I need to press a leaf FAST--how?

So Dominic has this project where he has to collect 15 different specimens of local tree leaves and press them and label them in an album. It was due last Friday. He told us he had finished it, and it was at school. He told his teacher that he had finished it, and it was at home. I had a meeting with his teachers today and he didn’t turn it in*. I asked him about it tonight and he said he didn’t know where it was. I helped him look and I found it. Of the 15 leaves, he had 7. None were labeled. So I sent him out to find more leaves in our yard and the neighbors’ yards, and now he has the 15 he needs, but 8 of them are not pressed. At school they were using a press that took a week to make the leaves flat and dry. He has to have this turned in tomorrow.

Any suggestions? Can they be ironed?

*the meeting was step 1 in trying to get a 504 plan in place–he’s severely ADHD and needs some sort of intervention with regards to school. This is just another example of a pattern we’ve seen for years now.

Do you have access to a laminator? If you laminate them fresh, they should last for a while - long enough for the project to be read and marked.

You can iron on a fairly low setting between two sheets of baking parchment and they will dry out shortly afterwards - they might not look the same as naturally-dried fallen leaves, but they should be OK.

Look here: http://www.ehow.com/how_2002693_press-autumn-leaves.html

They discuss a technique for drying them out in the microwave before ironing.

Post photos if you need a quick ID.

I will try that on some “extra” leaves–hopefully it will work. That or the microwave trick.

No laminator, unfortunately :frowning:

I have a vague memory of putting the leaves between a couple of sheets of newspaper and giving a good long iron. Then putting the leaves between two sheets of greaseproof paper (the waxed sort) in some more nespaper and giving another good iron (to seal them). From memory they stayed green for a lot longer than I expected (and shiney too).

Does anyone know what ballpark setting to put the iron on for the newspaper/waxed paper thing?

Try the lowest without steam of course. Use printer paper between the iron and waxed paper. The newspaper can transfer ink to the iron. Pull off the printer paper before the wax cools too much, or the paper will stick to the waxed paper.