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Natural Gift Wrapping 1 - Pressing Leaves

zero waste gift wrapping

As I have grown older one of the 'adulting' things I have learned is that there are so many things that are simple if you put in 15 minutes of time at some point in advance.

The trick is in remembering exactly when and what to do in advance and that is what this blog post is about.

In December my Pinterest and Instagram feeds fill up with beautiful gift wrapping - zero waste, natural, thoughtful, beautiful gift wrapping. But it is only simple and cheap if I remember to put aside half an hour at this time of year to do some simple preparation.

So this week I have been pressing some leaves to use later in the year.

June to September are the best months to gather leaves to press in time for December wrapping. Pressing leaves is even easier than pressing flowers and they can be used for everything from garlands and name tags to decorating your gifts.


pressed leaf gift wrapping zero waste

You need

  • Flower press or thick book.
  • Cartridge paper if you don't have a press
  • Selection of perfect leaves - any leaves will work. I find that the tougher leaves like fig, ivy and magnolia keep their colour best, but some like sweet Cicely will turn a lovely buff brown. For some leaves like maple and oak you might want to wait and catch them as their colour turns.


  • Cut leaves when they are dry. Ideally have the stem attached.
  • Put leaves on the paper face down, spread out so they are not touching.
  • Put another sheet of paper on top.
  • Layer up and close press or book - put a bit of paper with the date on it.
  • You can also press leaves very successfully under a medium sized rug.
  • Take up rug, put sheets of newspaper down, then the cartridge paper sandwich with your leaves inside, another layer of newspaper and roll the rug back down.
  • After 2-3 months the leaves will be ready to use.

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