Zentangle®, Art Activities, & Mindful Resources for Kids

Mindfulness Activities For Kids

How to Make Zentangle Leaves with Sharpies

Coming up with creative crafts for Fall might take a little bit of work, which is why Lightly Sketched is here to offer creative ideas. One of my favourite seasons is Fall! There’s something so magical about the array of vibrant colors that we witness in nature during this time of year. So, I thought, what better way to highlight the beautiful leaves that we see during the Fall than to merge them into a mindful art activity incorporating zentangles.

“Zentangling has multiple benefits including calming an anxious mind, increasing self-confidence, and cultivating moment-to-moment awareness in a similar way as mindfulness meditation.” – Cathy Malchiodi PhD

What is a Zentangle?

Zentangles are based on a theory created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. The word zentangle originates from the word “zen” meaning calm, and “tangle” meaning a collection of overlapping patterns.

Zentangling itself may be relatively new, but the basic principles involved are as old as the history of art. It includes ritual—a core practice in ancient and contemporary arts—and mirrors the symbols, designs, and patterns of numerous cultures (Mayan, Maori, Celtic, and American Indian, for example) from ancient through present times. Similar to doodling, creating a zentangle encourages the artist to allow the lines and shapes to flow naturally for supreme expression.

We love Zentangles at Lightly Sketched and I incorporate them regularly into my art lessons at school. The beauty of the zentangle is that it is a form of therapeutic art that can have stunning results; whether you’re a beginner or an expert. If you can draw a line you can zentangle!

Check out this blog post to learn how to create 15 zentangle patterns for kids and to download a free zentangle starter pack.

What are Zentangle Leaves?

Zentangle leaves are created by repeating the same drawing over and over again on leaves. The window of creativity is unparalleled when it comes to zentangle leaves. You can draw any shape with any color on any leaf. So get those creative juices flowing! This is a great activity for children and offers a creative way for them to release their emotions, find new calmness, and express themselves through art! With so many variations of the craft, your opportunities are endless!

Related: Zentangles for Beginners (easy) – Mindful Art

Here’s a quick guide to making zentangle leaves.

How to Make Zentangle Leaves

For today’s Zentangle leaves you’ll need:

  1. Leaves
  2. Sharpie Markers
  3. Newspaper

You can also use:

  1. Modge podge
  2. Paintbrushes
  3. Booking paper to preserve


  1. Set up your workspace

Begin setting up by placing your newspaper to protect your work area. You can easily clean up following your craft by recycling the paper!

  1. Collect leaves

Fall is the perfect time to do this craft because you can go outside with your children and find leaves they would like to colour on. Collecting larger leaves may work best but the craft can be done with leaves of any size! Encourage a variety of shapes and sizes for amazing results.

  1. Start drawing

Now begins the real fun, doodle repetitive designs on the back or front of the leaf. There is no limit to creativity with this one. Circles, squares, triangles, abstract shapes, it doesn’t matter, everything works!

  1. Preserve

You can preserve your artwork by thinly painting a layer of modge podge and letting it dry completely. If you don’t have modge podge, you can make it yourself with one part water and one part PVA glue.

  1. Start a collection

You can start a collection of awesome art by gluing your leaves into a book or hanging them on display!

Keep In Mind

A few quick things to keep in mind as you work on zentangle leaves!

  • There is no right or wrong! You can’t go wrong when making art and everyone expresses their creativity differently. So long as everyone is having fun, that’s what matters.
  • Remix the rules! Don’t want to use markers? Use paint or pastels instead!
  • Leaves are very delicate, being careful with your art is essential.
  • Leaves will dry out and crack. You need to preserve them if you want to keep them for a longer time.

Please let me know how your zentangle leaves turn out. I’d love to add your creations to our gallery, so upload your photos or send a message to [email protected]. Thank you!

Stay tuned with Lightly Sketched for more fun arts and crafts tips!


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