How To Preserve Your Autumn Colors

How To Preserve Your Autumn Colors

It's no secret that my favorite season is Autumn, I'd live here all year long if I could. But here in So Cal, Autumn is a bit tricky and it comes late if it comes at all. Just this last week we finally got hit with some actual Fall foliage and leaves dropping. Winter is right round the corner but I knew that I needed to save some of this rare Autumn color. And I thought I'd share with you how I do that.

Its super simple, one of the easiest craftiest things with immediate payoff that I know. And its incredibly inexpensive.

A handful of colorful Autumn Leaves

Step One is to gather your leaves and this is probably the funnest ( is that a word) part too. Go grab as many or as few as you like. I love to pick a variety of colors and shapes but you can make them all one type of leaf or all in the same shades or whatever you prefer. 

Dry Autumn leaves ready to preserve with beeswax

Step Two, melt some beeswax. You'll need enough to cover about an inch of the pot or pan. You can buy beeswax online in little beads or as chunks or whatever, but you can also use any candle scraps if you have them. Technically you're supposed to use a double boiler but I'm a cheeky thing and melt it straight on the heat. To do it the right way, you'll need a pot about a third or so full of water and then a second pot or disposable pan you don't mind getting all waxy (because remember, wax can be tricky to clean up). If you're going to be cheeky like me be sure to keep your heat very low and make sure to keep an eye on the wax because you don't want it burning or catching fire. 

An Autumn leaf being preserved in melted beeswax

Step Three, once your wax is melted, lay your leaf inside it and gently press with a soft brush, a popsicle stick or similar ( again, something you don't mind getting waxy). It'll only take a few seconds to coat it. Then lift the leaf by the stem out of the wax ( careful not to burn your fingers, I use an old tongs) and let it drip until there are no more drips able to shake off. Lay it down gently on some wax paper to dry and move on to the next leaf.

Waxed leaves drying on wax paper

And thats it! Once you're done with all your leaves you can use them in so many wonderful ways. You can just lay them all down in a decorative bowl or tray, you can hang them with a thumbtack or double sided along the wall, or you can tie some pretty ribbon or lace or twine to the stem and use them to decorate your Christmas tree or as a fun addition to wrapped gifts, or just about anything else. They also make fun bookmarkers just remember that wax does melt if it gets too hot so bear that mind. You can also write names or affirmations or whathaveyou on the leaves with a sharpie before you wax them for another crafty idea. These would make darling place markers for a holiday table.

Preserved autumn leaves in beeswax

Some Tips: 

  • If your leaf sticks to the wax paper use a blowdryer to gently melt the wax again just enough to lift it up.
  • Keep them out of bright light, the sun will fade the colors and melt the wax
  • If you want your leaves to be really flat press them for a few hours before waxing
  • Only dip them once, if you dip more than that the wax will get thicker and more opaque and you'll lose some of the vibrancy.

A pile of colorful autumn leaves preserved in beeswax

I hope you have fun trying this creative project. 

Until next time, my darling Misfits!

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