Falling Leaves Wall Art

Download the Pattern (PDF)

Give a blank wall a dramatic makeover with lightweight nature-inspired art you create. Rich metallics and earthy naturals fit any decor. It all starts with STYROFOAM Brand foam.

Completion time – 2-4 hours

Designer – Kathleen George


  • Sheet, 36" x 12" x 1"
Other Materials
  • Acrylic paints: light olive green; dark olive
  • green; burnt sienna; raw sienna; black; white
  • Metallic acrylic paints: bronze; pearl white; cham
  • Brushed metal-finish spray paints: dusty terra cot
  • Wooden strip, 24" x 1" x 1/4"
  • All-purpose joint compound
  • Silk leaves and ferns


  • Serrated knife
  • Candle stub or paraffin
  • Fine-line black permanent marker
  • Pencil
  • T-square
  • Soft paintbrush, 1" wide
  • Putty knife, 2-1/2" wide
  • Disposable palettes, two
  • Water basin
  • Paper towels
  • Scissors
  • Craft pins, 1/2"
  • Soft rag
  • Natural sponge
  • Sandpaper: fine; medium
  • Utility knife or small hand saw
  • Low-temp glue gun and glue sticks
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Hook-and-loop tape picture hanger tabs


  • 1. Wax serrated knife with candle stub or paraffin. Refer to diagram to measure and mark 10 blocks onto foam sheet. Cut out pieces.
  • 2. Use putty knife to apply smooth coat of joint compound to front and sides of each foam block; let set according to manufacturer's directions.
  • 3. Gently smooth any imperfections in blocks with a damp rag,rinsing rag frequently. Let blocks dry completely. If desired,sand dried compound for smoother finish.
  • 4. Thin light olive green and burnt sienna paints with water on one palette to create washes. Squeeze remaining paints onto second palette.
  • 5. Brush light olive green wash across front and sides of first foam block. Quickly dip brush into dark olive green paint from second palette, dip brush into water, and then apply along sides and front edge of block. Note: If green wash is too dry and darker shade leaves a sharp edge, use damp sponge to re-moisten and blend paints.
  • 6. Repeat Step 5 to base coat each foam block, half with the light olive green wash and dark olive green paint and half with the burnt sienna wash and raw sienna paint. This creates"shining light" effect at center of each block.
  • 7. To complete painting, mix and place tones from light to dark on each block, working from lighter center to darker edges. Keep a damp, natural sponge on hand to wipe away excess paint or errors in placement. Adding and wiping away colors adds interest;each block should be a little different. Let dry completely.
  • 8. Dip dry brush tip into metallic paint and stroke off on paper towel until very little paint remains. "Dry brush" paint over surface of each block to highlight and add dimension. Reload brush and remove paint as needed to achieve desired look. Let dry completely.
  • 9. Spray paint silk leaves several times. Glue and pin leaves to centers of several foam blocks. Let dry.
  • 10. Paint wooden strip desired shade; let dry. Dry brush metallic highlights, if desired, and let dry.
  • 11. Refer to photo to arrange leaf blocks in pleasing structure.Use glue gun to adhere any overlapping blocks to one another.
  • 12. Cut wooden strip into pieces long enough to connect blocks that need support in desired arrangement. Hot glue strips to backs of foam blocks.
  • 13. Attach hook-and-loop hangers to back of arrangement. Peel away liners and press to wall.