Fall Sensory Craft Using Oatmeal and Coffee Grounds


After running across the idea of using these oatmeal and coffee grounds for a simple fall craft, I decided to put my own little twist on the original idea by making a colorful fall tree.


You will need:

  • Newspaper to cover your work surface
  • 1 piece of Cardstock (your choice on the color and size)
  • 1 pen or pencil
  • A spoonful or two or ground coffee
  • 1/4 cup of rolled oats
  • Elmer’s glue
  • 1 paintbrush
  • A few drops of food coloring OR watercolor paints in these colors: green, orange, yellow, and red



Lay out newspaper so that your entire work surface is covered.  (This also helps with a quick and easy clean-up.)  Sketch an outline of a tree on the piece of Cardstock, or if the children you’re working with are old enough, let them draw their own trees.  You can also grab my free tree-template or request another free template at the bottom of this post. image

Squeeze out a little glue on the trunk of the tree and, using a paintbrush, spread it over the entire area that you want to cover with coffee grounds.  Make sure this is a semi-thick layer of glue, if you go too thin, the coffee won’t stick.  Spoon on the coffee grounds and then tilt your paper back and forth until coffee completely covers the gluey area.  Dump excess coffee onto newspaper.

If you are using food coloring, mix each desired color into a tablespoon or two of the rolled oats.  We used small containers and a toothpick, but you could also knead the oats and coloring around inside a plastic bag. borderoats

*If you are using watercolor paint, read on…

Repeat the glue-spreading process to cover the top of the tree.  Sprinkle on the colored oats and shake, tilt, and dump, just like before!  Take your hands and press down on the oats and coffee grounds to make sure they adhere to the paper before setting it to dry.  Scoop up everything in your newspaper and dispose.  Never has there been an easier clean up process.

*If you are using watercolors to give the top of your tree some color, wait until the glue has dried and then paint away!  Be sure not to go too heavy on the water so that the Cardstock doesn’t become soggy and begin to tear.

My little one loved this project.  She enjoyed playing with and examining the ingredients as well as working through the multi-step process.  She wanted to try another tree on her own after working on the bigger one together.  She sketched this one out by herself:bordertree


Other shapes you could try:

A sunflower with coffee in the center and yellow oats around the outside.

A spider or bat made of just coffee grounds.

A turkey with alternating rows feathers using both oats and coffee.

Download the tree-template here!

Request a free template below!  Simply fill out your email address and tell me the template you’re interested in (Sunflower, Bat, or Turkey) and I will ship it to ya! 


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