How to Preserve Leaves Using Glycerine


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.

Step 1

Collect colored or green leaves before they begin to dry. Examine them for any signs of insect damage or flaws in shape or appearance.

Step 2

Combine 1 cup glycerin and 2 cups water. Stir to mix thoroughly.

Step 3

Pour the mixture into a shallow pan or tray.

Step 4

Place the leaves in the glycerin mixture. Weight down with small stones--if necessary--to keep the leaves completely covered with the solution.

Step 5

Allow leaves to soak for six days. Check daily and keep leaves covered.

Step 6

Remove the leaves from the mixture of glycerin and water. Place them on paper towels or newspaper and allow to dry overnight.

Things You'll Need

  • Glycerin
  • Shallow pan/tray
  • Leaves
  • Paper towels/newspaper


  • New Hampshire Home Page: How to Preserve Leaves

Who Can Help

  • "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer
Keywords: preserve leaves, glycerin for leaves, preserve foliage

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.