How to Paint with Leaves – A Memory Box

Photos, baby’s first teeth, scouting badges, candles from birthday cakes. There are so many little things that hold special memories for me. As the kids get older, I’ve been going through things that I’ve been saving since they were little. I decided that I really needed one place to keep everything organized and I wanted to give it a fun fall theme.  Learning how to paint with leaves and make a memory box to hold these items was on my crafting list for this week and now I’m sharing it with you.

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How to paint with leaves - a memory box

How to Paint with Leaves – A Memory Box

I had an unfinished wooden craft box that I ordered a while ago and never used. You can really use any type of wooden box or even one of those paperboard boxes if you’d rather. The important thing is that it has a tight-fitting lid to keep all your treasures safe.

Since it’s the middle of fall right now and everywhere I look I see the gorgeous colors of fall, I decided I would decorate this memory box with a fall theme.  I have always wanted to try painting with leaves but I don’t have a roller to smooth the paint on the leaf.  I decided to try a bit of a different technique instead. Painting with leaves this way leaves a white outline where the leaf was and then paint where the leaf was not.



  • Paint the box white or the light color of your choice. Let it dry completely.
  • Collect leaves from outside. Make sure they are flat & not too dry or they will be brittle.

How to paint with leaves - a memory box

  • Place one leaf on the painted box & carefully sponge paint around it. Make sure you hold it flat so that the paint doesn’t get under the leaf. Allow this color to dry completely.
  • Repeat the process with other leaves until as much of the memory box is painted as you want. Allow it to dry completely.

How to paint with leaves - a memory box

There are a lot of different memory milestones in our lives and our children’s lives that we want to remember. Netflix has movies to help you and your child celebrate those milestones like Super Why: The Story of the Tooth Fairy (losing your first tooth), Julius Jr. Dressed for Spook-Cess (first Halloween) and Akeelah and the Bee (first spelling bee). Now that you know how to make a memory box, you’ll have somewhere to store all those firsts.


  1. Shareen Mioskowski says
    My children and I are going to do this now, we just came in with our leaves and can't wait to get started!! Thanks for the post!
  2. I haven't painted with leaves since I was a kid; these are lovely.
  3. this looks like a fun project to do with my grandsons this coming weekend, I am sure we will have plenty of leaves off the trees after the wet and wild weather the next couple of days!
  4. Stacey Roberson says
    This is very creative. What a great DIY for Fall.
  5. I think this looks so wonderful, and the memory boxes sound very special! I remember doing something like this many years ago, but yours look so much nicer! I would love if you would share this at Celebrate It! It's our blog party where we celebrate the everyday things that we do!
  6. So cute!
  7. Very cool! This would make an excellent homeschool art project! 


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