I’m not a huge fan of faux flowers and greenery, unless they look super close to the real thing. I know that at Christmastime, making wreaths from pine branches and other evergreens is popular, but over time they turn brown. After a bit of searching, I found out that there’s an extra step you can take to preserve virtually any kind of leaves and branches so they keep their colors and texture indefinitely. It’s done with the maaagic of glycerin (*sparkle sparkle*).
Ready for this super easy trick?
You’ll need some freshly picked stems of greenery, a bottle of glycerin, a pitcher of water, a pan or tray, and something heavy (like rocks or a glass pan) to weigh down your greenery.
The water-to-glycerin ratio is two parts water to one part glycerin. I added the entire bottle of glycerin (mine was 16oz) to the pan, and then filled the bottle with water twice with water and added it. I used the rest of the water in the pitcher to rinse off each evergreen stem before dunking it in the glycerin mixture. Once all my evergreen bits were in the pan, I used rocks to hold them under the surface.
My tray conveniently had a lid, so I put the lid on and tucked the pan in the corner of my mud room out of direct sunlight. I let the glycerin do its job (namely soaking into every bit of the stems and leaves) for five days.
To assemble my wreath, I used a plain grapevine wreath and wedged the evergreen pieces between the branches. No wire or hot glue needed, since the evergreen was still totally pliable and obliging.
Despite the glycerin bath, the leaves did still turn gold in some places, but I actually love it. I had to repeat the process with more evergreen branches to fill the wreath, so you can see in the picture above how the pieces on the upper left (which I added to the wreath first) changed over the course of a week. I’ll share another photo if the wreath ages more overall in the next few weeks.