4 Ways to Prepare Leaves for Fall Crafts

making a mason jar with leaves
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Fall is the perfect time for crafting with leaves. However, some crafts need the leaves to be prepared in a particular way so that they’ll last for a long time. If you want to preserve the beauty of autumn, here are some perfect ways to get your leaves ready for crafting.

Pressing

Pressing is a popular way to get leaves ready for crafts and to preserve them. While pressing can sometimes make leaves more brittle, it is also a great way to flatten a leaf into something that is easier for certain crafts. You can dip the leaves in fabric softener or coat the leaf with petroleum jelly before pressing to make the pressed leaves more supple.

You can use a floral press or a heavy book to press the leaves. If you use a book, put the leaves between newspaper or waxed paper to protect the pages. You’ll need to put the book under several additional heavy books. You can also use objects like rocks or weights to help press the leaves. Leave the leaves under the books for one or two weeks.

Wax

Beeswax is a great way to preserve leaves to last. Melt a block of beeswax into a pot. Holding by the stems, dip each leaf into the wax until it is coated. Be careful not to touch the wax with your fingers. Lift up the leaf and let the excess wax drip back into the pot. Put the leaves on wax paper until they have hardened and feel dry to the touch.

Glitter

Leaves can look magnificent coated in glitter. Brush or dip the leaf into glue, or use a squirt glue to add a pattern to the leaf. Coat the leaf in your favorite color of glitter. It’s a more eco-friendly choice to use biodegradable glitter, which you can find at most craft stores.

Paint

Paint is another easy way to decorate a leaf for craft use. You can paint small designs on with a paintbrush or dip the entire leaf into the paint. For a really stunning effect, try dipping a leaf at an angle in a metallic copper or gold paint.

Once you’ve preserved the leaves in some way, you can use them in wreaths, bookmarks, glued onto mason jars, put on brown lunch bags, or any number of other crafts. We also love the look of preserved leaves as a standalone decoration.

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