Tuesday 19 October 2021

Wheel of the Year Crafts: Preserving Autumn Leaves

I decided to have a go at preserving the fallen leaves I used in my autumn mandala and the photos on this page show the process I'm trying out.

The reason I did this is because I'm currently writing a Pagan Portals title on the Wheel of the Year for Moon Books and I'm already planning the cover image. I want to include flowers, leaves and berries from all seasons, but of course the problem is that they aren't all in season at the same time. Some form of preservation is necessary for anything that isn't evergreen or always in bloom.

Although I've saved autumn leaves in the past for use in spellwork, they become very brittle, so I decided to experiment with preserving them using a mixture of glycerine and water. The instructions I found suggested soaking them for between 2 to 6 days in a mixture of 1 part glycerine to 2 parts water. You have to keep them submerged, so I put them in a pie dish with a lightweight picnic plate on top. After that you gently dry them, then store them somewhere out of sunlight to help keep the colours bright. I'm going to keep them as separated as possible in case a few go mouldy - I wouldn't want them to spoil the others. I have no idea if it will work well, but hopefully it will do the trick.

Other methods of preserving leaves include coating them in wax, coating them in diluted PVA glue, or drying them completely then spraying them in varnish.

Spring flowers can be pressed or dried by hanging them upside down somewhere dry, dark and cool but not cold. The cupboard under the stairs is one suggestion. Alternatively you can hang them upside down in a brown paper bag from a drying rack. I've done it in the past successfully. There were some petals I'd dried on the cover image for Every Day Magic, but I hope to preserve more for my next book.

I've also been writing about the Wheel of the Year at the Moon Books Blog. My posts will eventually be edited into chapters for the Pagan Portals publication. You can find my posts here: https://www.johnhuntpublishing.com/blogs/moon-books/

If you have any other suggestion for perserving flowers and leaves, do leave a comment.

You can find out more about my books on my author page at Moon Books or at Amazon. I will also be sharing this post at the Moon Books Blog later in the week.


Jane said...

Sounds like a great idea, Lucya. I hope they all turn out well.

Badwitch said...

Thank you!

Pogodragon said...

I have to try this! I love autumn colours. Thank you for the tip :-)