#PEMfromhome \\ Drop-In Art Activities

Leaf ornaments

Colorful leaves are a beautiful sight to see each fall and can be kept as mementos. During autumn, the sun is out for a shorter time each day and the temperature starts to drop. Trees are able to sense these changes and begin their transformation to prep for winter. You can preserve any special leaves you collect and put them on display by sealing them in wax paper. Follow along below to create leaf ornaments for display.

  • Large book or flower press
  • Wax paper
  • Iron
  • 2 dishcloths (smooth surface not terry cloth)
  • Fallen leaves
  • Hole punch and string (optional)


Step 1: Collect and press an assortment of colorful leaves in a large book or flower press for at least one week. This will ensure that the leaves are totally flat and dry before you seal them in wax paper.

Step 2: Cut two rectangular pieces of wax paper. Place your leaf collection on top of one piece of the paper, leaving space in between.

Step 3: Lay out a dishcloth and place the first sheet of wax paper with your leaves on top. Place the second piece of wax paper over the leaves, sandwiching them between the two pieces.

Step 4: Set your iron on the lowest heat setting and allow it to heat up.

Step 5: Place the second dishcloth on top of your wax paper and gently iron the surface of the towel. Tip: Don’t let your iron touch bare wax paper! Always have a towel between the iron and the paper to prevent the wax from melting onto your iron and making a sticky mess.

Step 6: Once your leaves are sealed inside, cut them out, leaving about half an inch of wax paper around the edge. Use a hole punch and add a string to hang them in a window or from a wall. Or skip the hole punch and scatter them on different tables as fall decor!

Explore more of our #PEMfromHome Drop-in Art Activity video tutorials on our youtube channel.

Show Us!

We want to see your leaf ornaments. Share your photos online using #PEMpod or #peabodyessex.