How to make a flower and leaf press

Age: All ages

Time: One hour or more

Type of Activity: Nature Art

Materials needed: Old phone book, collection of colourful leaves, grasses, flowers, herbs, craft glue, plain note cards/postcards/watercolour paper

What to Do

Step One: Take a nature walk on a clear, dry day. Collect any attractive flowers, leaves, grasses, and herbs.

Step Two: At home, separate each stalk or blossom. Place each one separately between the pages of the phone book, spacing them well apart from each other.

Step Three: Place the phone book in a cool, dry place for a week to 10 days. Your leaves will then be totally dry and ready for use.

Step Four: Carefully apply craft glue, just a dab, to the back of your dried leaf or flower.

Step Five: Centre it on a note card for a single design or place several as a collage on a sheet of watercolour paper, which can later be framed.

Step Six: Your leaf press can be used over and over again. Flowers can be stored in them for several months.

Did You Know?

In Victorian times people planted decorative gardens and often preserved their herbs and flowers in a leaf press. Certain flowers were thought to have specific qualities: Rosemary for remembrance; Roses for undying love; Lavender for devotion; Oak leaves for strength. A note card that used the fragrant language of flowers conveyed more than words.