|Preserving Fall Leaves
Fall is a wonderful time for a walk and we all see leaves that we wish we could keep forever, now we can by one of the methods below. Choose beautiful fall leaves for their shape and color and avoid leaves with imperfections. It is better to pick leaves or branches from the trees directly- the ones on the ground are already dry. Each method has it merit and all are very simple - so take the time for that fall walk and find some leaves to decorate with !
Pressing a Leaf in a Book
This is probably the easiest method if you are just wanting to do a couple of leaves. Take an old thick book and place the leaf between the pages making sure it is completely flat- it will take a few days to dry but will last for many weeks and retain its wonderful color.
Pressing Leaves in Wax Paper
Place the leaf between two layers of walk paper and cover with an old towel or cloth rag. Press the fabric with a warm iron sealing the wax paper with the leaf between. Let cool and carefully cut out your leaves.
Choose the freshest leaves with the brightest colors do not use fallen leaves. Place leaf on two sheets of paper towel in the microwave and cover with another sheet of paper towel. Run the microwave for 30-180 seconds - check often and be careful you can start a fire. If the leaves curl up after removal they are not dry enough, if they are scorched you have left them for too long. Let the leaves dry flat for a couple of days then spray with a sealant
This is my personal favorite method and I have found it works the best.
To preserve the leaves on the branch set the branch stems in a bucket of warm water for about 1 1/2 hours. Mix 2 parts water and 1 part glycerin in a saucepan, bring to a boil for 1o minute and set aside to cool. Cut stems of branches at an angle and smash so that they can absorb more glycerin solution. Place the stems in the glycerin solution and store in cool place. When you see beads of glycerin on the leaves remove and wipe each leaf with a clean paper towel. Hang to dry .
To preserve individual leaves.Remove any debris from the leaves. Bring a mixture of 1 part glycerin and 2 parts water in a saucepan to a boil. Pour the mixture into a heat proof container and submerge the leaves. Keep in a dark cool place until the leaves change color. Remove the leaves and dry with a paper towel.
All of the above methods work. The leaves I have preserved with glycerin have lasted several years. If I just want to bring in some branches and place in vase I just add 1/2 teaspoon of glycerin to the water and change weekly. Glycerin can be found an any drug store.
Labels: crafting, crafts, fall, fall crafting, leaves, preserving leaves