Oct 5, 2011

Wax Dipped Leaves

I know I've been on quite the fall decorating kick lately, I'm almost done, I promise.  While I do enjoy the promise of spring, and sunny joy that summer brings, I'll always be an autumn kind of girl.  The colors, the smell in the air, the warm days and cool nights, it's all good.  So when autumn does roll around, I try to soak it up and bring it into my home.  

Exhibit A: wax dipped leaves strung across my living room window.

I saw the idea here on Martha Stewart quite some time ago, and have just been waiting for the leaves to turn so I can preserve them in their autumnal glory.

So during the afternoon a couple of days ago, Bo, Addie and myself took a stroll through our backyard and down the street looking for bright leaves.

We collected as many different shapes and colors as we could find within a reasonable walking distance.

Then I took my big block of wax that I've had for years and cut it into smaller pieces.  The kids helped me out by putting all the pieces in a small pot, and we put it over a medium-high element.  Once the wax was completely melted and clear, it was time to dip the leaves.  Oh, you may want to use a pot that's not near and dear to your heart...the wax was pretty difficult to clean out of my pot.  Thankfully I used one that was pretty beat up already.

The kids took turns pinching each leaf stem with my (cheap-o) kitchen tongs, dipping the leaf into the wax, letting it drip off for a few seconds, dipping it again, then laying them out on a sheet of waxed paper to let the wax set.  I don't think you'd need to dip them twice, we just wanted to.

Once the wax has firmed up, the leaved are perfectly preserved...fun, huh?

We kept dipping and dripping and laying the leaves out until the table was cleared.

On a quick side note, be sure your wax stays hot enough. When the wax starts to cool it gets cloudy and clumpy as you dip the leaves in...see?

That's just not nearly as pretty as when the wax is clear and smooth.  But don't sweat it, just pop your wax back on the element and it'll heat back up in no time.

Once we were done dipping and the wax was set, I took a sewing needle and some strong thread and strung up the leaves to display across our living room window.

I love the way the sun shines through the leaves in the mid-afternoon.

I hope you enjoyed today's post, I think it's the last fall themed post I'll do.  Now I'd really better get started on some costumes for the kids, halloween will be here in no time at all!

Be blessed,

I'm linking up!


Christina said...

I love these, the colors are beautiful!
I wish our leaves were turning colors already...
Fantastic idea!

Marilyn said...

Jen, this is BEAUTIFUL.. I haveto try it with the kids sometime.. So pretty.. Love it.. I'm spotlighting this on my "Inspirataional "Pin It" Thursday's today if you don't mind.. Stop in sometime.. Xo~

Jen said...

Marilyn, of course I don't mind if you spotlight my post! I'm honored! Thanks for stopping in!

Elise Engh said...

This is great! Just the other day I was googling how to preserve leaves and I never found anything I liked too well. Coating them in wax is genius- I really want to try this! Is there a special kind of wax that you use for this?

Jen said...

Elise, the wax I used was from a giant block of wax I bought at a craft store y-e-a-r-s ago. I believe that it's just regular parafin wax though. You could probably find it in the canning/preserving section in a grocery store.

Courtney McAulay said...

This is so awesome! I just love it! I would love if you would come share this at The Crazy Cute Link Party @ Between U & Me! :D


Jill said...

These are so pretty. I love that you brought a little bit of nature in. Great idea!

Jill @ www.greenbeangardens.com

Natasha in Oz said...

What a great idea! It is spring here in Australia now so I will have to remember to do this next Autumn.

Best wishes,

Revi said...

Your leaves are so lovely! I'd try it this year if I wasn't in transition. Like you, I'll file the idea away for another time! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

This is amazing! I don't really decorate for Autumn but I'd definately consider this. (If it ever dries out enough to collect leaves!)

paige said...

Wow...so pretty! Wish we had pretty fall leaves here! Thanks for linking up to the Creative Genius Link Party!

paige said...

Forgot to tell you that your link was the most popular link at my party this week - I'm featuring your button on my sidebar for the next week!

Ginger said...

Featuring these, too! :)

Ginger @ gingersnapcrafts.com