Monday, November 28, 2011

Preserving Leaves And A Great Way To Display Them

I just love the look of changing leaves. They are just breath taking. Something about their extraordinary colors. The crispness of the air that time of year. Everything. I just love them. A few years ago I created one of these on a whim for my mother in law when we went for Thanksgiving. Ever since then I've been wanting one for myself. So this year. I tackled the project again, and made a tutorial this time to share with you!


The first thing you need to do is get yourself some leaves. Then dry them. Easy enough, right? Well, not exactly. You need to do it right. Or you'll end up with crinkly, crunchy, moldy, brown, not colorful leaves. So grab yourself a phone book.


Open up the pages and lay your leaves flat in between the pages. You don't want any of your leaves touching. Then turn about ten more pages and add more leaves, repeat until all your leaves are in the book!


You don't want to stack your leaves like this.

And then place underneath a phone book altogether. They will end up brown and moldy.


And you don't want to lay them all flat on the table and let them dry, or they will crinkle up and be crunchy.


It may take a few minutes longer, but it's really the best way. Open up that phone book.


Place the leaves inside so they are NOT touching.


Shut it. And wait a week. Until the leaves are nice and dried out.


Grab yourself a frame. I like to use a 8X10. It's the perfect size for an ordinary leaf. It leaves enough white space to catch your eye but not too much to lose you.


Take the back out of your frame.


On this particular one the picture is glued to the back. If the one you use isn't remove the picture.


Then grab your leaves. Grab yourself a sharp pair of scissors. Cut down either side of the vein of the leaf. I make mine about 1/2 inch wide. Take your most favorite leaf that you want to use for the center and set it aside carefully.


Repeat with all the leaves.


Then cut the stem off straight across.


Start on one edge of the frame back and using your hot glue glue one leaf onto the edge of the frame going inward. Then add another right next to it. I add two strips of hot glue to the back of my leaf and carefully press down.


Slowly add more and more to the side lining them up right next to each other. It looks best if you try to vary the colors, rather than placing the same shades right next to each other. Don't use a pattern, just do it randomly for the best look.


Continue until you reach one end of the back completely. And on the other end you have about 1.5 inch to 2 inches left.


On the corner that is left turn the leaf facing outward and glue it on leaving the top hanging over the edge and the straight edge right against the other leaves side edge.


It will look just like this.


Then you can trim off the tip of the leaf even with the back board.


Keep grabbing a leaf and repeating until you have 1.5 to 2 inches left on this row.


Then grab another leaf and start 1.5 to 2 inches from the edge of the board where the leaves tips are facing inward and start a row with the tip facing inward again.


Repeat going all the way to the edge of the board.


Then placing the tips of the leaves outward again on the remaining row.


Then cut a piece of white card stock so it fits nicely in the rectangle of leaves. Hot glue it in the corners and put it in place.


Then take your most favorite leaf that you set aside and carefully hot glue the edges and lay it on the card stock.


Then in the bottom corner write either where you collected the leaves or what type of tree they are from and the year you collected them.


Put the back back in the frame. Very carefully.


And there you have it. A beautiful leaf display for your home! It just screams fall and brings it inside your home to enjoy!




This would be a great gift for your thanksgiving host, or just as a fun neighbor gift as well! Let me know if you give it a try!!! And just a reminder. Your leaf colors may lose a little of their brilliance as the years go on, but it will maintain it's fall beauty. They colors just may fade slightly... after all they are dried leaves.


And hey, Have you entered my $50 gift card giveaway courtesy of Blogher? No. Why not? Head on over there and enter...


3 comments:

  1. Beautiful!!!! You are so artistic :) I love this idea! Congratulations on your pregnancy BTW :) I am behind on checking my blogs again, so not sure when you announced it but i'm excited for you guys! Boys are pretty sweet! God just knew you could raise his little army :) Congrats!

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