Make a Leaf Collection

As the autumn season starts, a leaf collection is a fun way to get outside and engage with the beautiful color transformation of fall foliage. Making a leaf collection can be broken into two activities:
1. The walk to collect the leaves and preserve them,
2. The art project of collection assembly for display.

For a person in the early stages, it may be interesting to search for specific leaves by the scientific or common name and label them when creating the display. For those in the middle stages, looking for a variety of shapes and colors would be a good way to tailor the project.

You can use these guides to determine what leaves you are collecting.
Simple tree guide: http://www.outdoor-michigan.com/Trees.htm
Thorough science guide: http://www.oakgov.com/msu/Documents/publications/e2332_id_trees.pdf

What you will need to press leaves and create a display:
Wax paper
Heavy books or iron
Art supplies for displaying leaves (construction paper, notebook, greeting cards, poster,etc)
Acid free tape or glue

Once you have collected the leaves you will need to press them to preserve them.
1. Cut wax paper big enough for leaves to lay flat
2. Cover leaves with another layer of wax paper
3. Stack heavy books on top of leaf in wax paper
4. It may take several days for a leaf to dry out.

Or, click here for faster leaf preservation instructions.

After preserving the leaves, you can use acid-free tape to secure them to your chosen display medium (construction paper, poster, notebook, greeting cards, etc). Now you have a beautiful piece of art or a scientific plant book and got a little exercise and fresh air.

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