I am totally in love with this Fall season we are having. The leaves here in North Georgia have finally turned the most beautiful colors. Every time I turn the corner in my neighborhood, I am blown away by the beauty of the earth! God loves us so much. He knows we long for variation and excitement!
Today, I am showing you how to wax leaves. This is not a new concept to most but for some reason, I never knew about this. I just remember pressing leaves in books. I saw a post on Clover Lane and decided to try it for myself! Waxing the leaves just shines them up a bit. It also preserves the color and texture a little bit longer. From what I've read, they won't last forever. This is such a neat little craft to encourage you to get out in the beautiful, fall weather with your kids. Or, by yourself. I relish a solo walk through the woods. Try it. Remember to make sure that the leaves you collect have stems because we are going to make a little garland with some string. The longer the better.
Collect your leaves-they work best when they are freshly fallen leaves. I actually picked several off of trees. I think it's funny that author over at Clover Lane got a fresh little comment on how she was "defacing" nature by using leaves this way. HUH?? Dead leaves are that, dead leaves (OK, mine will be dead in like 2 days). Clover Lane didn't even respond. Hopefully, she just laughed it off. Laughing at other's negativity just makes you the better person. You will just be in a better mood!
Here we go: Get you a box of Paraffin Wax. Any grocery store will have it.
Pick up a disposable aluminum pan while you are at the store. You DO NOT want to use your cookware for this. It WILL ruin it. I used an old turkey roaster I had, so the pan was pretty thick. I think that a thicker pan works better. I'll tell you why in a minute.
Next, you put the wax bar or bars (I used 2-3 bars) in the pan. Put the pan directly on the burners. Yes, just put the pan on both burners if it's long enough. A smaller pan would just go over one burner. Again, I think the longer, thicker pans work better. I'm not sure how a little aluminum pie tin would work. OK, turn on VERY low heat. If your oven has numbered dials, turn it to 2-3. The wax will start to melt quickly. It has the constancy of water. Once it's all melted (less than 7-8 minutes)you can start dipping your leaves. *DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MELT WAX IN MICROWAVE-it can catch fire (I googled it). Also, while you are working with the wax, if hit hardens up, simply turn the burner on again and it will melt back perfectly.
Keep in mind that the wax is extremely hot! Adult supervision is an absolute MUST. I don't want any burned little fingers please. That would make me terribly sad If you want to be really cautious, someone online suggested getting a clothes pin to hold the stem on the leaf.
Palmer helped long enough for me to snap this picture. He is your typical teenage boy (OK, he's 12 but acts like a full on teenager). He wants to watch football, shoot basketball, hang with his friends… much more than he wants to do crafts with me. I miss the time when he would grin from ear to ear while we were crafting. Please disregard the rotting bananas in the background! I refuse to eat a banana that is ripe. I even want some green showing on mine! I would have made banana bread but I'm on the Avocare Challenge remember? Arggg!
Slowly dip the leaf, pull up slowy and let the wax drip a second or two.
Some people lay the leaves on newspaper. I decided to lay it on wax paper on top of newspaper. Whatever you want I'm sure is fine. The leaf starts off really glossy but dries a nice matte finish.
As you can see, we picked up lots of leaves! We need choices in life right?
Let cool for about 5 minutes and you can GENTLY pull them off the wax paper by inserting your fingers underneath and pushing up.
OK, I got carried away with the leaves. I used 16-17 leaves on my garlands (one on each window in my eating area). I put the rest in a big glass vase to display.
To make the garland, I used simple brown twine. I've seen some use thread or fishing line. I wanted something pretty and natural looking without being thick and cumbersome. The twine looked perfect. I just tied simple knots the whole way. Don't tie, knot and then cut though, just knot it and keep going. It's hard to explain but you will see when you start to do it what I mean.
Happy Fall Yall!