Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Preserving Colorful Fall Leaves Using Mod-Podge

This is a two-part post, with the first part linked here, in case you missed it.  Now, we'll pick up where I left off yesterday...

I took some branches inside and put them in a pitcher of water...The leaves seemed to be rapidly wilting, and I didn't know if the water would help or not, but I decided to try it.   After a few hours, it was obvious that it did no good at all, so don't waste your time with this step. Just work fast!

They were so pretty for a couple of hours...

I picked leaves for the first batch to preserve and laid them out on the table that had been protected with long sheets of waxed paper.  I used the waxed paper so that the leaves wouldn't permanently stick as the Mod-Podge dried.  It seemed to work pretty well, but you do have to sort of peel them away very carefully once they dry.

Applying Mod-Podge...

I put just enough to make sure they were well coated.  Then I waited an hour or so for it to dry...

I lifted them carefully, flipped them over, and repeated the Mod-Podge process on the other side.  I noticed that some of the leaves had curled while the first side was drying- not a problem (yet), just an observation.  

After another hour or so, the first batch was dry and ready to move to the side so that I could work on the next batch.  

Second batch...

I was very happy with the results when I put them aside at the end of the day.  But, some of them were not yet finished drying and curling, so the next morning, a few looked like this:

I liked them better yesterday, but I'll still use them...I just hope they don't curl and evolve anymore.  The colors and texture seemed to change a little, too.  

Note added a couple of days after this post-  The leaves are continuing to curl and turn almost brown...I went searching for info online and found this site...link here.  They did an extra step, ironing leaves between sheets of waxed paper, before they did the Mod-Podge.  I think I'll try this next time.

Overall, I'm pleased (not as much now a few days later) with the results.  It was a fun, easy and inexpensive project.  

This would be a great project for older children to do Thanksgiving morning....wouldn't it be a fun family tradition to start?  

Here are some ways to use your preserved leaves...

Tucked underneath a candle-

Used like a paper doily, under a small dish, with or without a plate under the leaf-

On the biscuit paddle, under a pumpkin-

Layered in a place setting, under a glass plate-

The possibilities are endless.  If you try this project, I would love to hear from you and see how you used them.

Now, that was an awful lot of fall leaves the last couple of days!  I promise, that's it...I'm going to start some Christmas projects soon and I'll be sharing my antics as I play in glitter.  

As always, thanks for dropping by!


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  1. I've often wondered how to preserve leaves for decorating. Now I know! Thanks for sharing. P.S. It was great putting a face with a name today! Hugs....

    1. Kim, this is a great technique for preserving them for just a couple of days. As I learned, they tend to turn darker after the second or third day...still better than brown, crunchy leaves, though!
      Can't wait to meet next month! I'm looking forward to fun times with my new blogger friends.

  2. I think they are pretty even if they don't last a long time. Great idea for a special event or something.

    1. Thank you, Stacey. They are really pretty for a couple of days, and much better than fake leaves would be for an event! I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.