Laminating leaves is easy, fun, and a great platform for creativity. For my laminated leaf projects, I had a pack of Scotch 8.5 x 11″ thermal laminating pouches laying around. I don’t have a laminating machine but I have had great success sealing the pouches with a flat iron set to 200 degrees (F.) My initial idea was to create fridge magnets with laminated leaves. Then I decided to create a placemat… and a bookmark… and another placemat….
The nice thing with the laminating pouches is that they are versatile. They are connected on only one edge but you can cut them into the shape you want. For any of these projects you can decorate your leaves, place decorative paper, loose glitter, candy sprinkles (they will melt,) confetti, & iridescent tissue inside and have no issues. The pouches appear a frosty white and turn clear as they are heated.
Before beginning the decorating & laminating, press your leaves for 5-7 days. Begin with slightly flexible (not dry, flaky, super dead) leaves. Place them in between two sheets of wax paper and cover with heavy books before you grab for the glitter.
Decorate a couple of accent leaves or the whole lot, it is up to you. Allow your paints, glitters, and glues to dry 12-24 hours before touching.
One leaf was covered in fabric. A velvet-textured, thin fabric from a thrift-store grab bag worked great! I applied a layer of Mod Podge Glossy Finish to the leaf, set down the cut out fabric, and covered it with another layer of the Mod Podge. I have used this technique to cover tin cans with fabric and it works! The Mod Podge goes on white and dries clear. The thinner your fabric, the more you will see the natural texture of the leaf underneath.
In a (craft only designated) bowl, I mixed together a tsp of Mod Podge Glossy Finish & a bunch of glitter. I used red, copper, and green glitters for the project. Mix together the Mod Podge & glitter and paint it on the front of your leaf. If you are covering all of your leaves, you will need to mix up more than I used. The Mod Podge will dry clear to showcase the glitter color of your choice.
Mehron Gold Powder is stunning. It is a cosmetic powder that can be as opaque or translucent as you wish, depending on how much of the Mixing Liquid is added. I combined the powder with the mixing liquid and applied it to several leaves with an eye shadow brush.
I used colors & glitter top coats for decoration. These dry faster than other methods if you are in a hurry to laminate your leaves.
How to Laminate the Leaves
Preheat the flat iron to 200 degrees (F.) Arrange your leaves and decorations inside the pouch. Carefully run the flat iron across the project, clamping down on thicker parts. Once the front is smooth, flip over your project and touch up the back. The laminating pouches can be cut to size and one pouch can produce multiple projects, depending on size.
Laminated Leaf Projects
For the magnets, I used self adhesive 1″ magnets. Peel off the sticker and attach it to the back of your laminated leaf. I bought my magnets through Amazon but I have seen them in Walmart too.
The hardest part of these laminated leaf projects was waiting five days for the leaves to be pressed flat. Everything goes quickly after that. I am glad I put these projects into action when I did: it has been dipping down to 35 degrees at night & the leaves press easier if they aren’t pre-dried and shriveled up. I love the finished projects & I will use them!