Autumn Crafts - Beeswax Leaf Dipping
Autumn is my favourite season. How about you?
One of my favourite activites as a child was to collect colourful leaves and press them in a great big book between two pieces of wax paper. It was always a little precarious gettin the flower or leaf place just right. But the real trick was to remember what book I used and where I put it.
Years later as a "grown up", my mom had had enough of dealing with my boxes and stuff after years of me living away so she sent them all to me to a tiny little apartment I rented in Calgary. All of them. All at once.
The semi-trailer arrived (did I really have that much stuff?) and the driver began to unload box and after box after box. It was like Christmas opening them up. So many things I wanted and needed. So many memories.
Where was I going to put it all?
Flipping through my favourite books, what was most exciting was the treasures that would flutter out from between the pages.
My leaves! My flowers! Picked by a little me a long time ago!
This was definitely something I was going to do when I had kids of my own.
And I did.
When Walt was big enough to toddle along we picked many leaves and I tucked them away in books between parchment paper with the promise of a magical discovery of seasons past to come.
I still haven't found those leaves in those books. One day.
Last year we started doing a new Autumn craft that preserves leaves perfectly and they're a lot easier to keep track of.
It's a quick craft, takes very little prep and smells delightful. And with enough newspapers spread out, it's any easy clean-up, too.
Are you ready to try dipping leaves in beeswax? Oh yes, you are!
1) Go leaf picking. Make sure your leaves are dry and in good shape. All sizes and colours. Ensure the leaves have long enough stems to hold onto firmly when dipping into the wax.
2) Spread out a whole bunch of newspapers on a table or outside or where ever you'll be dipping.
3) Gently heat the beeswax. A 200g chunk of beeswax should do the trick. Heat it up in a double boiler or in a wide can in a pot of water or, if you're lucky like us, put it into your dedicated mini chocolate fondue cooker that is now just for melting beeswax.
4) When the wax is melted, take it to your newspaper covered area and get to it. Dip a leaf in the wax until it's coated completely, let it drip off, then place it on the newspaper to dry. You may have to flip it over in a minute or two to ensure it doesn't stick to the paper.
5) You did it! You dipped leaves and wax and they will last indefinitely. We made a garland for the front door by tieing the leaves to a length of string and hanging it from the door knocker. We also made a long garland to hang above the dinner table. No wait. That was last year :)
See, that's where the leaves are! They were so pretty we left them up from last year. We've heard they make excellent fire starters. Maybe we'll try that next year.