Home Crochet baby clothesPress leaves and dry - this is how you get the color

Press leaves and dry - this is how you get the color

  • Dry with flower press
  • Pressing leaves with books
  • Dry in the microwave
  • Press with wax paper
  • Treat leaves with glycerin

Leaves from nature are far too beautiful to simply fade and "die" - especially as they can be used wonderfully to craft or decorate the home four walls. In this guide you will learn the best methods for pressing and drying leaves. In addition, we describe ways to preserve and enhance the bright colors. Choose your preferred guide and get started!

Get out into the magical nature and collect the most beautiful leaves that adorn the ground. You will find what you are looking for in autumn, but even in spring and summer you have a good chance to meet pretty leaves. For pressing and drying it is recommended to use as much as possible immaculate plant parts - ie leaves without cracks, scratches or damage by voracious insects. After the excursion, you have several options available to preserve the prey you are looking for. From the classic methods of the flower press and the heavy book to special variants that promote the preservation of colors, we provide you with many practical instructions!

Dry with flower press

Our first manual deals with the flower press. Corresponding "devices" are available in various craft shops. Alternatively, you can also make the "tool" for pressing the leaves yourself.

For this you need:

  • 2 wooden boards (each 70 x 30 x 2.5 cm)
  • drill
  • four screws, washers and wing nuts

Instructions for making the flower press:

Step 1: Drill holes in the four corners of both wooden boards. The holes will later accommodate the screws.

Important: Make sure that the holes of both boards are exactly on top of each other.

Step 2: Take one of the wooden boards and put the four screws and washers in the holes. The heads of the screws point upwards.

In itself, your flower press is ready. The second wooden board and the four wing nuts are only used during the pressing process.

A detailed description of how to build a flower press can be found here: Building a plant press

For pressing you need:

  • leaves
  • Flower press (including all components)
  • cardboard
  • Press paper
  • scissors

How to proceed:

Step 1: Cut two pieces of cardboard and four sheets of press paper so that they fit in the flower press.

Step 2: Place a piece of cardboard and over it two layers of press paper on the lower wooden board of the press (ie with the screws).

Step 3: Arrange the leaves to be dried on top.

Important: The individual sheets should be free - so do not stack them on top of each other.

Step 4: Lay two layers of press paper and then the second piece of cardboard on the sheets. Now you can put more leaves on it - so you can press several sheets at the same time.

5th step: Put on the upper wooden board.

Step 6: Turn the nuts on the screws and tighten.

Step 7: Bring the press to a dry place in the house.

Now the leaves have to dry for about three to six weeks, depending on their size and thickness. Check the condition once a week. You can always use this moment to exchange the press sheets. To keep the moisture level in the flower press low. The leaves are completely dry as soon as they have assumed the texture of paper all around.

Basically important: Do not use leaves that are dewy or otherwise damp. Otherwise, there is a risk that mold forms in the flower press.

Pressing leaves with books

If you do not have a flower press, you can make do with the second classic. Here are the instructions for pressing the leaves with books.

You need this:

  • leaves
  • old, fat book *
  • Press paper
  • scissors
  • many heavy books

Basically, you can also use a new book. However, keep in mind that moisture escaping from the plant leaves causes minor damage to the book (spots, wrinkled sides).

How to proceed:

Step 1: Cut four sheets of press paper to fit the book.

Step 2: Open the book in the middle and lay out the left side with two layers of press paper.

Step 3: Lay the plant leaves on it (do not stack it!).

Tip: Arrange the sheets more toward the middle of the book and less towards the edge. This ensures uniform pressing.

Step 4: Place two more layers of press paper on the plant leaves.

Step 5: Gently fold the book.

Step 6: Place the book with the leaves in a dry place.

Step 7: Complain the book with more weight-intensive books.

Thereupon it is again waiting three to six weeks and make weekly the change of the press paper.

