DIY Leaf Press Fall Fun Family Craft Project

There are so many uses for leaves – besides raking! Autumn lends itself to so many wonderful craft projects made from pressed leaves found while on a walk or simply playing in the backyard. From greeting cards to strands of garland, the possibilities are endless once you've got a flat leaf to work with. Your child can press her or her own leaves thanks to a simple leaf press you can help them create.


  • One 24-inch poplar board (3/4-inch thick)
  • Four 3/8-inch carriage bolts, fender washers and wing nuts
  • Craft paint and paint brush
  • Mod Podge, satin finish
  • Drill
  • Clamps
  • Scrap wood or work bench
  • Marker
  • Sanding block
  • Construction paper/decorations (optional)


1. Start out by cutting your piece of wood into two same-size pieces. You can do this at home – or have your hardware store make this cut for you.
2. Next, stack the two pieces of wood together. Place a washer in each corner on the top piece and mark the center with a marker. Remove the washers. Clamp the two pieces of wood together onto a scrap piece of wood or work bench and drill a hole in each marked corner. Sand any rough edges.
3. Once the holes have been made, it's time to paint the wood. Paint each piece with your desired color. Let the pieces dry completely. Add additional coats of paint to achieve the desired shade.
4. After the paint has dried, you can seal the pieces with Mod Podge. Add leaf cutouts, like we did, or any other decorations.
5. When the Mod Podge has dried completely it's time to start pressing! Place the leaves between two pieces of wax paper and place onto the bottom plank of the press. Add the carriage bolts and then the press top. Place the washers on top and finish with the wing nuts, tightening as far as they'll go to press the leaves flat.


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