How to Iron Leaves on Wax Paper

    by Grant D. McKenzie

    About the Author

    Grant McKenzie is a 1993 graduate of the USAF Academy with a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering. Grant is a writer and a consultant for in the areas of leadership, team-building, and communication skills. He is co-author of "New Best Friends: Playground Strategies for Market Dominance."


    Autumn leaves fall in a variety of brilliant colors. One method of preserving those leaves and their brilliant colors is to seal them between two sheets of wax paper using the heat from an iron. Once preserved, the leaves can be used in frames as decoration or they can even be stored and used for a child's scientific education and exploration. Take your tiniest crafter on a nature walk to gather colorful leaves and then press them under wax paper for a variety of uses.

    Things You'll Need

    • Assorted colorful leaves
    • Wax paper
    • Large, heavy book
    • Thin cotton cloth
    • Household iron
    • Ironing board
    • Scissors

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    Collect the leaves you want to preserve. Make sure the leaves are still pliable. Leaves that have already dried will not work.

    Place the leaves between sheets of wax paper. Lay them on a hard surface. Make sure there is a space between all the leaves. Place a large heavy object, such as a dictionary, on top of the leaves. Let them alone for 24 to 48 hours.

    Remove the pressed leaves and place between fresh sheets of wax paper. Place the paper with the leaves between layers of soft, thin cotton cloth. An old T-shirt works well for this application.

    Set the iron to a medium setting and place the cloth covered leaves on the ironing board. When the iron is heated, press it firmly onto the cloth where one corner of the wax paper is located. Slowly pull the iron across the cloth over the paper while maintaining firm pressure. Repeat until the entire assembly has been covered.

    Repeat the ironing process a total of three times, allowing a brief cooling period of five to ten seconds between each iteration. This helps ensure the leaves remain undamaged from the heat.

    Check the wax paper and leaves. If the leaves can shift or if the paper separates, another ironing may be necessary. When the leaves remain firmly in place and there is no separation around the edges, the process is complete.

    Use scissors to carefully trim around your leaves, leaving a border of waxed paper to seal them in. Your leaves are now temporarily preserved and ready for display.

    • When ironing the leaves, firm pressure should be used, but make sure the paper does not curl around the edges of the iron.
    • It is not necessary to press the leaves before ironing, but it is much more difficult to iron leaves that have not been pressed.

    Photo Credits

    • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images