Monday, October 22, 2012

Pressing Leaves 101

I promised a fall leaf craft and I delivered! I've never pressed leaves before, but after reading about it in one of my Martha Stewart craft books, I knew I wanted to preserve some leaves from the outside of my very first apartment this fall. So here's what I did...
 First I gathered a TON of leaves. To the point where my roommate now thinks I may be certifiably crazy. I tried to pick the flattest leaves and tried to avoid leaves that were wet. What you want are leaves that have JUST fallen. Then you sandwich them between paper towels or newspaper.
 And stick your leave sandwiches in big heavy books. Harry Potter books and coffee table books work really well! Now, here's the not so fun part--waiting. You need to leave your leaves in the books for about a week to make sure they are fully flattened and dried out. 
 Once your week is up, you will have lots of pretty, flat leaves just ready to be preserved!
 The tools you will need next are an iron and some standard wax paper. You will also need some kraft paper (I just used card stock).
 What your going to do is make another sandwich in this order: regular paper, wax paper, leaves, wax paper, and regular paper. The paper is important because it protects your project from the extreme heat of the iron and makes sure it doesn't get too melty.
 Next, you are going to iron the paper part on low heat without steam. DO NOT USE A STEAM SETTING! This is going to melt the wax paper around the leaves allowing them to be preserved for the time being. There is no magic time for how long to iron the sheet. You just need to keep checking that the iron is closing the wax paper completely around each leaf if that makes any sense.
 And voila! You have some pretty pressed leaves. I cut off the excess wax paper and taped the sheets up to a big window we have in our living room. The pictures don't do it justice, but the sunlight shines through the leaves and makes the colors really pop!
So there's my handy dandy leaf pressing craft for you folks! Now just remember, the leaves won't be preserved forever, but you can enjoy them for this season! Hope you guys try out this little trick and continue to have a wonderful autumnal season!


  1. Ooo that looks really pretty! I can only imagine how gorgeous it must be in real life with the sunlight!