Tennis Ball Leaf Painting

September 30, 2012

Macaroni Made

By: Michelle Melnik; Macaroni Kid Deerfield, MA
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Michelle Melnik
We do a lot of crafts in our house, but we have very few paint brushes.  For me, one of the greatest parts about "playing" with paint is using whatever we have around the house as the "brush".  We've used cupcake liners, skewers, craft sticks, straws, and now tennis balls.

Welcome Fall with this tennis ball leaf painting craft!

  • Tennis balls
  • Paint
  • Cardstock or construction paper
  • Leaf template (find templates by searching the internet)
  • Scissors
  • Newspaper (optional)


Draw a leaf shape, or use a template and trace the leaf on cardstock or construction paper. If your child is old enough, have them cut out multiple leaves. Have different colored paints available for your child to use. We used orange, red, and yellow.  

Pour a small amount of paint on a piece of newspaper, then let children dip the tennis ball in any color (or multiple colors at the same time) and paint their leaves. We enjoyed rolling the tennis ball around the leaves, but you can also press the tennis ball into the leaf.

Once the leaves dry, you can use them to make a Fall wreath with a paper plate, a Fall bulletin board, or (like we did) a Fall tree. My original plan was to use pipe cleaners to paint the tree, but we didn't have any pipe cleaners, so I "artprovised" and we used straws. We rolled the straws in brown paint and used the straw to "stamp" a tree on a piece of paper.

What I love most about this project is the creative freedom that children have with it. They can use any colors. They can mix colors. They can roll or stamp the ball. And the end result is beautiful, yet different for each artist.

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