Counselor and three kids posing covered in mud

Craft Time: Pressed Leaf Bookmarks

Pressed Leaf Bookmarks

Leaves are wonderful! Here at Cave of the Mounds we love looking at our large oak trees in wonder and awe. Leaves are great for many things besides crafting. They provide shade on hot days, create camouflage for animals that reside in the tree’s branches. Leaves turn sunlight into starches and sugars, which is food for the mighty tree through the process called photosynthesis. When the leaves fall off the branches, they create a thin layer on the ground that helps the ground absorb moisture, and when they start to decompose, they release nutrients into the soil that are used by other plants to grow. Aren’t leaves beautiful! That’s why artists like Isaak Ilyich Levitan or Oscar-Claude Monet painted leaves in artworks like “Autumn Leaves” or “The Avenue”. In this craft, you will press leaves into some bookmarks!

You will need: 9 leaves (small is good), Phone Book or Dictionary, 2 clean sheets of paper, White Poster Board, Scissors, Glue, Markers, Clear Contact Paper, Hole Punch, Ribbon or String

  1. Collect your leaves and press them between two clean sheets of paper in a large book like a phone book or dictionary. After 2-4 weeks they will be dried and flat.
  2. Next with your white poster board, cut several bookmark shape rectangles out with scissors. I usually cut them about 2 inches by 8 inches.
  3. Place the leaves on the bookmark with a touch of glue. Allow to dry for a few minutes. You may decorate with marker too, or simply write the person’s name on the bookmark at the bottom or top, or in between the leaves. You can also use dried flowers for this.
  4. Cut a section of clear contact paper that is twice as big as your bookmark, plus some extra. So roughly about 5 inches by 17 inches. Lay your bookmark upside down very carefully on one edge of the contact paper so you can fold over the rest of it on the back of the bookmark. Carefully smooth down the contact paper so there are no bubbles then trim the contact paper to the edge of the bookmark.
  5. You then may put a hole in the top with a paper punch and tie a ribbon through the hole. This makes a wonderful gift!