Leaves will be turning in NW Pa in the next few weeks and across many of the other states. Fall is both a beautiful time and a great time to use those leaves for the garden, yard and crafting uses.
Leaves can make a wonderful addition to many craft projects and artwork. Colorful fall leaves are a great addition to projects, but green leaves also have many crafting uses.
One of the most popular ways that leaves are used is by drying them to use at a later date. Drying leaves is fun project for children and adults. It’s also a great way to enjoy nature and the outdoors.
There are many ways to preserve and dry leaves but the two most popular methods are drying leaves by placing them in a book or, if you’re in a hurry, drying them in the microwave.
The most important step in drying leaving is collecting them. Choose leaves that have bright colors and good shapes. I also look for healthy leaves, not leaves that are ragged or chewed by insects. You will also to gather a variety of colors, sizes and shapes. You can pick the leaves off a tree or the ground, but make sure to choose leaves that aren’t damaged.
Store the leaves in a bag or cardboard box until you arrive home. Then blot the leaves dry with a paper towel if they’re wet from the rain or need cleaned.
Place one large leaf (such as a maple or oak leaf) or a few small leaves (such as birch leaves) on a dry paper towel. Cover the leaves with another paper towel.
To press the leaves, place the leaves between two paper towels or sheets of paper. Place the leaves inside a heavy book, then close the book and place another heavy book or weight on top. Check the leaves every week until they’re dry, changing the paper towels if necessary.
Hint: If you want to dry several different types or sizes of leaves, it’s best to dry each size or variety separately, since some types of leaves will take longer to dry than others.
To dry the leaves quickly, microwave the leaves for 30 seconds, using a medium or low power. Try one or two leaves a watch the drying process to determine the time you microwave needs for this project.
Glycerin and wax are also two ways that many people use to dry leaves.
Dried leaves may be used in pictures, on gourds, as table décor and many other ways.
And the most important part of drying leaves is enjoying nature and the beautiful scenery. It also makes a great family activity that will be remembered for years.
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