEWN RECYCLED LEAF: We provide you with a free oak leaf template (or better yet, draw your own) to make this sewn, puffy leaf out of a paper grocery or gift bag! This is a great way for children to practice their fine motor skills and to use recyclables to create a fall craft!


  • Recognizing some of the symbols of the season.
  • Developing one’s fine motor skills.

Safety Notes

  • We suggest that you use a tray and a smock to protect your clothing and surfaces.
  • Use scissors with care and direct, adult supervision.
  • Cord, yarn etc. can be a strangulation hazard, therefore be sure to use with direct supervision and for its intended purpose.
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