Summer is winding down and fall is winding up; it’s a perfect time to make some art with leaves and wildflowers! Pressing flowers became a popular pastime during the Victorian Era but it’s a timeless expression of natural appreciation. It’s the process of applying pressure to plants in order to flatten and preserve them.
Pressed flowers are especially fascinating for kids and can be used to make illustrations or crafts. When I was young I pressed flowers using phone books. It worked well enough for my purposes, but phone books put a lot of uneven pressure on flowers, making them limp and distorted. Phone books work great for leaves but I recommend building a flower-press for nicer looking results.
(Creativity for kids makes a Mini Flower Press and Nature Cards Kit that is super easy for kids to use, presses flowers evenly and comes with lots of craft supplies to make cards, bookmarks and tags.)
Kids can use pressed flowers and leaves in lots of creative ways. Decoupage flowers to three dimensional objects or incorporate them into drawings.
In middle school I pressed a collection of leaves from different trees and wrote facts about them into a leaf book. To this day I can still recognize aspen, oak and maple leaves (which maybe isn’t that impressive, but it makes me happy). Nature oriented kids could even make flower and leaf flashcards with pressed flowers!