How to Dry Leaves for Art

It’s easy to dry leaves for art projects! All you need is some time, patience and a few materials. Follow these steps and you’ll have beautiful, dried leaves to use in all kinds of art projects.

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Drying leaves for art is a fun and easy way to add natural elements to your artwork. By following a few simple steps, you can dry leaves quickly and effectively. The best way to dry leaves depends on the type of leaf and the project you are working on. In this guide, we will explore the different options for drying leaves so that you can choose the best method for your needs.

What You’ll Need

-Paper towels
-Airtight container
-Silica gel or desiccant packets

Drying leaves is a great way to preserve them for craft projects or for display. You can dry leaves using a few different methods, but one of the quickest and easiest ways is to use silica gel. This method will work for most types of leaves, but thicker leaves may take longer to dry.

1. Start by gently washing your leaves with cool water. This will help to remove any dirt or debris that could interfere with the drying process. Allow the leaves to air dry completely on a paper towel.

2. Once the leaves are dry, place them in an airtight container with a layer of silica gel or desiccant packets. You can find these packets at craft stores or online. Make sure that the packets completely cover the bottom of the container.

3. Place the lid on the container and leave it in a cool, dark place for 2-3 days, until the leaves are completely dried out. Once they are dry, you can remove them from the container and use them as you like!

Step One: Collect Your Leaves

The first step in drying leaves for art is to collect your leaves. You can find leaves anywhere, but for the best results, you should look for healthy leaves that are free of damage. Once you have collected your leaves, spread them out on a flat surface and allow them to air dry for 24 hours.

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After the leaves have air dried, you will need to press them. To press leaves, place them between two pieces of clean paper and then place a heavy book on top of the paper. Allow the leaves to press for 24 hours before removing them from the paper.

Once the leaves are pressed, they are ready to be used in your art project.

Step Two: Choose Your Method

There are several ways to dry leaves, and the method you choose will depend on the results you want to achieve. If you’re looking for crisp, fragile leaves that can be used for intricate projects, you’ll want to try one of the following methods:

Air-drying: This is the simplest and most common method for drying leaves. All you need is a flat surface (a table, countertop, etc.) and a way to keep the leaves from blowing away (weights, a book, etc.). Place your leaves on the surface, making sure they don’t overlap, and then cover them with another piece of paper or fabric. Leave them in a dry place out of direct sunlight for 1-2 weeks, or until they’re completely dry.

Ironing: This method is best for leaves that are thick or have a lot of moisture. Begin by placing a piece of wax paper or parchment paper on an ironing board. Place your leaves on top of the paper, making sure they don’t overlap. Cover the leaves with another piece of wax paper or parchment paper. Turn your iron on the lowest setting and gently press down on the top layer of paper. Continue until all of the moisture has been absorbed by the paper. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, depending on how moist your leaves are.

Microwaving: This is one of the quickest methods for drying leaves, but it’s also one of the most likely to result in damaged leaves. To dry your leaves using this method, begin by placing them between two pieces of parchment paper. Put them in the microwave and set it to low power for 30 seconds at a time. Check your leaves after each interval and remove them from the microwave as soon as they’re dry to avoid damaging them.

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Step Three: Prep Your Leaves

Now that you have your leaves, it’s time to prep them for drying. You’ll need to remove any dirt or debris, as well as any stems or stalks. A soft, dry cloth can be used to gently wipe away any dirt. If your leaves are particularly delicate, you may want to use a soft brush instead.

Once your leaves are clean, it’s time to decide how you want to dry them. There are a few different methods you can use, and the best one for you will depend on the type of leaf you’re working with and the end result you’re hoping to achieve.

Step Four: Dry Your Leaves

Once you have your leaves all collected, it’s time to dry them out. You can do this by laying them out on a flat surface in a single layer, or by hanging them up to dry. If you choose to hang them, make sure they have plenty of space between each leaf so that air can circulate and they don’t touch each other.

Leave them to dry for a few days or until they are completely crisp. Once they are dry, you can store them in an airtight container or a zip-top bag until you are ready to use them.

Step Five: Store Your Leaves

After your leaves have dried, it’s time to store them. Place them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. You can also place them in a zip-top bag and freeze them for up to six months.

Tips and Tricks

Now that you’ve collected all of your leaves, it’s time to prep them for their starring roles in your fall art projects! Follow the step-by-step instructions below to ensure that your leaves are properly dried and preserved.

1. Start by spreading out a single layer of leaves on a clean, dry surface. If you have collected a lot of leaves, you may need to work in batches.

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2. Once all of the leaves are flat, use a hairdryer set on low to lightly blow air over them for about 30 seconds each. Alternatively, you can set the hairdryer on high and hold it about 6 inches away from the leaves, moving it around so that all of the leaves are evenly dried.

3. Once the leaves are dry to the touch, remove any stems or other debris that may be clinging to them.

4. Finally, store your dried leaves in a sealed container or bag until you’re ready to use them.


Drying leaves for art is a popular way to preserve the natural beauty of leaves. Here are some frequently asked questions about drying leaves for art:

How do I dry leaves for art?
The best way to dry leaves for art is to use a dehydrator. dehydrators are designed to remove moisture from food, and they work by circulating warm air over the leaves. You can also dry leaves in a conventional oven, but it will take longer and the results may not be as good.

How long does it take to dry leaves for art?
It depends on the size and thickness of the leaves, as well as the temperature and humidity of your drying environment. In general, it will take several hours to dry leaves in a dehydrator, and longer if you are using an oven.

Can I use any type of leaf for drying?
Yes, you can use any type of leaf for drying. However, some types of leaves may be more difficult to dry than others. If you are having difficulty drying a particular type of leaf, you may want to try soaking it in water for a few minutes before dehydrating it. This will help to soften the leaf and make it easier to dried.


To ensure that your leaves are completely dry and ready for art, it is best to allow them to air dry for at least 24 hours. You can then place them in a cool, dry place until you are ready to use them.

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