Learning to press leaves or flowers makes a good science project for young children. Here are some tips to make these materials last longer than they do in nature.
Step 1: Collect flowers or leaves Collect some interesting flowers or leaves.
Step 2: Dry the flowers or leaves in newspaper Place the flowers or leaves between two sheets of newspaper, and let them flatten and dry under some heavy weights for at least one day.
Step 3: Remove the leaves or flowers from the newspaper Remove the partially dried flowers or leaves when they are free of any surface moisture.
Step 4: Place each leaf or flower inside a book Insert each flower or leaf, separately sandwiched between two sheets of wax paper, in the pages of a large book. Leave about 100 pages, or 0.125 inches, between pressings.
TIP: Choose a book that you no longer use or need. This will prevent any damage to books you want to keep.
Step 5: Apply weight to the book Place heavy weights on the book.
Step 6: Press the leaves or flowers for a couple weeks Leave the flowers or leaves in the book for a couple of weeks before removing them.
TIP: Insert labels of where you found the leaves or flowers, or if you were given the flowers, include the card in the pressing.
Step 7: Store the leaves or flowers in an album Store the pressed leaves or flowers in an album. Enjoy looking at them and capturing the memories of nature.
FACT: The color change of leaves in the fall is due to chemical transformations in the leaf pigments.