Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How to preserve leaves

This may be useful. I've taken it from the Forum section of my Coursera class:

Charles (a student): 
Does anybody knows what's the best procedure to preserve leaves?
One of my hobbies is collecting leaves, (yeah I know, It sounds sort of strange), sometimes I let the leaves in a book, but sometimes they lose their color, is there any other way to preserve their color?

Homo Neanderthal (another student):
Yes - microwave them - it dries them out and stops breakdown and release/mixing/degradation of colours. 

Take some paper towels, put the leaves between them and then give them 30s or more in the microwave. This will depend on the power of your microwave and the thickness/size of the leaves - don't use already dry fallen ones - take them from the tree while they are moist and microwave them until dry.

The main risk is over microwaving - they can catch fire if you overdo it - so keep an eye on them. If they curl when you take them out - that is not long enough..


  1. Iron the leaf between two pieces of waxed paper.

  2. I usually sandwich them in clear contact paper. This year I discovered the wonderful images possible by putting leaves on my printer and copying them that way! Every line on the leaf stands out.