Create #7: Autumn Leaf Washing Line

By Caitlin Howells

When I peg out my washing, I like to peg similar colours together; then I step back and look at the line as if it were a palette of different shades and tones—it certainly makes hanging out the washing more pleasurable.

There are many artists creating land art, using natural materials that are beautiful in their simplicity and mind-expanding when considered in finer detail.

If you have access to the internet, search for artists like Walter Mason, and Andy Goldsworthy; both make exquisite land art using leaves, branches, earth and even ice.

You will need

  • A bag full of fallen leaves, assorted sizes and colours
  • Pegs
  • A washing line or whirligig—or create your own line with a piece of string.


  • Take a walk to your favourite places around your village
  • Visit the special trees that you know
  • Collect a bagful of fallen leaves, large and small, that appeal to you
  • Before you start, close your eyes and take a deep sniff of your bag of autumn aroma
  • Take a good look at the variety of colours
  • Feel the different textures and shapes.

Now it’s time to start your design. Ask yourself what draws you to arrange, order and peg them up. Is it by …

  • Colour?
  • Size?
  • Mathematical patterns?
  • Species?
  • Randomly?
  • Or is it something else?

Start to peg them along the washing line in the way you are drawn to.

Enjoy the process and the feeling of creating with nature, out in nature, as part of nature.


Experiment with this idea and create other sorts of leaf installations in other places.

Activity Guide

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