Always eager to learn something new, as well as finding easier and (maybe) better ways of doing things, I have begun to explore different methods of preserving leaves for my leaf art.
After a long and arduous search for glycerin, that I finally found in tiny bottles in the cake decorating section of a craft store, I followed directions I found online to preserve some green leaves from my yard. The result is a remarkably soft and pliable leaf that is an ugly brown. So, scratch that.
After researching silica gel, I thought this may be an interesting way to preserve my leaves. I purchased a jug of it and closely read the included instructions. There are a number of warnings on the packaging about bodily contact with the stuff. Eeewww! I poured some silica into a plastic shoe box and carefully placed a few leaves on top. I slowly poured enough silica gel to cover each leaf. After about two days, the leaves are still a beautiful green and very dry. I plan to spray with acrylic sealant to further preserve both the color and the integrity of each leaf. I think this may work.
I also read in my favorite magazine, Birds and Blooms, about leaf prints in concrete stepping stones. I’ve made several homemade stepping stones over the years with my son’s handprint pressed into them and gave as gifts to grandparents. I love the idea of making leaf impressions in the stones. It’s on my list of things to try. These would make ideal gifts for the gardener in the family.
My husband purchased the concrete mix for me yesterday and today I’m going to visit a local thrift store to see if they have any interesting containers I can use for my stepping stones.
Stay tuned for my next post on how the stepping stones turn out!