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How to Preserve Leaves for Wedding Decor

Posted October 4, 2011 | 4 Comments

Have you ever wondered how to preserve leaves to keep them looking vibrant and rich? Are you planning a fall wedding and hoping to incorporate fall foliage into your decor without the leaves turning brittle and lackluster? Well, you’re in luck: today, we’re showing you how to preserve leaves for fall wedding decor and you won’t believe how easy it is! Using a few simple techniques, you can keep your fall foliage looking freshly-picked all day long. Read on to find out how to preserve leaves PLUS view hand-picked fall wedding centerpieces we think you’ll love. Enjoy!

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Gather Your Leaves for Crafting

Before you preserve your leaves you’ll need to hand-select the loveliest leaves on the lawn. Be on the lookout for leaves that are flat, full of color and slightly dry. Skip leaves that are spotted, since they typically don’t take to wax or glycerin solutions very well. Gather leaves right before you plan to preserve them; if you have to wait a day, be sure to keep the leaves pressed in a book or weighed down on wax paper to prevent curling.

How to Preserve Leaves

You can preserve leaves using various techniques. Today, we’re going to discuss how to preserve leaves with wax, glycerin or via pressing them.

- Use Wax

It’s easy to preserve leaves with one simple ingredient: wax. Check out this pretty demonstration of how leaves look when preserved with wax:

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This hanging leaves project via Martha Stewart uses beeswax and a double boiler to preserve leaves with wax. You can get the full supply list and read the full scoop here. Leave it to Martha to come up with this beautiful hanging leaf idea! Wouldn’t it look gorgeous above the cake table or at your reception site entryway? We think so!

- Use Glycerin

A solution of glycerin and water (twice as much water as glycerin) poured over leaves in a pan will keep your leaves soft and colorful. Leave the leaves in the pan for six days to fully absorb the solution. Easy!

- Pressing Leaves

You can always preserve leaves using the old-school, grade-school tradition: press them! Find a big book (an old textbook works wonders) and add DRY leaves in a single layer on the pages. Place the book in the sun so they can stay dry while they press.

Fall Centerpiece Inspiration

Now that you’ve pressed the leaves, how about trying a few fun centerpieces? Here are a few fall wedding centerpieces for inspiration:


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Don’t forget to keep the theme going throughout the wedding, even if you can’t use real leaves for the entire event. For instance, fall place cards will complement your fall centerpieces beautifully and fondant leaves atop a wedding cake such as this cake via Style Me Pretty (photographed by Joelle West):

Happy Planning!


-E.










  • Janna

    Wish I had seen this earlier this Fall and I would have preserved the leaves for my wedding next year!

  • http://twitter.com/MagnetStreetWed/status/123069004360327168/ MagnetStreetWeddings (@MagnetStreetWed)

    How To: Preserve Leaves for Wedding Decor http://ow.ly/6MZr4 via @EmmalineBride

  • http://www.borrowedandbleu.com Erika {Borrowed&Bleu}

    Thanks for the tips and the lovely examples and inspiration!

  • http://postcardsandpretties.blogspot.com postcards and pretties

    I’m going to try that wax method! so clever




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