Fall colors are reaching their peak in the coming days and weeks, which means it’s time to pack up the family in the car and go for a beautiful drive or hike. Inevitably the kids want to gather the vibrant, colorful leaves as a temporary souvenir, but today I’ll show you how you can turn them into a permanent memory in a few simple steps.
Fresh, whole leaves that are still pliable
Large, thick books (such as a dictionary or phone book)
1. Gather leaves of several sizes, colors, and varieties. Try to find the silhouette in perfect form, even if the colors are speckled (which I love).
2. If the leaves are especially wet, pat them dry with paper towels and gently wipe away any dirt or debris.
3. Open your book toward the end, leaving about 30 pages left. Place one leaf in the middle of the page and gently close about 30-50 pages on top of it and give it a smooth press. Add another leaf to the page and carefully top it with another 30-50 pages, repeating the process until finished.
4. Place a heavy object to rest on top of the book and store it in a cool, dry place for at least one week before removing the leaves. The moisture has been carefully extracted into the dry pages of the book, preserving the beautiful colors.
5. Display pressed leaves in your fall decorations, craft projects, or underneath glass for even more permanent preservation.
To find out when colors will be at their peak in your area, use this forecasted map of the United States.