This is something else I have been wanting to do for absolutely ages.
I have been collecting leaves from my garden and putting them in a book to flatten and dry out for I don’t know how long with the intention of using them to print with, use as a mask etc but to also trying stitching them.
They are quite brittle when they are dried so I turned to the trusty Tinternet to see what to do with them.
I decided to go with soaking the leaves in glycerine which makes them softer and therefore more workable.
Where to buy glycerine I asked myself. So the supermarket is where I looked and found the smallest bottle on the planet! But thought hey I’ll go with that.
Needless to say the leaves have sat in the book and the tiniest bottle of glycerine has sat in the cupboard (too embarrassed to say how long but measured in years and months)…until yesterday.
I mixed the glycerine with hot water then put the leaves in, apparently to magic ratio is 1 part glycerine to 2 parts water. My solution wasn’t exact, I needed a bit more water to make sure the leaves were covered.
I am only trying a few to see if I am happy with it plus I didn’t really have lots of glycerine.
To keep the leaves from just floating on the top of the water, I put another container on top and poured water into that to weigh it down a little.
I have left it outside over night and am dying to take them out and dry them but the information I found said to leave them for about a week.
Can I wait that long I ask myself…patience is the reply!
I did sneak a peak today though – sorry, couldn’t resist, just checking they were ok you understand!
Anyway, I shall share the results with you next week and if they are good to use then onto the monster fronds of my tree ferns.
So the results are in, what do you think?
Here are the leaves after a few days soaking in the glycerine solution.
The liquid was becoming darker and I was worried all the colour would disappear from the leaves so I tested them and they seemed to be bendy enough (technical term!) so I took them out.
I patted them dry with paper towels and pressed them in My Leaves Book for a couple more days and here they are in all their glory, dried and finished.
Here are the backs of the leaves which are more gorgeous than the fronts I think with all that lovely detail.
Did I get the results I wanted?
Pretty much yes I think.
As you can see they are definitely more bendy and not brittle at all.
I like the way they have turned out especially the detail on the backs of the leaves. I do like the colour they are now but would have liked to retain the deep reds that they originally were.
What next with these leaves?
Playing with printing with them to see how they stand up to paint and being cleaned. It will be interesting to see if the lovely detail is transferred to the print.
I will also be putting them to the test with a needle and thread at some point.
Will I do more?
Yes definitely! I have gone from buying the smallest bottle of glycerine in the world to perhaps the biggest so I had better use it!! I’m not sure I had enough in the solution this time as it was supposed to be 50:50 but it wasn’t.
I am eager to see how different leaves behave. I have a bucket full of some that I have been collecting from my Moody Magnolia. I will definitely try the ferns and Acer leaves from my garden.
Please leave a comment and tell me what you think or if you have tried this yourself, it would be lovely to hear from you.
Thank you for stopping by, it is much appreciated…
t r a c y
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