Garden

Preserving Autumn Leaves

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DSCN5929 Preserving Autumn Leaves

Fall, or autumn, is one of the year’s most beautiful seasons. Each fall, the leaves on the trees change into beautiful shades or yellow, orange, and red. This invokes feelings of warmth, Thanksgiving, apple cider, and cozy sweaters. Many people like to preserve some of the autumn leaves so they can not only remember the season, but also decorate their homes for the fall. When leaves change color, their splendor is hard to ignore. People living inlog cabins, city apartments, or suburban homes can all see the beautiful colors as the season changes. So why do the leaves change during the fall? The answer is actually quite simple. Something called chlorophyll is what makes leaves green, but as the days grow shorter, the trees prepare themselves for less sun and food. When this happens, the leaves begin to dry out, and their color changes from green to autumn hues. The glucose in the leaves also gets trapped which prevents photosynthesis from happening (the process that makes the leaves green).

It is important to know what kinds of leaves to look for when decorating. First, be sure to only use leaves that are flat and have no bumps. Also, try to find some that are whole and do not have rips or tears in them. Next, put the leaves between two heavy books and place them on wax paper. The books will help to press the leaves flat. It’s best to have the leaves sit for about a week or so to ensure they’re completely dried out and as flat and straight as possible. An iron is now used to seal the leaves between the sheets of wax paper. Be sure to place a wet washcloth over the wax paper before ironing so it does not burn. Use the iron on the lowest setting, and move it back and forth over the wax paper slowly until the two sheets have sealed together. Be sure to avoid making bubbles. At first, it may appear a bit “cloudy” and the leaves are hard to see. As the wax paper dries, the colors will then pop out and you’ll have beautifully preserved autumn leaves. As an alternative, the leaves can be removed from the wax paper, after it’s dried so there is just a coating of wax on the leaf itself.

The lovely preserved autumn leaves can be used for all kinds of different decorating ideas. The leaves can be added to a fall wreath, or simply placed throughout the house on the walls for a nice autumn themed look. The leaves can also be gathered around the base of a candle to make a gorgeous centerpiece for dinner guests or as an every day decoration. The leaves can also be applied to cards or notes to give them a lovely customized look. Apply some preserved leaves to a large bowl for a lovely snack or candy bowl during the fall season. The possibilities are endless. Choose a rainbow of colors to create an unusual and beautiful fall decoration that everyone will thoroughly enjoy.

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