Leaf Pressing: Making Art With Fallen Leaves

Fall is a wonderful time of year, and not just because of the delicious apple cider, cozy flannels, and free candy. When cooler air starts to move in and the leaves begin changing color, our once-green landscapes become vibrant displays of wonder flecked with hues of orange, red, and yellow!

But before you know it all the leaves will have fallen off the trees and you’ll be eagerly awaiting their return the following year – until now! With these spectacular leaf pressing ideas, you can preserve the essence of the autumn season and enjoy it throughout the year by making art with fallen leaves!

Leaf Pressing: Preparing Your Medium

After you’ve gathered your collection of leaves, sandwich them between two pieces of wax paper. Place an old towel on your ironing board and place your wax-paper-sandwich on top of the towel. Lay another old towel over your sandwiched leaves. Heat an iron to high and run it across the towel with NO steam. Keep running your iron back and forth across the towel until your wax paper begins to seal. Once the wax paper is melted and fully-sealed, allow it to cool before cutting out your individual leaves which are now ready to be turned into a work of art!

Charming Autumn Showpiece

Buy a sizable piece of wood from your local home improvement store and have them cut it to your desired size. Stain it according to your personal preference. Once it’s dry, trace on an outline of a large maple leaf. Starting from the bottom, begin laying down your leaves and layering them so that they fan out toward the blades of the leaf outline. When placing your individual leaves, make sure they follow the outline you made so that when your project is finished the smaller leaves form the shape of one giant maple leaf. Secure your leaves to the board with hot glue and Mod Podge. Then glue on a small stick to give your maple leaf a stem. Hang your leaf board up on the wall or set it on your mantel for an eye-catching decoration that is sure to impress house guests.

Adorable Leaf Creatures Fridge Art

This project is great for those looking to do a fun craft with the kids! For the widest selection of animals to make, pick leaves that vary in size, shape, and color. Once your leaves are prepared all you’ll need is paper, glue, and a black marker. Instruct your kids to position their leaves to create cute little woodland creatures. Here are some animal ideas to get you started:

  • Hedgehog: Use the pointy blades of maple leaves to form the spiky back of a hedgehog
  • Owl: Use an elm leaf and position it with the point facing down to form the body of an owl
  • Gold fish: Use an elm leaf as the body of the fish, with a maple leaf to create the tail fin
  • Lion: Fan out pointy alder-type leaves around a more circular-shaped leaf for the lion’s mane

Glue your leaves down so your animals stay in place, and have your kids draw on facial features with the black marker. Then display the artwork of your little ones proudly on the fridge!

Trendy Monogrammed Leaf Wreath

Take a trip to your local craft store and purchase a large wooden letter that corresponds to the first letter of your family’s last name. Using spray adhesive, overlap and attach your pressed leaves to the letter so that no wood is exposed but the letter is still legible. With a piece of decorative ribbon, make a loop at the top of your letter so that you have a way to hang it from your front door.

Elegant Leaf Imprint Wall Portraits

While this project won’t display the vibrant colors of your fall leaves, it still results in a beautiful piece of art that you can proudly display in your home or RV. To begin you’ll need a flat surface such as a piece of wood, thick cardboard, or stretched canvas. Mist your surface of choice with some spray adhesive before placing your pressed leaves on it with the vein-side facing up. Coat on another layer of spray adhesive over the leaves. Then put a sheet of aluminum foil on top of your leaves and mounting surface with the shinier side facing up. Rub your fingers over the leaves so that their texture shows through on the aluminum foil. Next you’ll want to spray a light coat of matte spray paint (any color you choose) onto your foil. After it’s dry use soft steel wool to delicately rub the surface of your foil so that its shiny silver surface shows through your spray paint. The end result is an elegant piece of leaf art that you can display anywhere!

Once you’ve got your collection of fallen autumn leaves, the options for what you can do with them are practically endless. In addition to these ideas you can also brush paint on your pressings to create cool leaf-textured stamps that can be used to put a seasonal spin on gift tags, or hot-glue your leaves to a plastic headband to create a crown that will turn your little ones into princesses of the fall season! Do you have any other ideas for how to make art with fallen leaves? Leave us a comment to let us know!