Get Inspired Table of Contents
Get Inspired is a series consisting of 4 parts.
The fiery colors of the season are starting to fall from tree limbs—floating to rest on the earth beneath our soles. But even as the snow flurries start to fly, you don’t have to forget about the foliage.
Preserve autumn leaves to use them as bookmarks, stationary adornment or window hangings.
The classic way to preserve leaves and flowers is between the bound pages of a weighty book. Simply place fresh foliage to lay flat between two pieces of plain, loose-leaf paper. Press the leaves in place while you transfer the paper and leaves between the center pages of a book, and close the book to hold the leaves in place.
Stack up a few books on top of the leaf-pressing book to add more pressure to the leaves. The leaves should stay bound between the book and beneath its weight for at least a week. The leaves will dry flat, but be careful when you remove the fragile pressed leaves to be sure not they do not bend or crack.
Dry leaves to prepare them to be preserved in wax paper. Use a paper towel on one side of each leaf, and pass an iron over the leaf-covered paper towel using medium heat. Slide over the paper towel with the iron for about five minutes, and then repeat on the opposite side of each leaf with a fresh paper towel.
Place dried leaves between two pieces of waxed paper, with the waxy side pressing against the leaves. Use an towel over the waxed paper to protect it from the iron as you pass over the wax paper and leaves with the iron until the wax has sealed the leaves in place. Cut around the waxed paper leaves as you desire—either close to the leaf edges or leaving a border around them.
Melt candlemaking wax in a disposable aluminum drip pan over medium heat on a stovetop. Take extra precautions when handling hot wax, and keep it away from children.
Dip leaves into the melted wax by holding the stem of each leaf as you immerse it into the melted wax. Set each wax-coated leaf on wax paper and allow the wax to set on the leaves. Tie the waxed leafs together and hang them from a window, or place them all in a glass bowl or at the base of a candle for autumn decorations.