Capture the beauty of fall by learning how to press autumn leaves.
- Leaves (see Editor's Note)
- Old phone book
- Weights (bricks, heavy books etc.)
- Find the best specimens—leaves that are still soft and supple, not curled and dry.
- Collect leaves wherever you enjoy a fall walk—parks, forest preserves or your own backyard.
- Gently pat leaves dry with paper towels.
- Place inside an old phone book—several leaves per page is fine, as long as they’re not touching. Allow about 3/4-inch thickness of pages between each pressing page.
- Place weights on the book—two bricks, a gallon water jug or a stack of heavy books works well.
- Press the leaves for two weeks, after which they’ll be ready to use in crafting.
Editor’s Note: Early fall, just as leaves are beginning to turn brilliant colors, is the best time to gather them for pressing. Go out after a breezy rain when fresh leaves have dropped prematurely and not yet deteriorated on the ground.
Photo by Shutterstock.com/Pasko Maksim