Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tips and Tricks Tuesday #17 - How to Dry, Press, and Preserve Leaves

Fall has finally arrived at the cottage!  And the trees are being set
ablaze with vibrant color.

This is my favorite season of the year—a special time when
 nature offers up its bounty for creative
decorating and crafting.

I love to take leisurely walks—around the yard and through the woods—
to gather a lavish supply of pretty leaves
 to be dried for future projects.

My search usually yields a variety of fabulous
colors, shapes, and sizes.

Its really amazing the variety of hues that
one single tree can provide!

And I make a point of gathering several groups of leaves
that remain joined together well as those of various sizes, but of the same type.

Once I've accumulated an ample supply, I'm ready to let my fingers
do the walking through the preservation process.

My method of choice just happens to be the old tried-and-true 
approach of pressing leaves between book pages.

Do you have an old phone directory lying around? 
I've found they perform the trick beautifully.

I start by cutting several sheets of plain white
 tissue paper into squares...

and arranging the newly gathered leaves on half of each sheet.

It's actually easier to place the paper inside the book first,
 then position the leaves where you want them.

After folding the remaining half of the paper over—to cover the leaves—
I sandwich it all between a handful of the book's pages.

When I'm satisfied that I've filled it with as many leaves as it will accommodate,
I place a few very heavy books on top to press it all flat.

I then leave everything in a dry, moisture-free area—undisturbed
for at least a week.

Once the leaves are completely dry, they can be used for any of a
number of decorating or craft projects.

One of my very favorite craft uses involves the book Look What I did With a Leaf!
by Morteza E. Sohi.  It is a wonderful resource that provides hours of
creative fun for the whole family.  And it's the perfect way to
show off all those gorgeous jewels of the forest
you've carefully preserved.   ; )

Joining Mary's Ruby Tuesday and Susan's Outdoor Wednesday.


  1. what a fun project. our leaves were kinda sad in the color department this year... yours are beautiful.

  2. I've always wondered how the pros did it....thanks!

  3. Beautiful leaves! I love pressing leaves too and use a very large pattern making book!Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the nice comment :)

  4. Nothing like the good old fashioned trick! Such a simple project. Darn, I just three away those phone books, but I can use the old cook books.

    Thanks for this wonderful tip and your very nice compliments on my photos. Comments like yours give me such inspiration.

  5. Oh, how beautiful! Love all of your colorful leaves, and I enjoyed seeing how you pressed them. Thanks for the tips, and thanks for the heads up on the book.

    Wishing you a Happy Outdoor Wednesday...


    Sheila :-)

  6. They say Brilliant Minds Think Alike! We must be a couple of smart cookies to do similar posts for O.W.! :~D (And do you know, that my Gentleman Farmer will celebrate his 60th birthday in a couple of weeks! We even have November birthday hubbies! I'm thinking Kindred Spirits here!)
    The leaves on your trees are just gorgeous! I do hope you try making the Roses ~ they will be stunning!
    Thank you for stopping in at my place and for becoming a follower! You've really made my day!

  7. Boy...this brings back memories of my first experience with living through a "real fall". When we were transferred to PA, I think I picked up every leaf in our yard and pressed it...just like you showed in this post. MacDaddy was truly exasperated with all the books stacked around the house!
    I am a native FL girl who saw snow for the first time when I was in college in GA...saw colored leaves that same year...and reveled in flowering spring. It was amazing!

    Thanks for becoming a follower.I'll be following you, too.
    Jane (artfully graced)

  8. I am still waiting for the leaves to turn here...yours are so pretty. (-:

  9. Interesting and nice project, I lake it!

    Kisses and hugs.

  10. Great tips! It's been years since I've tried to preserve leaves~ I've seen so gorgeous ones this past week. Thanks for the reminder :-)

  11. Thanks for this great reminder,I had forgotten how much fun it is to press these beautiful leaves....please show a post after you have framed them,I am excited to see the reslts.
    And thank you for becoming a follower(#49) to LazyonLoblolly,I appreciate you.

  12. Thanks for stopping by for a Latte'. I am happy to return the follow. I recall pressing leaves like this in grade school for a project one time. I still like the red leaves the best.

  13. Wonderful technique for drying leaves. I could see doing a tabletop or even a wall mural with them. (I'm always thinking up house projects). Just great. Thanks for stopping by. Jane F.

  14. Hello! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog. Your blog is beautiful and the name is so charming! I wish we had such beautiful leaves here in sunny California.

  15. Such a beautiful post. I haven't pressed leaves since I was a kid, should give it a whirl.

  16. Fall colours are so beautiful and I love your pictures. I used to dry leaves long ago and make wall hangings in a frame from them. Great gifts for Christmas too.

  17. Beautiful leaves, thanks for the tutorial, it's too late for me this year, though, our leaves are long gone. Lovely photos of yours, though.
    Hugs, Cindy

  18. Love your leaves and thanks for the tutorial.

  19. I love autumn! One of the reasons is because of the beautiful leaves. "Autums is a second spring when every leaf is a flower"-Albert Carnus. You have some beautiful "flowers"!

  20. Thanks for the tutorial on pressing leaves. They are lovely. Great post.

  21. All our leaves are on the ground now. Thanks you for sharing the pretty colors of your area. La

  22. Great suggestions for the leaves. Ours have not started to turn like that yet. Usually have to have a frost first.

  23. That is a fun project! Our leaves haven't turned yet...but whe they do, I think I'll try drying some. Thanks for sharing!


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