Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Leaf Pressing In Progress

I constantly have projects in various stages of completeness. I thought for today's post I'd visit one of those projects in progress.
I love leaf pressing.  This may come as no surprise if you happened to catch one of my previous projects inspired by an Orangeola Japanese Maple.
When we moved to our new home I became obsessed with a red bud tree in our backyard.  I posted a beautiful picture of it in the Spring.  It went from this:
To this:
When I posted the photo of the tree in bloom, I thought that it was a Western Redbud.  Once the leaves emerged it turned out to be a Forest Pansy Redbud.  The leaves are a gorgeous purple red and perfectly heart shaped.  How could I not try and save some of these beautiful leaves?
I picked several leaves (there were way too many to choose from) and went ahead and prepped them for pressing. I started by washing the leaves and then drying them on a paper towel.
After that, I took an sharp knife and carefully cut the stem away so that the heart shape would be more apparent. I usually just press the leaves between two sheets of printer paper, but I decided that I'd try slipping them in some cello bags.  I'm thinking that this will make transport and storage a little easier. I hope it was a good idea. (ETA: Putting them in bags was not a good idea. I felt a little dumb when I realized that pressing them this way would just keep the moisture in. Glad I took the leaves out of the bags before it ruined them.)
Pressing is easy after that.  I like to do it old school. I slipped the leaves between the pages of one of my large coffee table books and then added on a lot of weight. Another valuable lesson brought to you from my elementary school education.
So, there they'll stay for now while the Complete Works of Shakespeare works its magic.  I have so many ideas of how to use the leaves once they are fully dry. Simply framed would be beautiful, but can't you see one of those beautiful leaves as the center piece on a Valentine's Day card?  I can.

Now go and find some lovely leaves to press and...

Have a Happy Day!


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  1. Hey MJ! Thank you for commenting on my blog, it makes me super happy :) I hope you like the swaddle dolls.

    I haven't pressed flowers (or leaves) for ages. Those really are lovely leaves you found, I am excited to see how they turn out. I do have a question though, when they press, will the plastic sheets keep the moisture in? I thought pressing was simply letting them dry while being squished. Maybe I'm wrong, I hope I am, because I would love to see how you use them!

    1. Hi- Thanks for dropping by. Your brain works faster than mine. I realized that moisture might be a problem after a day or so and took the leaves out of the bags before it ruined them. It was a "oh duh" moment. I have a lot of those.