Two Fun Art Projects for Fall

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Are you in search of engaging art projects that ensure success for your students? Look no further! I’m going to share two fantastic projects that I love doing with my students: Pastel Pumpkins and the Thankful Tree. These fun art projects for fall look GREAT hanging on your classroom walls.

Project One: Thankful Tree

two fun and easy art projects for fall

Everyone is successful with this quick and easy art project. It’s great for a Thanksgiving bulletin board too!



  1. Copies of blank tree templates
  2. Markers or stamp pads
  3. Damp paper towels or wet wipes

Start by explaining that this project is meant for display in the classroom. The objective is to create leaves using fingerprints, with each leaf representing something the students are grateful for, expressed in one or two words.

Share your teacher sample, highlighting:

  1. Different words 

  2. The fact that not every leaf needs to be labeled

  3. The use of different colored leaves


  1. Conduct a class brainstorming session for one-word responses on why they are grateful. Encourage them to avoid material possessions.

  2. Distribute the blank tree templates to the students.

  3. Have students lightly color the tree trunk and branches with brown colored pencils.

  4. Instruct students to add their names to the tree in a creative way (along a branch, in the trunk, etc.).

  5. Demonstrate how to use markers or stamp pads for finger inking. Ensure you have damp and dry paper towels or wet wipes on hand for cleaning fingers.

  6. Always start with light colors first!

  7.  Emphasize the importance of wiping fingers before re-inking.

  8. Distribute markers or stamp pads to the students and have them begin creating their fingerprints.

  9. Once the ink dries, students should add their words to the leaves.

  10. Encourage students to share their thankful trees in small groups or with the whole class.

Project Two: Pastel Pumpkins

These beautiful chalk-pastel pumpkins take a little more work, but the effort is 100% worth the outcome! 


  1. Black construction paper
  2. Regular chalkboard chalk for drawing pumpkins
  3. Chalk pastels
  4. Elmer’s glue (or other liquid glue)
  5. Damp paper towels or wet wipes for hand cleaning


  1. Start by showing students a teacher-made sample.

  2. Demonstrate how to use chalk to draw the still-life.

  3. Explain the importance of a light touch with chalk, allowing for easy erasing (wiping off) in case of mistakes.

  4. Have students draw their pumpkins with chalk, emphasizing the need to fill the page with pumpkins and leave some background for coloring.

  5. Depending on the students’ age or skill level, they can draw one pumpkin or a group of pumpkins.

  6. After students finish drawing, instruct them to use Elmer’s glue to trace over the lines. Make sure they start at the top of the page to prevent smudging.

  7. Assist students in cleaning up any glue mishaps on their papers with a damp towel.

  8. Let the glue dry overnight.

  9. The next day, demonstrate how to add chalk pastels to the pumpkins. Tell student that the glue is the border and that they shouldn’t color over the glue.

  10. Start with yellow and color the pumpkins as shown in the sample. The nearest pumpkin has yellow under all colors, the mid-ground has yellow on the left half of the pumpkin, and the furthest back pumpkin has yellow on the top left.

  11. Emphasize the use of the side of the chalk instead of the tips.

  12. Have students blend the yellow areas.

  13. Continue adding light orange, darker orange, and light red, blending layers.

  14. Instruct students to color the stems.

  15. Color the background with a complementary color like blue or purple to make the pumpkins stand out

Check out this great video that talks about how to use colors to make a the pumpkins seemingly glow! 

Remind students to occasionally dispose of “extra chalk” in the trash can to avoid chalk residue everywhere.

If desired, you can use cheap aerosol hairspray or a chalk artwork sealer spray to set the artwork (do this outside).

With these two enjoyable fall art projects, your classroom can welcome the season in a creative and meaningful way. The Thankful Tree fosters gratitude and unique self-expression, while Pastel Pumpkins offer a fun exploration of color and texture. These projects provide a chance for students to create, reflect, and connect in a special way.

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