5 Ways to Preserve Fall Leaves


The leaves are changing, maybe a little earlier than usual? Want to preserve some of those vivid oranges and golds for the Thanksgiving table, or have an afternoon craft for the kids? Here are five ways to do it (adult supervision and/or involvement will be necessary).

1. Press them.

Press dry leaves between two pieces of newspaper and pile on some books. Leave them there for a few days. You’ll get nice flat leaves for crafty projects, though they eventually go brown and brittle.

2. Bathe them in glycerin.

Use one part glycerin to two parts water. Leaves stay supple and feel like real leaves. It takes three or more days to complete. Be sure to submerge the entire leaf.

3. Iron them in wax paper.

Take waxed paper, put some on either side of your leaf. Place on newspaper and old tea towels and iron. That layer is important to keep the wax off your iron and board.

4. Dip them in wax.

Melt down leftover white candle wax and dip your leaves, then hang to dry or place on parchment paper to dry.

5. Laminate them.

If you happen to have a laminator, make sure your leaves are dry (ideally press them for a few days), then feed them through the laminator. Alternatively, you can buy laminate paper and stick the leaf between two sheets. Then trim to paper to the leaf, leaving a little margin.

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