Handmade Holidays...

elizales
does anyone know
October 23, 2008 at 2:24 PM

of any ways to preserve leaves??    preferrably a homemade way.  i am wanting to do a craft preject with leave to send to my hubby overseas but i dont want the leaves ot get all crumbly but i want him  to see the beautiful colors of fall this year.....

Replies

  • IzzeT
    by IzzeT
    October 23, 2008 at 2:28 PM

    I've only heard of pressing leaves like you do flowers.

    Bump

  • twototsmom
    October 23, 2008 at 2:46 PM

    I found this on the net maybe it will help you. Good luck.

    There are numerous ways to preserve leaves. No matter which method you use, it is important to remove as much moisture from the leaves as quickly as possible.

    In the Microwave
    Start by laying the leaves between two paper towels. If possible, set your microwave's power setting to medium. Now run the microwave between 30 and 120 seconds, depending on the dryness of the leaves (less time for drier leaves, more for those with more moisture). This will remove the moisture from the leaves, allowing the colors to remain as they are.

    In a Book
    First, find a big book, and one that you are not too attached to (this method may discolor the pages). Place the leaves (don't overlap them) between paper towels or blotting paper (this will absorb the moisture from the leaves). Allow at least 20 pages between the leaves for best results. Keep the leaves in the book for about 7 days, replacing the paper towels on day 2. This should nicely dry the leaves and also keep them flat.

    Okay, they're dry, now what?
    Now that you have dry leaves, their are a few things you can do. You can either leave them as is or add a bit more protection. This can be accomplished by placing the leaf between two pieces of wax paper. Place a dish towel over the wax paper and press with an iron (on medium heat). Press on each side for approximately 3-4 minutes. Remove leaf from wax paper. You will notice a fine coating of wax which will preserve your leaves.

    You can also purchase a spray preservative at your local craft store. This will leave a glossy coating on the leaf. Important: This must be done in a very well ventilated area as the fumes are toxic. Children should not do this, please ask your parent or another adult.

  • teresamorris
    October 23, 2008 at 2:47 PM

    You might could use silica gel. You can get it at a craft supply store like hobby lobby.

  • kimebarnes
    October 23, 2008 at 2:48 PM

    my daughters preschool teacher was saying you could press between wax paper and the wax will keep them intack for a while,  i have not tried yet but we were talking in passing the other day because each day my daughter speends part of outside time hunting leaves and gets really upset when they dry out.  Seems like a while ago i saw someone dip flowers lightly in the wax you use for manicures parrifin as a way to save so maybe you could try candle wax i know they have at hobby lobby joanns etc

  • MNMom247365
    October 23, 2008 at 2:56 PM

    That is such a great idea... You can dry them and then dip them in parifin wax... They will keep well this way as well as keep most of their color. Just make sure not to store them in direct sunlight or else they will fade. Or you can put them between two pieces of wax paper and iron then paper together. My DD did this at daycare last year. The teacher had the kids grate crayons and then put a leaf in the center and then put the grated crayon around the outside, ironed them together and it made a beautiful stained glass effect. It was really pretty. To ship it I would get a new book or a coloring book your kids have filled with colored pictures for Daddy and put it in between the pages and then send it that way you know it won't get crushed. Good Luck :) 

  • elizales
    October 23, 2008 at 3:10 PM

    thank you so much for all the ideas.  i am going to have to try some of them and see which works best to use. 

  • mnwintercritter
    October 24, 2008 at 8:22 AM

    At my son's YMCA fall camp they has to bring a leaf with them that was dry and flat but not completely dried out. They put the leaves between two pieces of wax paper with crayon shavings and ironed the wax paper. They used construction paper to put a border on it. I was thinking of getting some laminate, leaves, crayon shaving and a picture of my son and try it though my laminator to see how it comes out.

    They stressed the leaves can't be too dried out yet because they still need to be flexable enough when the iron goes over it; But you know I think even if you tried it completely and the leaf shattered in the laminate it would still look fantastic with the crayon shavings springled in and melted on it.

  • keargo806
    August 27, 2009 at 3:36 PM

    my aunt use to put them between wax paper, and then place them under a door matt. she did this with leves and flowers.

  • Bizmom
    by Bizmom
    November 17, 2009 at 7:30 PM

    I myself use the phone book, using paper towels in between the leaves of flowers, leaves, put in between the pages and leave for a few days. remember to check every now and then. I put on the phone book cover"Leave&Petal keeper" and this helps keep everyone out of the phone book and not to throw it away. I usually have 2-3 of these. but it helps and works great.

                                                                                                      Bizmom 

  • crymsun
    by crymsun
    November 18, 2009 at 10:55 AM

    I have used the powder detergent method of drying them out.  You just put them in it and it dehydrates them leaving them their proper shape.  If you press them flat however, a good way to seal them and reinforce them is to put them between two pieces of clear contact paper. 

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