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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Preserving Leaves

Did you know that you can preserve beautiful autumn leaves using a glycerin and water solution? This mixture will preserve leaves while leaving them flexible so that you can use them in a number of different crafts. This preserving method works best because the natural moisture inside the leaves is replaced by the glycerin solution, which preserves the leaf’s form and texture.

Finding the leaves was easy. On a recent Sunday afternoon, Olivia and I went on a “leaf hunt” in our neighborhood. We collected a variety of beautiful leaves in golden yellow, fiery red, bright orange, and deep plum.

Finding the glycerin to preserve the leaves was not so easy. First, I tried Walgreens. The pharmacist was very friendly and tried to find some for me. She told me that she could order some, but it would come in a gallon jug, which I did not want. I then went to Michael’s craft store. I thought since they carry soap-making supplies they would have glycerin, but they did not. My third and final attempt was at my local health food store. They also did not carry it. I went on the internet and ordered liquid glycerin from a soap-making supply website http://www.brambleberry.com/.

I would recommend using Bramble Berry if you are unable to find glycerin locally. My order was shipped quickly and they even sent me a free sample of an essential oil. How cool is that? I looooove free stuff.

Here are the directions on how to preserve leaves using a water and glycerin solution:

1. Find two pans (they do not have to be glass) that nest together.

2. In a bowl, mix a solution of 1 part glycerin to 2 parts water.

3. Place your leaves into the larger of the two pans and then cover with the solution.

4. Place the smaller pan or dish on top of the leaves to keep them well submerged. It also means you can use less solution. It is hard to see in this picture, but the smaller glass pan is placed on top of the larger one containing the leaves and water/glycerin solution.

5. Start checking the leaves after about 2-3 days. The leaves should be soft and pliable. If they still feel like dry leaves, leave them in the solution for another 2-3 days.

6. When they are supple, remove them from the solution and blot them dry.

Linking up to http://meandmybucket.blogspot.com/

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