WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Spooky Leaf Ghost Banner for Halloween

As the leaves turn colors and fall from the trees, summer wanes and we welcome autumn. These fallen leaves are the perfect material to use for making a spooky Halloween banner. Round up your kiddos and head outside to find some of these cast-offs. This activity can also be partnered with teaching and learning about the types of trees from which those leaves have fallen.

Gathering the Leaves

My three-year-old daughter and I grabbed some snacks and headed outside during my son’s morning naptime. We searched the ground for fallen leaves; it is the end of September in Missouri and the colors are just beginning to turn in the trees. It’s been a particularly dry summer, so most of leaves are turning from green to brown. However, since she and I plan to cover these leaves in paint, the original color really doesn’t matter.

Spooky Ghost Leaf Banner autumn leaves

The morning became windy and a little colder than we’d like, so we journeyed back inside the house to continue this craft. I used an app called “Picture This” to determine from what kind of trees each leaf came. My daughter and I talked about these trees and some of their identifying features. After discovering a small Poison Sumac leaf in the mix (yikes!), and a quick trip to the sink to scrub with dish soap from fingertips to elbows, we were ready to make our spooky banner.

Picture This leaves

How to Make Spooky Leaf Ghost Banners

You will need the following materials to make this craft:

  • leaves of all different shapes and sizes
  • protection for work surface (we used brown grocery bags)
  • paint brushes – assorted sizes
  • acrylic paint
  • fishing line
  • needle
  • scissors
Painting the leaves

First, be sure to protect your work surface from paint. Now is the best time to identify your various leaf types (if unknown). Use a large craft paint brush to cover one side of each leaf with paint. Allow the paint to dry and apply a second coat. Use a smaller brush and a contrasting-color paint to add details (like eyes, fangs or mini moon shapes). A tip: you can use a small brush with the base color to “clean up” these details if necessary.

Spooky Ghost Leaf Painted
Painting the base coat
Spooky Ghost Leaf with details
Adding the details

Next, allow your leaves to dry fully. Our leaf ghosts took about two hours until they were dry to the touch. Thread a needle with a length of fishing line. Then, poke the needle through your leaves, either tying off the line at, or “sewing” through a few spots in each leaf to hold it in place on the banner. Be sure to leave appropriate spacing between your leaf ghosts along the length of your fishing line.

Threading the Ghost Leaf

Finally, hang your spooky banner in a prominent place. Another fun way to display this craft would be on the fridge, using magnets to secure the fishing line!

Ghost Leaf 2
Ghost Leaf 1
Spooky Ghost Leaf Banner Horiz
This floating shelf in our kitchen has never looked so spooky … and my kiddo is so proud!

More Spooky Crafts

Want more simple and spooky crafts that are kid friendly for Halloween? Check out our Coffee Filter Bats and Dracula Bean Art.

  • About Jackie Richardson

    Jackie Baird Richardson is an interior designer, editor at The WON and avid junker. Watch for her design tips and occasional crafting ideas, bringing the outdoors indoors.