Collecting Leaves

Collect, store, and classify leaves you find in your backyard!

Approximate Time: Ongoing



  1. Collect leaves from your backyard and put them into a shoebox.
  2. Using wax paper, iron both sides of the leaf to preserve it on a low, dry setting.
  3. Slip leaves into a plastic sleeve that fits in a 3-ring binder (I used plastic business card sleeves and plastic DVD sleeves for larger leaves).
  4. Use construction paper to brighten up the collection, and provide a space to label the leaves.
  5. Use online dichotomous keys to classify your plants based on appearance.

Enjoy your keepsake leaf collection!

By GRAPE from Collegeville, PA

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 5, 2006

I wish to start a leaf collection. Should I use the long leaf press method or the short iron- wax paper method? Which method keeps the leaves preserved the longest? Which method keeps the leaves the most realistic looking? Any information on collecting, identifying, and preserving leaves would be most appreciated. Thank you

Sassy from Central Illinois


September 13, 20070 found this helpful

Just pressing the leaf in a heavy book will not help the leaf's color or structure last very long. Waxing by pressing between sheets of waxed paper works better. But I would consider coating the leaves, both sides and stem with a couple of coats of plain glycerin (get it in the first aid section of your drug store). Allow them to dry between coats and don't pick leaves that are too advanced toward decay when choosing them. Or get a really heavy lacquer hair spray (usually the cheaper ones, if you can even find hairspray in an aerosol these days) and give it a couple of coats of that on all sides, drying between coats. I would spray them on waxed paper. There is also light coats of spray matte varnish (unless you like the shiny effect of gloss) Post photos of your collection when you get it well started. Good luck.

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