Over the last four years we have been collecting autumn treasures; this is our autumn collection. I know we're far from alone in collecting conkers and acorns and autumn leaves; but Rachel refuses to let them go and needed a way of keeping her collection safe throughout the year and beyond. This is how we have retained our collection over the years.
We collect them, dry them on the windowsill. Then I dry them some more in the oven for a few hours at a very low temperature. After they've cooled I varnish them in clear nail varnish, perfect.
The acorns are the simplest, they just need drying on the side and then in the oven. I tried varnishing them but it made them look very strange, so we leave them au-naturel.
By the far the biggest risk and the greatest success has been the laminating of leaves. It was four years ago, when Rachel was just two, that we had the most amazing autumn colour. We spent days and days collecting leaves, it became her activity of choice for many weeks. These leaves were truly beautiful and I wanted to preserve them. I tried varnishing them but they fell apart. I tried drying them but that was disastrous. And with no other option left I decided I might as well try laminating them; and what a success it was. It was easy, quick and four years on they remain as beautiful as the day they were collected.
We adore our autumn collection and I use it with kids throughout the year as a way of bringing a tactile factor to their play. Have a go, bring that aumtumnal joy to your house all year around.