Beeswax & Leaves – Preserving Fall Memories

If you ask me what my favorite smell is – I will say beeswax. So thinking of a Fall craft that includes melted beeswax really appealed to me. I’ve also been trying to find a way to preserve pieces of nature we collect on our various outings. Fall is especially magical because of the leaves, pinecones, acorns, etc. that are everywhere you look! When there are beautiful pieces of nature constantly around us – there is rarely time I’m tempted to purchase keepsake items after visiting a new farm, pumpkin patch, etc. A rock or leaf is more of a precious memory holder than new toy or gadget.  Here are the steps to preserving nature with the memory written on the back with beeswax. Have a little swoon at the trail (below picture) we collected the 10K leaf from and then we’ll start with the ‘how to’.

I love leaves. I’m one of those people that stops and swoons while walking and during this Fall season the abundance of beautiful colors, shapes, and types of leaves is stunning – especially here on the West Coast. I recently started telling the kids to collect a special leaf on our Fall outings. I’ve seen crafts for making leaf mobiles or wreaths by dipping the leaves in melted beeswax and I thought putting a spin on it with marking memories with the leaves would be special. We’ve managed three really special events recently and for each we collected leaves: 1) a visit to our local pumpkin patch with friends 2) a trip to Aldor Acres farm that has baby bunnies, kittens, piglets and many more farm animals and fun activities 3) walk-a-thon at our school. The walk-a-thon is actually quite special because my 8 year old son signed himself up to run the 10k with the older kids. I had to volunteer to run too because we weren’t sure if he could make the entire 10k being his first time. Like many amazing memories that I have from life – my son Angelo and I completed the 10k together and it was a big milestone for him, really showing that he can do anything he puts his mind to. As we entered the 9th k of the run, it started to get tough and I told Angelo to collect a leaf from the trail. (above picture) He did and that is why you see a leaf in the last picture marked 10k. A special way to preserve that memory and a keepsake for him that won’t crumple when the leaf dries.

How to preserve leaves in beeswax

It’s recommend to use a crock pot or double boiler to melt your block of beeswax. Being that I’m a renegade ‘crafter’ of sorts, I did this a little differently. I collected an aluminum can from the recycling and placed it in boiling water in a pot on the stove. I then purchased 2 thick, large beeswax candles from my local organics store. I also had little bits of beeswax from leftover birthday candles that I also melted down. I removed the wick from all of the candles by cutting them in pieces and placed all of the hard beeswax into the can. It would be much easier if you have a local source to purchase a block or brick of beeswax!

Your leaves do not have to be perfectly flat unless you want them to. Flatten them in a book for a couple of days if you want a flat look. I wanted a natural look and was fine with my leaves already curling – it looks really cool actually! Have your leaves already labed by a Jiffy pen with the memory you want to preserve. e.g. date and location (Pumpkin Patch Oct /12), etc.

I watched the beeswax and once it melted I started dipping leaves. I placed the leaves on cardboard from recycling to dry or you can use wax/parchment paper. Try not to use too much beeswax when coating your leaves or it might pool and will harden quickly on the leaves. You want a thin but thorough coating and you can just hold the leaf stem and dip. I wouldn’t let kids do this part. It’s really not necessary and could result in a burn. Here is my aluminum can in a boiling pot setup:

The scent in my house was heavenly from the beeswax! The leaves look gorgeous and I can’t think of a more magical Fall activity. We will make more leaves and thread yard through the stems to create a fall wreath or mobile of memories by the end of October. Every Fall outing have kids pickup leaves and write their memories on the back while the leave are still fresh. Preserve the memory through their eyes and you’ve got a magical keepsake to remember and save.

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4 Responses to Beeswax & Leaves – Preserving Fall Memories

  1. Lisa October 11, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    I love doing this – check out Wicks and Wax in Burnaby (near the Costco) if you’re looking for blocks of beeswax. I have an old coffee can that I put inside one of my pots. Once it is fully cooled I just put the plastic lid on whatever wax is left and put it away until next time. Lovely!

  2. suzanne October 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

    Awesome tip – thanks so much for commenting!

  3. Katha October 17, 2012 at 7:33 am #

    this sounds like a great idea! thanks for sharing

  4. Lori September 9, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    What a great idea! I found a nice big four leaf clover and was wondering what to do with it. I’ve flattened it in a book and didn’t know what to do next. I will try this on my clover. Thanks!

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