Instead of preserving nature by pressing or drying leaves, you can instead use them to make an imprint in one of my favorite craft supplies: air dry clay.
Go on a nature walk with the kids and find leaves that have very pronounced veins—the more distinct the veins, the better the finished product. Roll out the air dry clay until it’s about 1/4″ thick, then use a rolling pin to press the leaves down into the clay. Peal away the leaves and use a toothpick to “cut out” the leaf. Gently rest the clay leaf inside a bowl, creating a bend, and let them dry completely (at least 24 hours). I made a very watery acrylic paint mixture to add a translucent coating to the leaves, but you can choose whatever paint finish you like. The one thing to keep in mind: if you are using water with your paint, you have to paint your strokes fast and few…when air-dry clay gets wet, guess what it does? It wants to return to malleable clay, so you have 2, maybe 3 strokes to get it fully covered.
Check out the full post that I did for Camp.com for more details!