Sunday, March 12, 2017

How to Press & Mod podge Leaves for Wall Decor


For drying leaves: 

A big heavy book
Wax paper

For preserving and sealing:
Mod podge
Paint brush
Paper clips or cloth clips

For showcasing:
Picture frames
Screws and screw driver

Several steps are involved in this tutorial. First step is to dry and press leaves. Then the dried leaves are sealed using mod podge to preserve its color and texture. Finally showcasing the leaves using picture frames.

1) Cut leaves of your choice using a scissor or sharp knife. Make sure the leaves are in perfect condition.

Drying leaves: 
2) The next step is drying the leaves. Here, I used a heavy book for this purpose. Get a sheet of wax paper and fold it in half. Place the wax paper in the middle of a heavy book. Carefully, arrange the leaf/leaves on the wax paper. You can orient the leaves in the  direction you want. Working with a big leaf is way easier than working with very small leaves.

Once you arrange the leaves, close the book, so that the leaf is sandwiched between the two layers of wax paper, and leave it for a week for drying. You may check in between and be sure the leaves are in proper orientation.

3) After a week, take the wax paper along with the leaves from the book and iron in medium setting. While ironing, place a thin cloth over the wax paper. Iron for 1-2 min. Then flip the leaves and repeat the process.

Preserving and sealing:
4) At this point, the leaves are very brittle so handle them very carefully. Using a tweezer, gently transfer the leaves to metal or glass surface ( I used a baking tray). Apply a thin coat of the mod podge to one side of the leaf and stem.

  5) Hang it for drying using a paper clip or  cloth clips.

6) After an hour or two, apply another thin coat to the other side of the leaf and stem. Make sure to apply a generous amount to the places where the stem holding the leaf. (If you break any leaves, don't worry! mod podge will work as a glue as well as a sealer. So, this is the perfect time for mending any broken leaves). Leave it for drying for an overnight. After this step, you will see the leaves are not brittle or fragile, instead they are supple and bendable. Also, there is a clear transparent seal on the mod podged leaf (see the picture below). In this way you can preserve the leaf and color for longer periods.

7) Once the leaves are dry, it is the time to showcase them as wall decor. Choose the right frame, depending on the size of the leaf. Get two picture frames and disassemble the components. To showcase a leaf, you need one frame and two glasses.

8) Place  the frame upside down and place one glass. Then keep the leaf with wrong side up (wrong side implies the side to be not seen).

9) Next, place the second glass on the top of the leaf. Now the leaf is sandwiched in between two glasses. Secure the the glasses to the frame using the clips on the frame. Hang the pictures using a several screws.

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