Quick Fix For Fall Leaf Color Fade!

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So! Sharing how I restored the red in my faded leaves!

A very good idea that hit me while responding to a reader's question about how to prevent color fade in fall leaves that have been applied to lanterns using Mod Podge.

Certainly over the past 5 years, the leaves on my own lanterns have lost their color - especially the red and orange leaves. Disappointing yes. But it never bothered me too much because the lanterns are still beautiful when lit. (Original how-to here)

While writing a reply, it suddenly occurred to me that I just might be able to restore color by using Sharpies! I had already used the technique to restore color to faded dried ferns I applied to a gourd several years back.

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Need I say more?

I found that I can actually apply one color over another and blend them together. So this opened the door to accenting with brown or purple here and there as well as adding a bit of color to the tips of the background leaf so it looks more like it did when I first collected it!

Sharpies don't usually fade and I am finding the color flows on very nicely over the Mod Podge surface. Pale colored pens add subtle color - or use red and deep orange if you really want impact..

And the best part! It took me less than ten minutes!!!

Pretty cool don't you think?

I have very rarely used the

I have very rarely used the leaves I've gathered, but I have them stored in a box. I immediately cover them with gel medium so that they are completely covered both sides. None of them have faded.

But the idea of now painting them makes me very inspired!!!

Gell medium Chrissy?  This

Gell medium Chrissy?  This non-artist is completely unfamiliar with this product.  But intrigued.  I have noticed less fade when leaves are kept in the dark - have you left any gel covered leaves out in the light?

Gel medium is good to use as

Gel medium is good to use as a glue when making collage (matte can be colored over), or used to thin paints / create translucency. It's sold near the paints & gesso at the craft store.

You're so clever with the Sharpies!! When I first saw it, I thought maybe you had melted wax over the leaves to preserve them, but then, that would just melt off if the jar got hot.

Simple, easy fixes are the best.

Wishing you and Chrissy were

Wishing you and Chrissy were closer to share in my exploration of "gel medium".  May open new doors to new possibilities!!!

Hi Pam, such a smart

Hi Pam, such a smart brilliant solution you've found out. You're still amazing me.;-D
and stupid me i thought that they where just new leaves, you're too smart for my brains.LOL
it's very pretty, but having cats, i don't have candles lighting on in my home.
allways burned fur paws and whiskers.
And using a electric coocker is for cats as well safer then gas.
I have had alllmost a burned cat when one of them thought they could jumped on it because it was yummie warmth.
i never had yelled so loudly, and she never did it anymore. allthought... new ones will allways tried out as well.
But the funniest thing i allways receive on my birthday candles, it started allready when i was a child. So after having tons of candle figures storaged in a box i set them in fire all of them in the same time, and it was a pleasure to look to melt them away.LOL
And still i received candles, as well of my own family.;-DLOL
but i loved the idea, once i don't have cats i will make one, or will give it to my sis.LOL
she has a whole zoo in her home living.LOL
Thank you very much of your smart fix of colour fading.
Have a nice day, my sweet friend;-D
many dutch hugs

Jet, it was fun sharing

Jet, it was fun sharing again.  Candles and lanterns are so cheery and a great comfort during long dark winters.  It's a shame you can't enjoy them around the cats.

Well, aren't you the cleaver

Well, aren't you the cleaver one! I love that idea. I love sharpies, too!!

Thank you Dawn!  I even

Thank you Dawn!  I even amazed Diane with this one!!!  And she actually saw the project in person a couple days ago and really loved how beautifully the colors blended and appeared natural.

What a great idea, I love it

What a great idea, I love it when there's a quick and easy solution! And thank you so much for the caterpillar info and link. It was fascinating, I always thought cryogenics was based more on science fiction and fantasy than anything else, so to discover it's actually in full use in the animal world already seemed amazing to me. I showed my bug mad son as well, and he was really impressed. It still seems incredible to me now that a tiny and quite basic creature like that has the ability to freeze solid and still survive. Nature is just amazing.

Dawn, I too love this quick

Dawn, I too love this quick fix 'cause I am not in the mood to gather and press more leaves right now.

So happy to hear you enjoyed the links I sent re the Woolly Bear Caterpiller.  I was pretty blown away by it's adaptation to freezing solid as well. 

What a really great idea!!!

What a really great idea!!! One that works too! Yipeeeee! I'm gonna have to try it now for sure!!! Thanks!

Here's to beautiful leaves,

Here's to beautiful leaves, Julie!