You can craft natural jewellery featuring real leaves with methods that permanently preserve the leaves themselves, or their shape and details. There are a variety of leaf jewellery ideas that you can employ using resin, precious metal clay, polymer clay or clear glass and solder. These leaf jewellery techniques help you turn natural leaves and other elements of nature into permanent works of wearable art.
Press your leaves between the pages of a book or between sheets of contact paper and allow them to dry thoroughly. Prepare the resin according to the manufacturer's instructions for mixing resin and catalyst together in equal parts. Dip the dried leaves into the resin to coat them. Allow the resin to dry completely before converting it into jewellery. Drill holes in resin pendants or wrap dipped leaves in wire to create pendants, earrings, necklaces and other leaf jewellery.
There are two types of clay that you can use for leaf jewellery creations: polymer clay and precious metal clay. Press leaves into the clay to create a mould. You can also use mould compound for this technique. Use liquid polymer clay, regular polymer clay or precious metal clay to create an impression of the leaf from the mould. Bake polymer clay and fire precious metal clay to create your leaf-shaped or leaf-accented jewellery. Finish polymer clay leaves with sealant or an appropriate glaze. Precious metal clay leaves will fire to .999 silver, and you can polish them and use them "as is."
Press-dry leaves with contact paper until they are dried through. Press leaves, flowers and other plants between microscope slides or other panes of craft glass. Use two clear glass panes or substitute a coloured glass pane to create a background for the leaves. Wrap the two panes together using copper foil tape, apply flux to the copper foil and solder around all four edges of the glass panes. An alternative method is to purchase metal frames designed to suit microscope slides without requiring the use of solder. Add a metal ring or jewellery bail with solder to create bracelets, necklaces, key chains and other types of jewellery.