Tree Crafts for Kids

Preserving Leaves

Preserving leaves gives them a beautiful bronze color.
Preserving leaves gives them a beautiful bronze color.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Preserving leaves from your trees or shrubs is an easy and fun way to make beautiful decorations for your home. The preserved leaves turn a bronze color and look very pretty arranged in a vase.

Be sure to ask an adult's permission before you cut any branches from trees or shrubs. You also might use the branches that are cut off when pruning the shrubs in your yard.

What You'll Need:

  • Branch cut from a leafy shrub
  • Jar or bucket
  • Glycerin (available at drug, farm, and garden stores)

Step 1: With an adult's help, mix a solution of one part glycerin and two parts hot water. The amount you mix up depends on how many branches you want to preserve, but you should make enough to cover the bottom of your jar or bucket several inches deep.

Step 2: Cut branches about 18 inches long. Trees or shrubs with firm, waxy leaves work the best.

Step 3: Carefully crush the cut ends of the branches with a hammer, peel away the bark, and stand the branches in the glycerin mixture.

Step 4: Let them sit about three weeks. The branches will absorb the glycerin slowly through the miniature pipelines in their stems. The leaves will turn a bronze color and feel slightly greasy when preservation is complete. Wipe off the ends of the branches, and arrange in a pretty vase.

Another interesting craft that uses leaves is a leaf batik. Keep reading to learn how to create this centuries-old craft.

For more fun nature activities, check out: