How To Press Leaves

 Fall is in full swing and the leaves are showing off a bit.  I really love the beautiful leaves… but who doesn’t?  Driving through the mountains this weekend reminded me that it’s time to start leaf collecting.  I use leaves all over my house for decoration, but I also use them in the classroom for math, art, science, and literacy connections.  When I ask kids to bring leaves to the classroom, they are usually GREAT collectors, but the only way we can use these leaves for our projects is when they are pressed.  Pressing leaves is very simple and doesn’t take up a lot of space.
I usually start with a couple of paper towels on the table, and then I set a few leaves on top.

Next, you set a paper towel on top of the leaves and another layer of leaves is set on top of that towel.

I keep layering as many paper towels and leaves as I can, and then put a big stack of books on top.  They need to sit like this for several days so they become dry and flat. Once they are pressed and dry, I store them in an OPEN container.  There will still be a tiny bit of moisture in the leaves, so you don’t want to close them up and grow mold.  That’s a science experiment I’d rather not do right now.
My favorite way to press leaves is with a flower press.  A friend bought this one for me and I use it constantly during the summer for flowers and the fall for leaves.

I will be sharing books and projects very soon.  For now, happy leaf collecting!

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