How to Preserve Fall Leaves

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We’re keeping our eyes open for leaves that are changing color and beginning (just beginning!) to press them.

While we often just place the leaves between the pages of a book for a week or two to press them (a phone book works great), we also place them between paper sometimes first, especially if the book in question is one of the more highly valued in our house.


I love the cusp of a new season and am ready for this one.


There are so many reasons to love a new season of course, but right now I’m mostly thinking about all the lovely crafty things we can do this fall. I’ve created an Autumn Fun board on Pinterest (did I mention that I’m addicted to Pinterest?) with all kinds of great ideas from around the web.


Last year we drew and wrote on our fall leaves with metallic pens, and we’ll definitely do that again, but I’m also thinking of what else we can do with these.

Some people dip leaves in wax to preserve them and some people use Mod Podge. Maybe we’ll try both techniques, just for fun.

Update :: We’ve since tried preserving fall leaves with Mod Podge and it works great!


I’m loving these foliage candleholders and am also wondering what else we can do with our leaves. Any ideas?

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  1. says

    I love to dip them in wax too. They are beautiful in a beeswax lantern and also adhered to the side of beeswax candles. We also like to put a bunch of colored leaves under a light-colored cloth and hammer out the color into the fabric. A beautiful cloth for the nature table or making into flags.

  2. says

    Thank you for sharing your board on Pinterest. I have just recently discovered Pinterest and am slowly figuring it all out. Is it okay to Repin an entire board? :) I love the ideas that you have chosen for you board. Thanks also for the reminder to “look ahead” and start saving leaves etc.

  3. says

    We made those leaf candle holders with old jars and Mod Podge a couple of years ago for E’s teachers as Thanksgiving gifts (they weren’t nearly as neat and tidy as Martha’s though). They were really fun, we used some white tissue paper with them to cover the blank spots (not sure if that was in her tutorial). And, I have totally gotten addicted to Pinterest too, where I also pinned the wax leaves! We hiked this morning and E was collecting yellow and brown leaves for the “Fall Play” she and the neighbor are putting on. I think they are to be set decorations!

  4. says

    I found her wings at an independent toy store. They’re good ones. Her grandma actually sent her the same pair last Christmas and they were wonderful but got almost daily use and ended up rather battered. It was time for a new set.

  5. megwrites says

    We don’t have the four distinct seasons where I live in California. I love having nice weather almost the entire year, but I do really miss fall. Fall leaves, the snap of cold in the air, scarves and mittens…

  6. Rachel at Stitched in Color says

    Yes, Pinterest is so much fun! I’ve always wanted to try dipping them in beeswax too. Mabye this is the year! Last year we did crayon rubbings on a huge, long paper and then the watercolors over them, inspired by your banner. That was fun! By the way, did you decide about guest posting for Celebrate Color ( I never did hear back from you, so perhaps the emails are getting lost in cyberspace?

  7. Nancy says

    When I was young, we used to iron leaves between pieces of wax paper. Use the better quality wax paper as the cheap stuff skimps on the wax. Just be sure to put it between a couple of layers of newpaper or newsprint to protect your iron and ironing board. They turn out really flat which makes them ideal for mounting on paper or other flat projects, although they do become brittle with time.
    Today is the first day that it really felt like fall in our neck of the woods (southern Ontario, Can.) and with tomorrow being the first day of school, fall is definitely here.
    Now I need to go check out your pinterest board!

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  9. says

    I was an art teacher for years and I had a fall project that the kids LOVED. I would take them outside to collect different shaped leaves. Then we would trace or draw them w/ pencil(depending on age) on black const. paper. Then go over the lines with glue and let dry. Then use chalk pastel and color in the leaves with diffret colors. I always had them use more then one color on each leaf and blend with their fingert or kleenes. Then one solid color for the backgournd (usually brown or green)The pictures were GORGEOUS when finished