With the Kids

Fall Tree Silhouette Art Project

The trees around our town are so beautiful right now. I love fall! We have been enjoying all the autumn leaf colors while we walk around our neighborhood. This fall tree silhouette art project is inspired by the beautiful leaves, as well as our animal friends that are scurrying around this time of year.

While this activity does have a cute end-product, the main fun is in exploring different painting and printing tools to make the fall tree background. And, I never get tired of a simple black silhouette on a colorful background. I will enjoy having these paintings on display this fall!

Fall tree silhouette art project

Fall Tree Silhouette Art Project

Use a fall-colored piece of construction paper for this painting project. It makes a great background for the warm paint colors, and you don’t have to worry about lots of white paper showing through.


  • sheets of colored construction paper in fall colors and black
  • washable tempera paint in red, orange, yellow, green, and brown
  • items to paint and print with: foam brush, cotton balls, cotton swabs, pieces of sponge, etc.
  • scissors
  • glue stick

On a paper plate, put a little bit of each color of paint. Offer a variety of tools for painting and printing, especially things that will make leaf-like shapes. I set-out a foam paint brush, cotton swabs, and cotton balls. I also attached a clothespin handle to one of the cotton balls. Fingerprints make good leaf shapes, too!

Painting a fall tree background


Encourage your little artist to tap or bounce the painting tools on the paper, to create a variety of shapes. Color-mixing or dipping in two or more colors is great, too! My four-year-old did lots of printing, then he would start to swirl and smear the paint around the paper. Before he covered all the leaf shapes in a smear of brown paint, I set that paper aside and gave him a new one to work on. He ended up making four painted backgrounds before he lost interest – pretty good!

Fall tree silhouette painting project

While your background papers are drying, talk about what kind of animals you might see in your big autumn tree. We decided on a squirrel and an owl. Cut your chosen animal shapes, as well as some branches, from black construction paper.

Your kiddos might want to draw and cut out the animal shapes themselves, or you can do this part for them. My four-year-old isn’t quite adept enough with scissors yet, so I found animal silhouettes on the internet to help me draw. Use a glue stick to add your branches and animals to the colorful fall tree background. So colorful and fun!

Fall tree painting and collage silhouette art

My little guy has plans to make a scarecrow in an autumn tree next. We’ll see how that turns out!

Fall Tree Silhouettes Art Project for Kids

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