Flower and Leaf Press


  • Students will collect and identify plants and flowers in environment.
  • Students will create art with ordinary objects.


  • Old phone books
  • Collection of colorful leaves, grasses, flowers, herbs
  • Craft glue
  • Plain note cards/postcards/watercolor paper


  1. Collect plants, leaves, and flowers.
  2. Separate each stalk or blossom, and place them between the pages of the phone books.
  3. Have students use different pages for each specimen, spacing them well apart from each other.
  4. Place the phone books in a cool, dry place for a week to ten days. The phone book/leaf press can be used over and over again. Flowers may be stored in the phone book for several months.
  5. Students should carefully apply craft glue to the back of the dried leaves or flowers.
  6. Center them on note cards for a single design or place several as a collage on a sheet of watercolor paper, which can later be framed.

Did You Know?
In Victorian times people planted decorative gardens, often preserving their herbs and flowers in a leaf press. Certain flowers were thought to have specific qualities: rosemary for remembrance; roses for undying love; lavender for devotion; oak leaves for strength. A note card that used the fragrant language of flowers conveyed more than words.

Students press flowers and plants with heavy books to make lovely decorations. Then, they use the pressed flowers to decorate note cards, which they can give as gifts to family and friends.
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