Pressing leaves is a good way to preserve them for use during the fall and early winter.
- Assorted fall leaves
- 8 1/2″ x 11″ Picture frames
- Hot glue gun
- Tree bark
- Pressed leaves
- Spray adhesive
- Background paper such as linen writing paper
- Tissue paper
- 5 or so heavy books
- Extension cord
- Brown wrapping paper (paper sack grade)
Collect colorful fall leaves, twigs and bark pieces.
Press the leaves. You can do this a few different ways. The old-fashioned method is to dry them between the pages of a heavy book, such as a dictionary. Simply place the leaves between two pieces of tissue paper and insert them into the book. Close the book and set it aside for a week or two. This is a good way to press leaves if you want to wait for a rainy day to complete the project.
If time is of essence you can speed up the process by using an iron. Place the leaves between two pieces of brown wrapping paper (paper grocery sacks will work as well). With the iron on a low setting, glide it over the top layer of the paper. This will flatten the leaves and remove some of the moisture. This usually takes about 10 minutes with 2 or 3 leaves between the paper.
Now once you have several colorful leaves pressed you can make a creative picture frame. You can find inexpensive frames at a hobby store. Create a pattern with the twigs and tree bark and attach them to the outer edges of the frame with hot glue. Allow the glue to dry. I made a simple border with the twigs and filled in with bark. It gives the frames a nice, rustic look, perfect for the fall.
With the frame completed, you are ready to add the leaf “picture.” Lay the frame on top of a nice sheet of 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper. This will help you place the leaf where you want it in relation to the inside edges of the frame. When it comes to paper, you can use just about anything. Construction paper is nice as well as linen writing paper. Just use your imagination.
Apply a dab of spray adhesive to the back of the leaf and press it onto the paper.
Once the adhesives dry put the paper and leaf design into the frame and presto, beautiful framed fall foliage.