Nov 22, 2011
There are a couple of ways of preserving fall leaves that I keep seeing popping up on the blogs this time of year. One is painting them with Mod Podge, like Jean does with her daughter over at The Artful Parent, the other is dipping the leaves in wax of some kind (soy/beeswax etc) like here on Autumn Comfort Candles. I was wondering about doing one of these options with the girls, but I was chatting with my oldest daughter's teacher a couple of days ago and she suggested laminating autumn leaves and I started thinking this might make a more useable item for the kids rather than a purely decorative one.
Obviously sealing leaves inside plastic isn't going to give results as natural looking or eco-freindly as the other preservation methods, but I hope that these will last through a good few years of play. My kids would turn leaves made in the other methods into fall coloured dust in no time at all. The other thing about this approach that suits us is that our fridge-freezer is ancient and ugly as sin. Our landlord obviously looked at it's rusty ass and said to himself "no-one's going to want this in their kitchen, but it still works, so I'm not getting rid of it". His unconventional solution was to paint it with the same paint that he used to paint the walls.The result scores a negative eight on the Marthastewartometer. We need pretty things to cover this lumpy magnolia matt emulsion and rust speckled monolith with! Fall leaf magnets to the rescue!
We pressed our leaves in a book for a couple of days, then sent them through the little laminator we have and then cut them out and taped a bit of flexible magnet to the back. You can buy rolls of magnetic tape from craft stores, but we just cut up free magnets that businesses hand out like the Round Table pizza ones that come through the door with tear off coupons attached.
They work like a charm and the kids have been sorting them and making patterns with them. We deliberately walked home along a different road from school this afternoon to see if we could find some yellow leaves to add. Have any of you laminated leaves before? I'm wondering how long I can expect the colours to last before we get photodegredation. They aren't in direct sunlight where they are, so I guess that helps. We'll have to press some flowers in the spring to do this with too!
Labels: at the kitchen table