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With the colorful leaves of autumn now surrounding our feet as we walk outdoors, we wish to savor this seemingly too-short season and all of the beauty it brings along with it!
During the summer months we enjoy pressing flowers in our handmade flower press. Today we thought to create a leaf press to preserve the offerings of this season and the memories of a special walk through the forest.
.: A stack of cardboard cut in preparation to make a leaf press :.
First we began by cutting out a square from a cardboard box. (You can use this square as your template to trace out as many squares onto the cardboard as you need.) The children began cutting until we gathered a stack suitable to house all of the leaves we had collected.
We used the lessons gleaned from the first flower presses we made to enhance this latest creation with cardstock to glue to each cardboard piece. Not only does it make for a beautiful press, it also helps in the preservation of the leaves.
Here is our stack of autumn colored cardstock that the children glued to each piece of cardboard. This will make up our leaf press.
Along with placing nature from walks on our nature table, I also enjoy having a basket of natural treasures available for crafting. This birch bark was just waiting to be created with.
For the front cover of the leaf press we cut this piece of gorgeous birch bark to size and glued it down with some of the cardstock highlighting it from behind. We used stones from the ocean as weights to hold the bark down until the glue dried.
.: Placing the leaves on each paper-lined cardboard piece :.
The children then placed a leaf on each piece of paper-lined cardboard.
A leaf sandwich was created while each cardboard piece was placed one on top of the other with leaves sandwiched in between.
We appreciate that this leaf press can be created with recycled materials. We also appreciate that by securing the cardboard together with elastics this press can be placed in our backpack while we walk through the forest. This allows us to save flowers and leaves without them getting torn or lost on the way home.
For now this press joins us at home with an iron as a weight. We created the press this morning, and this evening when we checked--the leaves already were flat like paper.
Another simple addition to the cover of the press was a watercolor leaf I recently blogged about. We appreciate that this press is both beautiful as well as functional. A simple, satisfying project with great finished results for flat preserved leaves for crafting!