How to preserve Autumn Leaves

What I love most about fall are the colorful autumn leaves! It’s a pity that they don’t last very long once you collect them. – Or do they? There is a simple trick to preserve autumn leaves. I’ll show you! 🙂

You only need some wax (beeswax (available here*) and white paraffin wax (available here*) or leftover candles), an old pot, a stove, parchment paper and you are good to go!

How it’s done:

Mix 2 parts paraffin wax and 1 part beeswax in an old pot. You could also use leftover candles, but they should be colorless.

Place the pot on the stove over low heat and melt it very slowly. (It would be better to use a double boiler or bain marie as it’s safer. Really – don’t do it my way!) I bought a hotplate some time ago for this very purpose. It’s very convenient because that way you can do your crafts outside. No matter how careful you are, it is going to be a little messy. There will be drops of wax on your plate and around your workplace when you are done! (Keep paper towels on hand!)

Now it’s time for the waxy bath! Caution: The leaves should not be wet. (steam explosion!) If you collect your autumn leaves on a rainy day, pat them dry between paper towels.

Dip the leaf into the melted wax briefly. Wiggle it a little back and forth, so the wax gets distributed evenly. Use blunt tweezers or hold the leaf by its stem.

Let the liquid wax drip off. Take your time with it, otherwise you will end up with too much wax on your leaf.

Put the leaves on some parchment paper and let them dry a little. And that’s it! Easy isn’t it? 🙂


Tips and suggestions:

Never leave melting wax unattended! Once the wax has melted, put the pot on a fireproof coaster. You can always reheat the wax if necessary.

Temperature is key! Take care not to overheat the wax. (All the more if you do it my way. Seriously, use a double boiler!) If your wax begins to steam, it is far too hot! If you dip your leaves in hot wax, they will scald and ugly bubbles appear on the surface.

If your wax is too cold, it will get gooey and leave a thick layer on the leaf. Just reheat the wax and put the leaf back in.

Kids will love this craft! But you should always supervise them, and never leave the wax unattended!

This works not only with autumn leaves, but with some flowers or plants as well! If the flowers or the plants are too thin and delicate, it might not work so well. The thicker the better. Also some colors will fade. Just experiment a little!


Autumn Wreath Tutorial

This is just an idea what you can do with your preserved autumn leaves! If you want do know how to make this autumn wreath, just click on the picture above. 🙂


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