We dipped colorful leaves in melted beeswax this weekend. Faye took her Halloween costume for a test-drive, I snapped a few photos, neither one of us upended the pot of liquid wax. Here’s a bit of a how-to in case preserving a bit of fall color is a thing you’d like to try.
Wax-dipped leaves require a process that’s a bit more laborious than the stick-em-in-a-book and tape-em-to-a-wall technique that we’ve practiced in years past, but they’re still very simple to make and the resulting gems can be hung without risk of curling up or drying out, which feels worth the small bit of extra effort if you have the time or inclination. For our part, we hung some of our finished leaves from the mobiles in Faye and Silas’s room and the wax dip will mean they’ll stay fresh above their beds through Thanksgiving.
Beeswax Dipped Leaves
What you need:
Melted beeswax (This is the perfect occasion to remelt the nubs of old candles. There are lots of tutorials online for this kind of fall time gaiety, and most will tell you that you need bleached beeswax, or clear paraffin. Tut-tut! Plain old beeswax will do.)
Double-boiler (Or! A makeshift one made from a tin can and a sauce pan.)
Newspaper (Helpful if working with an enthusiastic toddler; not completely necessary.)
What to do:
+ Melt the wax. We have an old double boiler that I keep under the sink for the purpose, but if you don’t have one of those, melting wax in a tin can set in a water bath will do the trick.
+ Once melted, dip each leaf into the melted wax and allow to drip dry for a moment before setting it on a piece of newspaper to finish drying. (If you’re very particular, you may choose to suspend immediately to finish drying so that positively all of the wax is evenly set. Not necessary, if you ask me.)
+ Tie string to the stems and hang suspended in front of a window, or from a makeshift mobile, or anywhere you’d like.
NB. If you’re watchful, I found this to be a project a three-year-old is more than capable of helping with. Of course, Faye twice dipped the tips of her fingers into the melted wax. It wasn’t so hot that it burned her—far from—but she decided she didn’t like the feeling of the wax drying on her fingers and was content to watch me dip the remainder. As with any project involving young humans, a hefty dose of patience and a healthy relationship with perfection helps things along.
What about you guys? Favorite fall projects in the works?