There are different reasons you may need to preserve your leaves. As you preserve them, you may need to keep them as close to their original color as possible. Using the traditional method of drying, the leaves can take off much of their original color.
To prevent them from losing their color, you will need to use other methods such as sealing the leaves with wax, removing the moisture with the use of borax, or replacing the moisture with glycerin.
If you seal the leaves with wax, it will take up a thick and shiny texture. Using borax will cause it to lose some of its colors, but when you use glycerin, the colors get preserved. This article will look at different ways to preserve your leaves.
Preserving your leaves with wax
Before preserving your leaf, you need to take out the moisture. You need to get two sheets of wax paper to do this. Get two sheets of clothes or pillowcases. Spread the first and place the first wax paper on it.
Arrange your leaves on the wax paper and cover them with the second wax paper. Then you cover it with the second sheet or pillowcase. Fix the iron to low heat and run it across the covered leaves for about five minutes.
This will help remove the moisture in the leaves. If you do this, you can preserve the natural color of the leaves, but the texture will change as the wax will dry on the leaves.
Another way of preserving the color of your leaves is to melt a tablespoon of wax for each leaf in a double boiler. You can use paraffin wax or beeswax and set it in the double boiler’s upper pot.
Heat for about 5 minutes until the wax melts. An alternative to a double boiler is using a non-stick pot to boil your water and placing a glass bowl on it.
You will then place your wax to melt in the glass bowl. Alternatively still, you can directly melt your wax in the pot.
Next, you set your work surface and spread a towel on it. Then, you bring down your melted wax and arrange your leaves on a sheet of wax paper. Set them next to the towel.
Using a pair of pliers, pick each leaf and submerge it into the wax quickly for just two seconds. If you need to flip over the other side to get it well coated, then do so. Let the wax drip from the leaf as you take it out of the bowl or pot.
Arrange the leaves on the wax paper and let them and let them air for some minutes. Make sure that you allow all the leaves to get dried. It will take about five minutes for the leaves to get dried. You can also immerse your leaves in glycerin to protect them.
Preserving Your Leaves with Borax
Measure one part of powdered borax with two parts of cornmeal. Put them in a glass bowl and stir very well. Use a measurement that will suffice for the number of leaves you have.
Make sure that you have enough of the mixture to cover the leaves. This borax mixture is good for bright-colored leaves and flowers.
It may, however, have a slight effect on green leaves, making them a little bit dull. When you use borax, you have to be very careful to avoid skin irritation.
Next, you spread a large cardboard box. Make sure that it can hold all of your leaves. Put some borax mixture on the cardboard box and spread them evenly.
Let it be up to 2 or 3 inches high. Place your leaves on the borax mixture. Set them one after another and make sure that they do not overlap. You can use pliers to set out each leaf neatly. After that, you spread a layer of the borax mixture on the leaves.
You can still spread another layer of leaves, setting them on the next layer and also covering them with the borax mixture. Make sure that the mixture covers the leaves completely. You can still add more layers if you wish. Make sure that no part of the leaves is left uncovered.
Keep the cardboard box well covered and set it aside to dry. It will take at least two weeks to get it well dried. After drying, you can gently take the leaves out using a ladle. The borax mixture will absorb the moisture in the leaves without affecting the color.
Preserving the Leaves by Glycerin Method
This glycerin method will keep your leaf color well preserved and also keep its texture well. Mix one part of glycerin to two parts of warm water. Add them together in a bowl and mix well. This glycerin method requires a lot of mixing.
The mixture will look cloudy at the beginning, but this will disappear as you keep mixing, and the solution will become very clear. Do not use the containers you use for food for this mixture because glycerin does not clean off so easily.
Then you cut off the stem of the leaves using garden shears. This is to allow the glycerin to seep into the leaves and replace the moisture. If you leave the stem of the leaves, they will not allow the deep penetration of the solution into the leaves.
Dip the leaves into the glycerin solution. Do not let them stay at the top of the solution. You may need to place some weight on them to get them down. Small pebbles will do. Keep the leaves immersed in the solution for at least 24 hours and away from sunlight. Keeping them for longer will improve the preservation.
After soaking your leaves for 24 hours or a few days, you can gently take out the leaves and dry them on a paper towel. Set another towel on the leaves, or you place them in between flat surfaces to keep them flat. Leave them this way for about three days.
The traditional method of preserving leaves can cause them to lose their color easily. However, using other preservation methods such as waxing or soaking with glycerin can cause the color to remain while the leave is being preserved. You can store the leaves in a cool and dry place until it is ready to be used. Thank you so much for time to read this article; and if you have questions about please leave your comment below, and I’ll be more than happy to write back to you.