When Joyce Kilmer wrote, "Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree." he must have been observing a tree with lush green foliage. Leaves create the canopy of trees and shrubs and add beauty to the landscape. When preserved, leaves provide an attractive backdrop to flower arrangements or in nature crafts. Drying them is always an option, but edges curl and leaves become brittle with age. Preserving leaves with glycerin maintains leaves' beauty and keeps them smooth and supple for use in nature crafts or flower displays.
Collect colored or green leaves before they begin to dry. Examine them for any signs of insect damage or flaws in shape or appearance.
Combine 1 cup glycerin and 2 cups water. Stir to mix thoroughly.
Pour the mixture into a shallow pan or tray.
Place the leaves in the glycerin mixture. Weight down with small stones--if necessary--to keep the leaves completely covered with the solution.
Allow leaves to soak for six days. Check daily and keep leaves covered.
Remove the leaves from the mixture of glycerin and water. Place them on paper towels or newspaper and allow to dry overnight.