Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Easy Way To Preserve A Leaf

Out in Oregon, one of the things I discovered was the Giant Maple tree. In Chicago we have Maple trees, with nice, average sized leaves. So imagine my surprise when I saw a tree in my aunt and uncle's yard spouting humongous leaves? 

On my last night there, Auntie M plucked one off of the tree for me. 
Me with giant leaf

Of course I wanted to keep it forever... but I was trying to figure out a way to safely transport a leaf all the way back to Chicago! We started looking up ways to preserve leaves. The most recommended way was to put the leaf inside or under a heavy book, but we didn't have a book big enough to cover the whole leaf. Nor did I feel like lugging a giant book with a giant leaf inside it all the way back to Chicago. 
Some people recommended painting it with Modge Podge, which would have been great, if we had had any Modge Podge! (It was about 11 pm at this point, so we couldn't exactly run out and find a Hobby Lobby! 
Another site recommended microwaving the leaf for 30 seconds at a time. We tried that, but all it did was cause the leaf to get crispy and crumbly, requiring us to go out and find another leaf! 
The last method we read about was to iron the leaf between two pieces of wax paper. So we decided to try that. 
First we had to let the leaf dry overnight. We set it on a towel and folded half of the towel over it.
Folding towel over giant leaf.

In the morning, our task was to iron the leaf! So we put the leaf on a piece of wax paper, and covered it with another sheet of wax paper. Actually, by now there were two leaves... Uncle J contributed a tiny leaf from a vine maple. 
Biggest leaf and smallest leaf, living side by side in harmony!

We covered the wax paper with a towel, and then Auntie M started ironing it. The trick is, you have to iron one side for 30 seconds, and then flip it over and iron the other side for 30 seconds, and then just keep doing this over and over and over and over and over again. We had the iron on the highest setting to try to speed up the process. We had kind of cheap wax paper, so maybe if you get, like, very high quality wax paper, it will be waxier or something, and won't take as long. 
Eventually, the wax on both sheets of wax paper melted to the leaves and to each other, leaving us with  two lovely, preserved leaves! I was able to take these back to Chicago in my suitcase, and they have held up great. 

Depending on where you live, the leaves are most likely changing colors right now, so this would be a perfect time to preserve some leaves! If you decide to use this simple method, send me a picture of your leaves, and I'll post it on this blog!

See, Diary Of An Alien is both fun and educational! 

1 comment :

  1. Holy cow that's a big leaf! So cool!

    Stopping by from SITS


All SPAM will be deleted immediately, so don't even bother!
If you have a Blogger profile set to allow email replies, I will reply through email! If not, I often reply in the comments section, so please check back.
Go ahead and tell me what you really think! I won't get mad!