May 13, 2020
Choose leaves from your garden, a house plant, or on a nature walk, then make your own plant press to make a leaf print!
What have you made with your plant press? Share a photo in the NH 4-H Community Group on Facebook!
- Newspaper or newsprint art paper (the paper needs to be absorbent/uncoated) cut or folded into an 8” X 8” square
- 4 sturdy rubber bands
- Weights such as heavy books
- 2 pieces heavy cardboard cut into an 8” X 8” square
- Interesting shaped leaves (Know what you are picking! Check with an adult. This activity works best with thin leaves and flowers. Large, thick flowers will not dry well.)
- Optional – crayons or markers to decorate your cardboard covers
How To Do It:
- Collect plant leaves or flowers. Make sure to have permission! As you collect, learn the names of the plants. (For ones you do not know, use a guide book or the internet. You could also download an app that will help identify plants.) Make sure the plants are dry before you move to Step 2 (no dew or raindrops!).
- Place the plants between the layers of the paper. You can add more layers, but make sure there are at least a few pieces of newspaper or newsprint between each one.
- Place a few layers of paper over and under the plants you are pressing.
- Sandwich your plants and paper between the two pieces of cardboard.
- Put two rubber bands on the cardboard in each direction. It should look a bit like a tick-tack-toe board when you are done.
- Put your press in a dry place, place heavy books on top of it, and leave it alone for at least 2 weeks.
- After 2 weeks, carefully check to see if your leaves are dry. If they are not dry, check again in a few days.
- You can glue the dried leaves to art paper to make a card. You could also laminate them or save them in a scrapbook or make a leaf print using a crayon. Treat them carefully, they are fragile. Make sure to label each with the name of the plant it came from.