Let Martha Stewart show you the art of preserving leaves and crafting charming animal place cards to add a touch of nature's beauty to your next fall event.

Article by Martha Stewart, as part of the Growing with Martha Stewart partnership.

Preserving Fall Leaves

Keeping the Color

When you craft with fall leaves, it's best to preserve them so they don't get brittle over time. (Pressed leaves keep their color but also become dry, making them best suited for framing.)

To incorporate leaves in a wreath or an arrangement, or to enjoy them spread out along the table as a centerpiece accent, use a glycerin solution 10 to preserve them.

Combine one part pure liquid glycerin available at drugstores with two parts water in a shallow dish. Arrange the leaves in a single layer in the dish, making sure they're fully submerged; allow them to soak for at least one day. Then remove them and gently lay them out on paper towels to dry.

Party Animals

Use backyard leaves to make place cards for kids' table - or have your young dinner guests create them. Download and print our forest-animal templates. Place each template on a leaf, secure it with tape, and use detail scissors to cut out the animal. If you're using brittle leaves, reinforce them with layers of tape on the backs before cutting. Write names on the place cards with a paint pen.


  • Leaves
  • Clear tape
  • Detail scissors
  • Silver paint pen