As a child, you may remember collecting colorful autumn leaves, then placing them in a book to preserve your treasures. You can still collect and press beautiful leaves, even when you live in Florida! If you take a walk any time of year in our area, you will find there are many leaves to gather for fun, as well as interior decorating projects.
To create the place setting pictured below, simply press a few large leaves, then place them under a clear dinner plate. If you wish to preserve your leaves for a longer period of time, consider preserving them in wax paper.
This is a fun and easy project for the entire family:
With a basket in hand, collect your favorite leaves. Place a leaf between two pieces of wax paper. Use a towel to place over the wax paper. With a warm iron, press the towel to seal the wax together. Flip the leaf over, cover with the towel, and press the other side. It will take approximately 2 to 5 minutes of pressing on each side. If the leaf is moist, it may take longer.
After everything has cooled, cut the leaf out, leaving a bit of the wax paper around the leaf as edging.
Tips for Beautifully Preserved Leaves…
There are several ways to preserve and enjoy the beauty of nature. When searching for leaves, collect them in a variety of colors. Look for some that are attractive, without a lot of spots and bumps. Choose those that are somewhat flat and not curled.
Make sure your leaves are not wet; if they are, let them dry first in the sun to avoid green, fuzzy, mold from growing on them.
Locate a large book you will not need that has many pages for the leaf drying process. Drying leaves may ruin the pages, so it is important you choose a book that you are not planning on reading.
Enclose the leaves in two or three paper towels and place them in the book. Make sure the leaves are separated and not overlapping each other.
Allow 20 pages between each page that will be holding the leaves.
Change the towels after the third day and place the leaves in new paper towels.
Remove the leaves after one week of drying. Larger leaves, or ones that hold more moisture, may take longer.
You are now ready for your creative projects, which will showcase your preserved leaves!
Regardless of the method you use, taking walks, collecting beautiful leaves, and preserving nature is a wonderful family activity. It’s a fun way to create works of art, and can be a reminder of cherished times with your loved ones.
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