There are several ways to conserve leaves for arrangements and artwork, but most leave you with a horizontal, brittle leaf that loses the organic appearance and feel of their leaf. Keeping leaves in glycerin avoids these difficulties and gives them a natural, flexible look and feel. Leaves preserved with glycerin also persist for a long time, making them ideal materials to work with in wall art.
The quality of your preserved leaves begins with the grade of the leaves you collect. Collect big, mature leaves to a dry afternoon and look for leaves at peak condition. Cut the leaf or branch using a clean, sharp knife or pruning shears. Maintain the leaves in water till you are ready to maintain them; leaves that have wilted or dried out doesn’t preserve well. Crush the close of the branch or leaf stem using a hammer just before placing it in the preserving liquid.
Keeping with Glycerin
Stand with the leaf or branch in a vase or jar, as you would a flower. Cover the crushed ending in a solution of 1 part glycerin and 2 parts hot water for two to six weeks. Begin with the option at approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit to encourage the plant to carry this up quickly, but you don’t have to keep the option alluring. Huge leaves and thick, dense leaves possess the longest absorption period. Add food coloring or dye to the solution at a shade closest to the leaf natural colour to help keep that color in the finished product. Add more water as required to keep the solution at around exactly the exact same level during the procedure. The leaves are ready when they’ve taken up enough glycerin to make them completely pliable, having lost all signs of brittleness.
Supporting the Leaves
Whether you want to wire your leaves depends on how you intend to use them. Leaves that have to support themselves by the stem or branch can be wired for long-term stability. Enrollment also makes it easier to arrange the leaves on your artwork. Tightly wrap the stems of individual leaves with wire in a color closest to the stem color, leaving a long tail to attach them to your artwork. Leaves on branches may need a wire wrap round the branch and the leaf stem to strengthen them for long term display. If you intend to attach the leaves to the wall or a canvas in the back of the leaf, wiring isn’t crucial.
Storing Preserved Leaves
Leaves ready with glycerin keep indefinitely, but their colours will fade over time due to light exposure and heat. Protect the color of their leaves by keeping them in an airtight container in a dark, cool and dry location when they are not on display.