It felt as if Fall just breezed by this year. Although there are still a few trees filled with warm colors like reds and golden yellows, for the most part the leaves here in Chicago blew off trees in a fit of wind over a few short days. Then they were dusted in our first snow of the year as they decorated the ground. Already! In the beginning of November! So I had to take advantage of what little time might be left of fall and preserve the gorgeous leaves for our family to enjoy throughout the bitter cold winter months. I also wanted to use them for a Thanksgiving decoration in my home. After I preserved the leaves I filled this square, glass container!
I ran out to look for some fall leaves that had great colors. There were patches of show and patches that had melted in the sun. Gorgeous colors!!
Once you have gathered your leaves follow these steps to preserve them to enjoy for the winter months ahead. Or, at least for some festive Fall decor for Thanksgiving!
STEP 1 : Lay the leaves in sheets of newspaper to dry. I didn’t need the leaves to be pressed flat so I just left them to dry for 1 day without weight.
STEP 2: Lay out Wax Paper to coat the leaves with Modge Podge using a small paintbrush.
You can lay the leaves out and brush each one, but I suggest that you cut quite a few sheets of wax paper so you can change them often and brush the leaves one at a time. Once coated move them to a larger sheet of wax paper to dry. I think that this method works best because there is less chance of the delicate leaves getting stuck to the paper and tearing when they are dry.
TIP: use a finger to hold the leaf in place by the stem. Start at the bottom of the leaf brushing up and out to spread the Modge Podge over the entire leaf.
STEP 3: Let the leaves dry (I let them dry for about an hour) then flip them over (carefully so that you don’t tear the leaves if they are stuck) and coat the back sides too. Let those dry as well and you are DONE!
Now you can tie the stems with clear thread every couple of inches and hang it as a garland. You can put them in a frames with white paper behind them. You can put them into a glass jar like I did!