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Using pressed leaves to decorate gift wrap
Pressing leaves to decorate gifts is simple, free and can be done throughout the year, building up a supply to use on your gift wrap.
The only downside is that some leaves become slightly brittle over time.
I like to press green, fleshy kinds of leaves - ivy, fig leaves, magnolia along with ferns. I usually preserve fallen autumnal leaves in glycerine instead.
Pressing leaves is very simple - you need either a flower press, large heavy books and some sheets of absorbent paper, or sheets of paper and a rug that gets walked on a lot.
- Select your leaves and make sure that they are clean, dry and without blemishes.
- Lay them face down on your paper - either in the press or book, or on sheets to be put under the rug. Make sure that they don’t overlap and aren’t creased.
- Cover with another piece of plain absorbent paper and squash lightly all over the surface of the paper.
- Build up layers until you have used up all your leaves.
- Close the press, put the book under something heavy or put the sheets of paper between newspapers under a rug.
- Wait for 4 - 6 weeks. Though if you are wanting the leaves for something semi- disposable - like decorating gifts - then you can probably use them after 10 days.
I tend to use pressed leaves - like the sweet cicely leaves in the photo - flat on top of a gift. Wrap string around the gift several times, tying at the back of the parcel. Then tuck your leaves under the string at the front.