Autumn leaves are one of the easiest pieces of foliage to press. Collect them when dry, put each between the pages of a book, and usually in less than a week they are ready to use. The colors dull and fade a bit, but they still retain their resiliency and good looks. I use quite a few Autumn leaves in my pressed flower compositions. They are great for cutting into different shapes. I create many things with the pressed leaves: birdhouses, wagons, baskets, flowerpots and even small houses.
One problem that arises when cutting the leaves is their brittle nature when dried and pressed. To cut without treating them in some way usually results in shattered pieces or raggedy edges. I’ve found a few fixes for combating this problem by stabilizing the leaves with an added layer. Today I’ll share Fix #1.
Fix #1 – Mod Podge the back side of the leaves
Brush the Mod Podge on the back of the leaves with a soft brush. Let it dry completely. While it dries create a pattern out of cardboard for the shape you want to use. In my case it was a tiny house greeting card I call “Home Sweet Home.”
When the Mod-Podge is completely dry, I use a Sharpie marker to trace the house pattern onto the mod-podged side of the leaves. Use a marker that is as close to the color of the leaf as possible or it might show through to the front side. Make sure you remember that when you cut out the traced pattern it will reverse itself. For instance, in the finished card, if I use side one of my pattern to trace, on the finished house the door will be on the left of the house, not on the right.
To finish this card I choose small pieces of foliage and very tiny flower bunches to create the trees. I set these aside at the ready.
For everyone who wondered why I press seaweed….here is the answer: Pressed seaweed is perfect to make small trees. When dried and pressed the thick fronds of this type of seaweed shrink to delicate branches.
Small ferns, leaves and pieces of Queen Anne’s lace foliage, all look like small trees.
Small florets of flowers look like Crape Myrtle trees in bloom.
Here are a few of the finished cards. Four seasons of pressed flower houses.
For those who wondered why in the world I would press pieces of an abandoned hornet’s nest, the answer is above: hornet’s nest paper, pressed and mod-podged, is easy to cut into shapes for unique additions to my pressed flower creations.