Nov 22, 2011

Laminated Autumn leaf magnets


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!

19 comments:

Michelle said...

That's a really neat idea! I wonder if we've got any pretty leaves left outside.

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Excellent solution to the autumn leaf problem... I really like it.

Blossomnbird said...

Love this idea...what fun...and your fridge now looks gorgeous!

katie said...

I have laminated leaves into a placemat before, and that was a bit tricky since the then-three-year-old did the layout and thus it was pretty bumpy. We saw them lose color within a month or so - but we had a fair amount of air in there.

Shoes said...

What a great idea! And they do make your fridge look lovely, by the way. :-)

Maria said...

Hello! I from Russia! Very much I love your blog. Whence at you so much remarkable creative ideas?

Jessica Sellers said...

Thanks for the idea! We just tried it with contact paper and my 4 yo had lots of fun with it.

Hemulen said...

I've used glycerin (glycerol?) to preserve leaves before, to good effect. It still leaves (hah!) you with the problem of having the leaf torn into small pieces (I guess you could always mount it on cardboard or something?). Anyway - I liked your laminate idea - will be interested to know about the shelf-life of the leaf colour!

3GoatMom said...

What a wonderful idea - the Fridge here could really use some color!

Tara @ The Butter Dish said...

LOVE this idea!!! I can't wait to finish my comment and pin these to my Craft Board on Pinterest!! SO SWEET!

umm Khadeeja said...

genious idea! love it! thanks for sharing! Will deffo try this with my little ones! x

Gra┼╝ka said...

great idea!

Anonymous said...

As a kid we used to have mom iron them between two pieces of waxed paper and then cut them out.

Bethany said...

What a great idea! We just used the ones we pressed in our nature notebooks. I'm going to add your great idea to our list of things to do next fall!

Mama said...

I love this idea! My 2yr old son will enjoy collecting the leaves and I love my laminator so much- I'll get a kick out of laminating them. Thank you. Now to find some magnets to tape to the back... hmm... xoxo from the Netherlands

Anonymous said...

I've been laminating leaves for years now--and I'm SO glad I did. I moved 7 years ago to California from the East Coast. I brought my laminated leaves and they still look great. I use them as coasters and book marks. They are a great, affordable way to preserve the beauty of the Fall.

Shoes said...

I have enjoyed popping in and checking out the new, fun crafts you do. Just wanted to let you know I have presented you with The Liebster Award - you can read more about it on my blog. Have a great day and as always I look forward to your next crafty post!

Tyree said...

I used leaves and clear tape to decorate paper and envelopes to make my own one of a kind stationary in college. Years later my roommate sent me a letter from one of hers and it looked good. So clear packing tape and leaves worked good laminating should as well.

Craft and Fun said...

Thanks for sharing!