Leaf Preserved Mobile

We loved the idea of preserving leaves so much, we decided to try our hand at another technique! With leaves about to turn all shades of greens, reds, and yellows, we thought it would be fun to pick a shade of colors to preserve. We used glycerin to save our leaves and create a whimsical hanging mobile. You can also combine a fun mix of colors to make it really pop. Pick up some fresh leaves on your way out of your house, and try your hand at this amazing leaf preservation technique!

  1. Ages: 5 - 16

  2. 30 minutes - 1 hour

  3. A little messy

  4. Grownup needed


Materials you'll need

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    Gather a collection of fall leaves. In this project, we created a mobile out of our findings, so keep that in mind as you hunt for leaves! Once you have your leaves, place them in a container. Mix 2 cups of water and 1 cup of glycerin and pour the mixture into the container. Stack the second container on top of the first container to keep the leaves submerged in the mixture. Let the leaves soak for at least 3 days.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    When the leaves have soaked for 3 days, carefully take them out and pat them dry between sheets of paper towels. Your leaves are now preserved and the amazing part of this method is that the leaves should maintain their flexibility! What's going on? When you preserve a leaf with glycerin, you're replacing some of the water in the leaf with the glycerin solution. As the leaf dries, the water evaporates but the glycerin remains behind. This helps to maintain the leaf's texture and flexibility, so you can display it for a lot longer!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    To create a leaf mobile, we used an embroidery hoop as the mobile base. Cut a long piece of string and tie each string end to opposite ends of the hoop with double knots. This is how your mobile will hang, so adjust the length of the string as needed and trim any excess. If needed, add some glue on the knots to secure the ends and let the knots dry. For faster results, have an adult help put hot glue on the knots.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    Cut a few strings of the same length and tie one end onto each individual leaf. We cut our string to about 12 inches in length.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Final result!

    Secure the loose string ends onto the embroidery hoop! Make sure to space them out evenly so that your mobile doesn't tilt as you hang it. How did your leaf mobiles turn out? What other projects can you think of with your preserved leaves?

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

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