How to Preserve a Fall Leaf

How to Preserve a Fall Leaf. Do you remember pressing brilliant autumn leaves between wax paper when you were a kid? Now you can try it with your own children, or recapture a little of your childhood with this fun and easy craft. Here are a few different ways to preserve a fall leaf and preserve those memories.

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Wax-Paper Method

Go on a "leaf walk," and choose the best and the brightest leaves to preserve.

Place your fall leaves between two layers of wax paper.

Cover with an old towel.

Set your iron to a warm setting.

Iron the fabric to seal the wax paper. Keep the iron moving all the time so that you don't scorch the leaf.

Cut the leaves out, leaving a narrow edge of wax paper around the shape of the leaf to keep it sealed.

Microwave Method

Select the freshest, brightest leaves you can find, not fallen leaves that have already started to dry out.

Place one or more leaves on top of two paper towels in your microwave oven. Cover leaves with one paper towel.

Set your microwave's power to medium or low if you can adjust it.

Run the microwave for 30 to 180 seconds. The drier the leaf, the less time it will need.

Remove the leaf, and look at it. A leaf that curls is not dry enough, while a scorched leaf has been left in too long.

Dry the leaves an additional day or two.

Spray the leaves with a sealant such as acrylic craft spray.

Glycerin Method

Place a mixture of one part glycerin and two parts water in a flat pan.

Submerge the leaves completely in a single layer.

Add a weight to keep the leaves covered with the mix.

Check leaves after a few days. Within two to six days, the leaves should absorb the liquid and be soft and bendable.

Remove the leaves from the pan and wipe them off with a soft cloth.

Book Method

Dry out the leaves in a sunny window if the leaves are wet to the touch.

Find an old book that is of little value to you, as the leaf-drying process may ruin the pages.

Place dry leaves in the book with paper towels in front of and behind the leaf.

Place as many leaves as you desire in the book, but allow 15-20 pages in between.

Check the paper towels after the third day and change them.

Remove the leaves after about 7 days.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can make a festive fall place mat by ironing several leaves under two sheets of wax paper and then finishing the edges with pretty ribbon.
  • Be careful to watch the leaves while they are in the microwave. You could start a fire if you allow them to cook too long.
  • Parents should supervise their children if they are attempting any of the methods requiring heat to preserve leaves.
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