Botany

How to Skeletonize a Leaf



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You can preserve the lovely structure of different kinds of leaves. Skeletonize leaves to enjoy their natural beauty long after you find the leaves you like. The vein structure of the leaves you choose can be used as decorations, bookmarks, gifts, or mementos. What a glorious reminder of the wonders of autumn!

I have always loved autumn because of the beautiful leaf shapes that fall to the ground. As a child, my mother told me that those delicate lines were veins. Then she would point to the underside of my arm so that I would know that they were veins, too. "Isn't nature incredible?" she would say.

Walking on a trail through the woods in Fall, I would stop dead in my tracks when I spotted just the perfect leaf. What a find! I wanted to keep that leaf for my treasure box. I would be sad when I'd return to the box and see my beautiful leaf all dried up and brittle.

My mom enjoyed collecting leaves, too, and she helped me enjoy my collection long beyond the time when the leaves would, if left alone, dry up and become too fragile to handle.

I will always be thankful to my mother for telling me about the veins in the leaves and for teaching me how to preserve those beautiful leaf skeletons.

1. Heat a saucepan of water. When it almost comes to a boil, add the leaves to the saucepan.

2. Lower the heat so that you can simmer the leaves until the leafy parts drops away from the veins in the leaf.

3. Take the leaves out of the water carefully with a strainer and lay them out flat so that they can cool.

4.Brush away the leafy parts gently with a brush.

5.Put your leaf skeletons into water with approximately one teaspoon of bleach. Let them rest there for about one hour.

6.Take them out of the bleach/water and rinse them ever so gently under cool water.

7.Set them down to dry.

8.Place your leaf skeleton on a background of pretty colored paper- perhaps red or orange.

9.Cover the leaf skeleton with clear Contact paper
.
10.Trim the paper with scissors to a size that you like.

These can be used as decorations, bookmarks, gifts, or mementos.
What a glorious reminder of a walk in the park or a beautiful day in the yard!

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