I am a leaf addict.

As soon as they start changing, every book in my house is filled with the amazing color I cannot resist. I love using the beautiful dried leaves as accents in my home and classroom but dried leaves are not necessarily child friendly. Using my laminator I have been able to preserve my beautiful leaves creating placemats, coasters, frames, board decor and accents for use around at school and at home.  Best of all, they will withstand the occasional spill! This is a simple and festive fall laminator project.


Instructions:

  1. To prepare leaves for lamination, carefully cut or break away the stem. Depending on your project, you may decide to leave some stem, but usually the stem end is too bulky to go through the laminator smoothly. I suggest you laminate some test leaves before moving on to the larger shapes. These individual leaves are great for decorating as well!
  2. On a piece of scratch paper, trace the shape (I traced my plate edge) you want your “leaf frame” to take. Open laminating pouch (11” x 17” for placemat, 12” x 12” for round plate frame, 8” x 8” for coasters) and center one side over the shape you just traced.
  3. Using your traced line as your guide, carefully apply some adhesive dots sparingly inside the laminating pouch. Place the leaves along the adhesive, with the edges extending past the traced line. (You may want to arrange the leaves on the scratch paper first, then transfer to the laminating pouch.) Make sure that the leaf edges are within the edges of the pouch edges.  Close pouch.
  4. Carefully send the project through the laminator.
  5. At this point you can cut out around the edges using scissors or I like to use a heat tool, like a low heat soldering iron.  To cut with the heat tool, use a piece of glass or a glass mat as your work surface, heat up the heat tool with a fine point tip, then melt/cut around the outside edges of your frame. Be careful not to burn into the leaves, and make sure you are working in a well ventilated area.
  6. For some projects, like the frame, I will place my frame in another laminating pouch and send it through the laminator again. This will give your piece more stability.