Keeping a four leaf clover forever?
April 28, 2007 5:07 PM   Subscribe

I just found my first four leaf clover. I was in a special place when I happened upon it. Is there anyway to make sure I will always have it (other than laminating it)?

I suppose I could just put it in a frame, but ideally I would like to make it into some sort of pendant or find another creative way to keep it close. Would it be possible to somehow cast it in silver? Any ideas?
posted by Ugh to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I saw some jewelry recently that was made from flower petals dipped in resin. They were gorgeous and kept their color. Maybe you could do something like that? A resin pendant?
posted by amileighs at 5:15 PM on April 28, 2007

You can press it between sheets of paper and outer sheets of waxed paper, in the pages of a book you don't otherwise care about, weighted with other heavy books. The paper between which you press the clover dessicates it, and the weight and pressure flattens it.

Pressed flowers and botanicals are fragile in themselves, but Victorians used to mount them in scrapbooks style albums, sometimes bolstered by clear lacquer and other fixatives.
posted by paulsc at 5:18 PM on April 28, 2007

I once bought a physics textbook on ebay that was filled with presses flowers. They were amazingly well preserved... I would guess that book hadn't been opened in 15 years.
posted by phrontist at 5:29 PM on April 28, 2007

During college, I collected quite a number of 4-, 5-, even 7- leaved clovers. I'm sure that the campus having its own nuclear reactor was just a coincidence.

Anyway, one key to pressing leaves or flowers is that you need a book without glossy pages. The pages need to be matte and unfinished, as in a [typical to me] phone book. Glossy pages will not properly absorb the moisture from the plants, resulting in mold and/or the delicate leaves and petals sticking to the pages.

Most of my clovers were kept in a little blank journal book that a neighbor had given me; some were moved into that book from a phone book.

What you could do, if you don't want to preserve your clover in resin/polyurethane, is to go buy a lovely journal, making sure that the pages aren't glossy, and press it between the pages of that journal. Arrange the clover's leaves carefully as you close the journal to make sure they are not too much on top of each other - the clover is thin enough that it should still dry just fine, but you won't be able to see the leaves clearly later if they overlap. Lay the journal on a flat surface, covering it with a few heavy-ish books to really press the clover, and leave it for a few weeks.

Alternately, you could press the clover in paper that you don't intend to keep, like a phone book or sheets of newsprint (I've not ever seen a problem from ink transferring from the printed phone book to flowers or leaves). Once you're sure the clover is completely dried, you can mount it to some nice paper setting and have the whole thing framed.
posted by amtho at 6:12 PM on April 28, 2007

Best answer: You could possibly put a pressed-and-preserved clover into a photo locket, also.
posted by amtho at 6:21 PM on April 28, 2007

Best answer: A way to preserve leaves is to submerge them in a solution of glycerol and water:

Use a mixture of one part glycerol to two parts water. Place the mixture in a flat pan, and totally submerge the leaves in a single layer in the liquid. You'll have to weigh them down to keep them submerged. In two to six days, they should have absorbed the liquid and be soft and pliable. Remove them from the pan and wipe off all the liquid with a soft cloth. Done correctly, the leaves will remain soft and pliable indefinitely.

posted by kisch mokusch at 6:52 PM on April 28, 2007 [4 favorites]

You might check into having it bronzed. I've only heard of this being done to baby's shoes but it might work and would definitely be better than pressing and drying if you want to wear it as a pendant.
posted by sanko at 7:29 PM on April 28, 2007

How about a paper weight? Dried flowers and leaves look quite good encased in polyester and as a plus, you can choose the shape of the paper weight yourself. Naturally, the clover has to be dried first, but conserved in this way it will keep indefinitely and will be sturdily protected.

The advantage of this method is that you can still see the clover clearly in its natural state, whereas with for example bronzing it's more 'concealed'. You can also have it engraved with the specific place and date where you found it, so it becomes even more a keepsake.
posted by lioness at 8:35 AM on April 29, 2007

Best answer: Be sure to press it between sheets of paper, and not plastic. Plant matter rots under plastic because it holds the water in rather than absorbing it.
posted by KRS at 12:39 PM on April 30, 2007

You could always eat it. That way it stays with you forever and ever (or at least the part of it you don't poop out will).
posted by SexCpotatoes at 4:41 AM on May 2, 2007

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