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Pressing Autumn Leaves

Updated on February 23, 2013

Fall Memories

Do you remember pressing leaves as a child? I can remember my grandmother and I finding the most beautifully colored leaves to keep as memories of our time together.

My grandmother will have been gone for 20 very long years in October of 2009, but I remember so clearly the times we had together. Each fall before the neighborhood kids would come to clean the leaves from the yard for her, we would walk around and find our treasures for pressing.

My grandmother was a teacher and librarian so there was always a full house of books to use for this purpose.

All images from public domain.

Pressed Leaves Projects

Have you considered what you will do with the leaves after they are dried and pressed?

There are so many things you can do that will add beauty to your home or bring a piece of furniture to life.

Many people use them in dried arrangements as illustrated in the picture. Some people use them in scrapbooks to remember a trip or special occasion.

Adding Texture and Beauty to Boxes

My grandmother loved to decorate gifts boxes or boxes that would be used as decoration in the house. Once it was even a hope chest that was decorated with leaves and sprigs from the yard. It was truly one a kind and so very beautiful.

Pressed Between the Pages of Time

To Press Leaves

Find a flat place that will not be disturbed and is out of the way.

Always choose the best looking leaves with no mold, cracks, holes or bumps and are not curly or only have a very slight curl.

Use newspaper instead of wax paper to dry the leaves more quickly.

Leave a little space between each leaf while placing the leaves on top of the newspaper and then place newspaper sheets carefully on top.

Use heavy books and gently place them on top of the newspapers.

Leave them for about a week and you should have beautiful pressed leaves to display!

If you simply do not have the time or enough books to use you can use a leaf press. My children each had one similar to this one so each could press his own.

Beautiful Wooden Leaf Press

Leaf Sculpting

You will be amazed at what can be done on the leafs surface.

Have You Ever Pressed Leaves?

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    • siobhanryan profile image


      6 years ago

      I am doing it at the moment-Blessed

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 

      6 years ago from Alabama USA

      This would be fun to do with kids, blessed

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I've never pressed a leaf, but I remember painting with them to make an autumn leaf art piece. Thank you for this lovely lens. *blessed*

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      6 years ago

      I do every year - usually the big bright red maple leaves.

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Hmmm... the way I remember it was we pressed the leaves between wax paper. But it has been many moons ago since I did it, so perhaps my memory is wrong on this. Nice article... you make me want to try it once again!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It has been a really long time since I pressed leaves but you have given me an idea to start this tradition with my own grandchildren. Thanks! And enjoy a little Angel dust to go along with my visit.

    • GeekGirl1 profile image


      6 years ago

      As a kid, I used to enjoy pressing leaves.

    • delia-delia profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens! I still press leaves and flowers, something my mom taught me as a child...most of them are in my Bible...I just wish I had ID them, because they are all over from my travels and places I lived...I also collect rocks and have forgotten to ID them as well.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Yes, I remember pressing leaves, flowers and flower petals when I was still a little boy. In fact, I when I first landed in Canada, I was fascinated by all the different colors of maple leaves that I collected some when a friend of mine visited a park. I still have them somewhere :) Reading this lens took me down memory lane...Fall blessings! :)

    • awakeningwellness profile image


      7 years ago

      I can't believe I have never done this, now I need to think of a project to make with leaves!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Always, ever since I was a little kid,... even after the most horrible case of poison ivy got me!

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 

      7 years ago

      We do but we have never done these imaginative things with them. Lovely.

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 

      8 years ago

      I think we did this when I was younger. Good thought! Need to do this with my boys!!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      8 years ago from United States

      Such a wonderful idea! Beautiful examples of what you can do with leaves.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      8 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Wonderful lens. I have a gizmo called a Microfleur that dries leaves and flowers in the Microwave. It works well but you have to experiment to get the time just right. About the decorated box -- I'm wondering how your grandmother covered the leaves for protection. Did she varnish over them some how? Great lens.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      8 years ago from UK

      Some lovely ideas here for Autumn leaf projects!

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 

      8 years ago

      So many wonderful memories of long walks in the Fall collecting leaves. The smell of the crisp air hit me as I browsed this lens ;)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love this. Yes, I have had several Leaf Presses and have pressed leaves with my grandson. Lensrolling to Fall Trees.

    • KOrazem profile image

      Seeking Pearls 

      9 years ago from Pueblo West

      Yes I have pressed leaves. What a gloriously entertaining video. Lovely thoughtful lens.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hmmm, I wonder if mom finally threw out all those pressed leaves we did way back when in Ohio with the waxed paper? Do they still make waxed paper?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I remember pressing leaves. It was always so much fun to find the very best leaf ever and seal it in wax to keep it forever. I wonder what happened to all those leaves I pressed when I was younger? I wouldn't be surprised to find them in some of my mom's old books at her house! :)

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      9 years ago from Vermont

      Another wonderful nature and art lens - my favorite topics! I have been preserving leaves, seeds and flowers since I was a child, and I still enjoy drying leaves and making art from them each autumn. I've been using leaves to make sand cast bird baths for a couple years - nature is such a wonderful inspiration and provider for craftsmen and artists of any level. Congrats, new angel and thanks for your friendship and blessings - 5*

    • verymary profile image


      9 years ago from Chicago area

      My son's friend just told us his grandfather bought a dictionary at a garage sale, went home and found it full of pressed leaves. Cool! 5*

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      9 years ago from Royalton

      We love to press leaves and use them as decorations throughout the house in the autumn.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 

      9 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      I had lots of pressed leaves! Brings back memories! 5*

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I remember pressing leaves, too! Must remember to do this with granddaughter this year!

    • SherryHolderHunt profile image


      9 years ago

      Lovely lens! Yes, I did press leaves, but none of mine could hold a candle to the ones in the video, wow.


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