How To Preserve Fall Leaves


I recently took a glorious vacation to visit my sister in Olathe, Kansas. The trees in her town were ablaze with fiery-red, rusty-orange, and sunset-yellow colored, prehistoric-sized leaves. During the entirety of our visit, I had this urgent need to collect as many leaves as I could.  My daughter kept asking me what I was going to do with them.  I didn’t know, and I didn’t really care…I just couldn’t get enough leaves to add to my vibrant, Autumnal bouquet.  One evening, I was sitting at my sister’s table, admiring my collection, when I remembered that I had read somewhere along the way that real leaves can be preserved to maintain their color and flexibility.  I decided to try it, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.






This is literally one of the easiest craft projects you will ever do.  Just paint Mod Podge onto one side of the leaves and let them dry.  Once the decoupage has dried, paint the other side of the leaves and let dry.  Boom- you’re done.  This simple step will leave you with a pliable, glossy (or matte if that’s the type of Mod Podge you choose to use) finish, and the colors will remain endlessly vibrant.  These leaves can be used for anything from decorating your Thanksgiving table to adding earthy beauty to your favorite wreath.  I chose to use them to make a “Thankful Tree.”
I’m sure you’ve seen, or maybe even participated in the challenge to list one thing you’re thankful for, starting on November 1st until Thanksgiving Day.  I personally think the daily practice of gratitude is the password to a happy life, and certainly a positive way to enter the Holidays.  I love that my kids will be hanging their thoughts on a tree made from leaves that they picked off of the tree in my sister’s front yard, or from the trees at the cider mill we visited, and from the giant sugar maple that was hovering above the baby goats they bottle fed at the Diana Rose Farm.  Each leaf has a little story of its own, and the beauty to show for it.
So to make the “Thankful Tree,”  I simply took some branches from the yard, placed them in a vase, and hot-glued the leaves to the branches.  I bought the little tags at Target, but you can find them, or something like them, at any craft store.


It’s not too late to start your own tree. Happy November!

By Janet Schlosser @


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