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Food Arts And Crafts: Herb Pressing - How to Press Herbs

Herb pressing is a craft that engages all the senses and introduces you to the aromatic world of herbs. Learn to identify different herbs by sight and smell, enhance sensory skills and grow your botanical knowledge.

Herb pressing is a hands-on learning experience where you can work on skills for identifying herbs by sight, getting familiar with the differences in aromas and flavors, feeling the different textures and parts of the leaves and stems, and listening to the sounds as they’re pressed or snapped.

Preserve the herbs in a scrapbook or art piece to enjoy time and time again. Let’s dive into the supplies you’ll need and steps to guide you through the process.

Herbs arranged on paper for herb pressing. Food arts and crafts activity for kids and adults.

Herb Pressing Supplies

  • Blotting paper or printing paper or other absorbent paper

  • Paper towels or other absorbent towel

  • Scissors

  • Heavy books or a flower press

  • Cardboard or other stiff board

  • Herbs such as mint, sage, thyme, basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, oregano, thyme, chives, etc.

  • Other/Optional: glue, tweezers, heavy art paper, lamination supplies, scrapbook materials, pens/markers

Herb Pressing Steps

Step 1 - Gather Supplies

Gather your supplies and the herbs you want to press. Keep in mind that thicker herbs may contain excess moisture, which could result in mold growth so choose thinner pieces and varieties.

Step 2 - Prepare Herbs

Collect your herbs and gently rinse with cold water to remove any insects, dirt or debris. Gently pat the herbs dry with a towel to remove excess moisture from rinsing.

Step 3 - Arrange Herbs

Next, lay out a sheet of paper on your work surface. If you plan to move the herbs from your work surface to store somewhere else for drying, you may want to lay down a stiff board or book so you can move them after arranging.

Lay your herbs on the sheet of paper in a single layer. Once you have them spread out, lay another sheet of paper on top of the herbs and make sure they’re all covered.

Step 4 - Press and Dry Herbs

Place a heavy book or several smaller books on top of your paper-herb-paper stack. Leave the herbs for several days and allow them to dry. Drying time will vary depending on your climate, herb varieties, and quantity of herbs.

Check the herbs periodically. Once they are dry, move on to the next step.

Step 5 - Herb Arts And Crafts

Once your herbs are dry, now it’s time to get crafty. Dried herbs can be used to create unique artwork, fun bookmarks, personalized greeting cards, or for educational displays.

A great starter project is gluing and arranging herbs into a decorative art piece. Another great activity is gluing individual herbs on a page and labeling it as an educational exercise.

Download our Learn Your Herbs worksheet, great for homeschooling, school break crafts, or classroom learning. Print on heavier card stock to hold up to gluing.

Tag us on Instagram (@the.kerrminator) with your herb pressing crafts!


About the Author

Sara Kerr, RDN, LD

Sara is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, artist, writer, and video editor. She holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Nutrition from Oregon State University. In 2021 she founded The Kerrminator LLC, which specializes in creative services including video editing, graphic design, and content creation.


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