Bring a touch of autumn indoors by using pressed leaves to decorate your home. Pressing leaves is easy and it’s an inexpensive way to create beautiful fall decor.
How to press leaves
Though there are several methods for pressing leaves, the easiest is with weight.
- Choose leaves in various shapes, sizes and colors. Pick leaves that are relatively flat and haven’t begun curling up.
- Place leaves between sheets of newspaper or wax paper. Put the paper with the leaves inside a heavy book. Place more books on top for additional weight.
- Keep in a dry, safe location for 10 days. Check to see if the leaves are completely dry. If not, continue pressing for another week.
Decorating with pressed leaves
Bring a bit of fall into your home by decorating with pressed leaves. You can simply place leaves on top of your mantel or shelves. You can also decorate your tables with pressed leaves by arranging the leaves on a white tablecloth and covering them with a glass top or another sheer tablecloth.
Read more about welcoming fall into your home >>
Framing pressed leaves
You can create beautiful fall wall art with pressed leaves. Simply sandwich the pressed leaves between two plates of glass in a picture frame — it will look like the leaves are floating in the frame. You can also glue the pressed leaves to a fabric or paper background before framing.
Some pressed leaves will crumble after a period of time, so use a spray preservative, which you can find at craft stores, to help them remain intact as long as possible. Though this product is usually used for dried flowers, it will work just as well for pressed leaves.
Read more about beautiful fall decor on a shoestring budget >>
Pressed leaves for kids
Kids love pressing leaves but sometimes don’t have the patience to wait a week or more for the leaves to flatten using the book/weight method. You can help your children create pretty pressed leaves in just a few minutes. All you need are leaves, wax paper and a clothes iron.
- Sandwich various leaves between two sheets of wax paper.
- Cover your ironing board with an old towel. Place the wax paper and leaves on the towel; place a cloth rag on top.
- Heat the iron to high, without steam.
- Lightly run the iron over the cloth rag. When the wax paper begins to seal, press with full weight and hold it in place for five seconds.
- Lift up the rag to see if the wax has melted and sealed. Repeat until all the leaves are pressed.
Your children can use the pressed leaves in a variety of ways: They can cut the leaves out and hang them from the ceiling, decorate an old lamp shade or use them as bookmarks. They can also use the sheets of wax paper and leaves as special place mats for Thanksgiving dinner or any fall meal.