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Press/preserve your leaves!

southflorida

New Member
Some time, some where Ive always seen dried/pressed flowers or autumn leaves and i now finally have some leaves worth preserving(thanks to 420mag) i thought id share various techniques iv found on a dot com about gardening..


PRESS
Presing leaves with a weight is the simplest method of saving "fall" leaves, but the leaves won't last as long as preserved leaves will. Here's how to press leaves to use for the fall season.

  1. Choose leaves that are relatively flat and thin, with a low moisture content.
  2. Sandwich leaves between newspaper or waxed paper.
Then select some of your heaviest books and continue on with the next stepTo keep the leaves from curling, you'll need a good amount of weight.

  1. Place the paper with the leaves inside a heavy book. You can also place more books, a weight or rock on top of the book, for more weight.
  2. Keep the book in a dry location and check after about 1 week. Make sure the leaves are drying and not rotting. You will probably need to leave the leaves inside the book for another 1-2 weeks before they are completely dry and ready to use.
Tip: If you'd like a more supple leaf, soak the leaves in diluted fabric softener before pressing. Or try coating the surface with a light layer of petroleum jelly.

IRONING

  1. Choose thin leaves with a low moisture content, that haven't begun to curl.
  2. Sandwich your leaves between 2 sheets of waxed paper.
  3. Cover your ironing board with an old cloth rag, so you don't get wax on the board.
  4. Place the sandwich on top of the rag.
  5. Place another old cloth rag on top of the sandwich.
  6. Heat the iron to high, but NO STEAM.
  7. Slowly run the iron back and forth over the cloth rag. Don't press too hard to begin with, or the leaves will shift. Once the paper has begun to seal, use the full weight of the iron and hold it for about 4-5 seconds on each spot.
  8. Lift the rag to see if the waxed paper as melted and sealed. The leaves will be much clearer when the wax has melted.
  9. Allow the sandwich to cool, then cut out individual leaves. Leave a small margin around the leaves so the waxed paper stays sealed.
These leaves will last for months.

MICROWAVE
Microwave ovens are a great, quick way to preserve almost everything. You can use the microwave alone, or speed up the process with silica gel, as mentioned on the next page.

  1. Choose leaves that are still fresh and supple. Avoid dry fallen leaves.
  2. Sandwich individual leaves or small, flat sprays of leaves between 2 paper towels.
  3. Place the sandwich on a microwavable dish and place in the oven.
  4. Microwave for 30 seconds and check the leaves. The thicker and/or moister the leave, the longer it will take.
  5. If the leave(s) is not yet dry, keep running the microwave at 30 second intervals and checking, until the leaf feels dry.
CAUTION: The leaves could catch fire, just like anything else left in the microwave too long. So keep checking. Don't wait until the leaves are crisp or scortched. They will keep heating and drying for a few seconds outside the microwave and you don't want to over do it.


Tip: The leaves will last longer if you seal them with an acrylic spray.

p.s. as i experiment with these techniques come harvest, well you know the rest.. enojy the photos to come and good luck with preserving your colorful leaves!;)
 

sungoddess

New Member
I'm so gonna do this.

You know, it would be pretty bad ass to make something to hang up, like press a leaf between two pieces of glass or something and hang it on the wall, or get some kind of collage of your favorite strains...
 

norman

New Member
Aw, this is cute. I've stuck a few of my really big leaves between the middlemost pages of some of my heavier books. It's gonna make me smile awfully big when I stumble across them at some distant point in the future. ;)

Did this myself a decade+ ago, and put 'em in my big science texts (being a science geek, I still have and use these texts!). Got said big smile whenever I found them.

Just hope I got them all out before my now-growing-up kids start riflin' thru my old text books!!

(funny- before I got the air scrubber installed the kids wanted to know where the lemon bars were that their noses said had just been baked!! Of course there's no lemon bars, and me and the mrs got baked later.)
 
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