First of all, I've come to realize that the "academic" method of collecting, pressing and mounting botanical "specimens" is quite technical, and is based on rigid, botanical standards.
On the contrary, the techniques my daughter, Olivia, and I employ to press leaves and flowers are very easy and fun. It's a hobby - an enjoyable way to pass the time and learn about our natural environment!
When we go out specifically to collect leaves and flowers, we bring the press and the full stack of blotting paper - which can be used over and over. We choose a few nice leaves and flowers from a given tree and place them between the blotting paper sheets. We then put the 3/4" thick cherry block on top of the stack of blotting paper and place them into the press and apply pressure.
After a week, we take the dried, flattened leaves and flowers out of the press. We enjoy gluing our nicest ones to card stock, construction paper or the chipboard that we've included with the magnetic frames. We simply place a couple drops of white (Elmer's) glue on the back of the leaf or flower and flip it over onto the paper. Then, we use our fingers to clamp and smooth it out nicely.
We then slip the mounted leaf or flower in an acrylic frame and stick it on the fridge or any metal surface. Also, we like to write a note or two on the front or the back of the paper. These notes may include the common name, scientific name, shape description, date, location, or something personal; like, "my first Shantung Maple leaf found in Fort Collins!"
Also, Olivia frequently opts to turn her mounted leaves or flowers into birthday or friendship cards. Plus, we have made a few "Leaf Memory" games as well. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions because I love talking leaves (and baseball.) You may also contact Olivia. She too loves talking leaves (and copper earrings that resemble leaves.)