Every fall I have the same thoughts: I wish I could hang on to some of these beautiful leaves! My yard is always full of gorgeous, vibrant leaves in the fall and I always wish I could preserve them. This fall, you can do just that with easy methods for preserving leaves to use for fall crafts and decorations.
For all of these preservation methods, the best leaves to use are those that have changed colors and have not yet fallen from the trees or have just fallen. They should still be fresh, soft and pliable for the best results.
Preserve Fall Leaves With Glycerin Solution
Mix up a solution of two parts water and one part glycerin in a jar, bowl or a flat, shallow pan. Soak the leaves in this solution then allow them to sit. The leaves will draw up the glycerin and water solution and be preserved. Remove the leaves, pat with a cloth and hang them to dry.
Preserve Fall Leaves With Waxed Paper
Another simple method of preserving those colorful fall leaves is by pressing them between sheets of wax paper. Place a towel on top of the wax paper and use an iron set on warm to press the leaves. The wax paper will melt a little and laminate and seal the leaves. Continue moving the iron to keep from scorching anything. Once the leaves in the wax paper have cooled, trim around them with scissors and use them for crafts and decorations.
Preserve Fall Leaves in a Book
Choose a large, thick and heavy book for this method. Place each leaf between two sheets of paper towel then place inside the book. Close the book and let it sit for a week or two. Remove the leaves then coat with craft spray or clear spray paint to seal and preserve them.
Preserve Fall Leaves With Your Microwave
You can dry leaves for preservation in your microwave. The microwave will dry out the leaves and you can then coat them with clear spray paint.
For this method of crying and preserving leaves, choose fresh and colorful leaves that have just fallen and are still soft or have just been taken from the tree. Place the leave on top of two paper towels then cover with a single paper towel in the microwave. Turn on the microwave for short bursts of 15-30 seconds. Keep a close eye on the leaves so they don’t scorch and they don’t catch fire if heated too long. Leaves that curl are still not dry enough.
After drying the leaves in the microwave, allow them to sit for a day or two then spray them thoroughly with a clear acrylic craft paint or clear spray paint to preserve them.