Dry in the microwave

In fact, you can dry the sheets relatively quickly in the microwave. To do this, you'll need a home-made microwave press that's made in no time. Then you carry the whole thing in the "mini oven". We provide you with a detailed step-by-step guide.

You need this:

  • leaves
  • 2 ceramic tiles
  • 2 rubber bands
  • cardboard
  • Press paper
  • scissors

How to proceed:

Step 1: Cut two pieces of cardboard and four sheets of pressed paper to the size of the ceramic tiles.

Step 2: Take one of the tiles and lay out a cardboard piece and two layers of press paper.

Step 3: Arrange the plant leaves on it (lay next to each other, do not stack!).

Step 4: Cover the sheets with two layers of press paper and the second piece of cardboard.

Step 5: Lay the second ceramic tile on top.

Step 6: Fix the work with two rubber bands.

Step 7: Put the press in the microwave.

Step 8: Turn the microwave to the highest level for one minute.

Step 9: Check the progress of the leaves. If they are not completely dry, move back to the microwave and heat for 30 seconds.
Continue with the 30 second principle until the leaves feel completely dry.

Important: Be sure to use oven gloves or kitchen gloves when handling the hot ceramic tiles! And: the press must be made of ceramic - metal objects in the microwave would be fatal!

Follow one of the previous instructions, the leaves are dry. However, this does not guarantee that the colors will last for a long time. For this reason, we will describe below two methods with which you can conserve leaves and their colouristic splendor. These variants are especially recommended for colorful autumn leaves.

Press with wax paper

You need this:

  • leaves
  • waxed paper
  • printer paper
  • paper towels
  • Iron
  • scissors

How to proceed:

Step 1: Dry the leaves. To do this, first place it between two paper towels (kitchen roll or handkerchiefs). Then place the sheets between two pieces of paper (such as printer paper) and iron over them.

  • a) Set the iron to medium heat (do not use the steam setting!).
  • b) Iron both sides (for three to five minutes each, be careful when turning!).

If individual leaves do not feel dry yet, iron once more from both sides (of course, place the leaves again between paper pages).

Step 2: Take a layer of wax paper and spread the leaves over it.
Important: Pay attention to distances between the individual sheets!

Step 3: Place a second layer of wax paper on it and gently stroke it.

Step 4: Place the wax paper construct between two sheets of printer paper. The printer paper must cover the wax paper completely, otherwise the iron threatens to stick to the wax in the next step.

Step 5: Let the plant leaves merge with the wax paper by sliding the iron over the printer paper.

  • a) Set the iron to medium heat (do not use the steam setting!).
  • b) Iron both sides (for three minutes each, be careful when turning!).
  • c) Always keep the iron moving (otherwise the wax will burn).

Tip: It is best to wear gloves to protect your hands when handling the heated paper when turning.

Step 6: Wait for the wax to cool. As a result, it combines with the plant leaves and helps to maintain the strong colors.

Step 7: Cut out the waxed plant leaves. It should remain around each sheet a narrow edge of the wax paper to obtain the all-round seal.

Treat leaves with glycerin

Our last guide is dedicated to the glycerin method. Glycerin is a natural plant derived agent. It is ideal for preserving leaves effectively and environmentally friendly. Vegetable Glycerin is available in some craft shops or supermarkets to buy.

You need this:

  • liquid glycerin
  • water
  • flat, spacious vessel
  • heavy lid or plate

How to proceed:

Step 1: Mix in the glycerine solution. Add 530 milliliters of liquid vegetable glycerin with two liters of water to a shallow pot.

Step 2: Lay the leaves in the solution.

Step 3: Complain the leaves with a lid or plate so they do not rise to the surface.

Step 4: Place the container in a dry, shady place.
Now the leaves remain in the solution for at least three to five days. During this time the glycerin absorbs and makes the colors even more lively:

  • Yellows become more intense.
  • Reds and oranges turn into a strong rusty red.

In addition, the leaves should feel supple and pliable after the process. They can be used in the episode wonderful for crafting and decorating.
Important: This method only works for leaves that have not been exposed to frost.

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