Premier PT Nov./Dec. 2017

Incredible-Looking Leaf Crafts The Secret to

It’s fall, and your Pinterest boards are full of fall crafts. You find yourself daydreaming about candles glowing in leaf-adorned jars, leafy wreaths on the front door, and a garland of leaves lending a touch of whimsy to the dining room. Colorful fall leaves are the secret to a home that’s perfectly decorated for the season, but how do experienced crafters find leaves that last? If you just grab a handful from your backyard, in a few weeks, your painstaking project has dried up and you’re stuck vacuuming leaf bits out of your carpet. It’s time to step up your crafting game and learn the trick to preserving leaves for years to come. Before you go out hunting for the perfect leaves, grab a few newspapers. After you’ve gathered up all your favorite leaves, place them in a single layer on a newspaper page. When choseing your leaves, make sure they are still fresh and flat. Leaves that are already dried or curling cannot be preserved well enough to use as decorations. If your leaves are damp, gently dry them off before putting them on the newspaper. Make sure none of the leaves touch each other. Set a few more pages of newspaper on top and add enough weight to keep them flat. Heavy books are ideal for this. Move the newspaper somewhere it can sit undisturbed and leave your leaves alone for at least two weeks.

glue, sealer, and finish such as Mod Podge. This is a popular tool for decoupage projects, and it belongs in every craft closet. Once your leaves are dry, gently coat one side of each leaf in a layer of Mod Podge. Place your leaves on a sheet of wax paper and wait for them to dry. This should take less than an hour. When the Mod Podge is dry, turn the leaves over and coat the other side. Repeat with a second coat on each side. Mod Podge brings the bright colors back to your leaves and makes them more flexible. They’ll look like they just fell off the tree! These leaves will last for years, and you are free to craft to your heart’s content.

Just letting your leaves dry flat isn’t enough for decorations that last. The true secret to leaf preservation is an all-in-one

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