waxed leaves

November 16th, 2011

leaves hung with washi tape

This whole redoing the kids room thing is taking forever to finish. It might have something to do with the three kids living in it.  It doesn’t help when you paint the dresser, hate it and have to paint it again.  The After pictures are coming I promise (here is the before) it’s just taking a leeetle longer than I thought. edited to add: here is the after post

waxed leaves on the wall

So what are all these leaves doing on the wall? I couldn’t figure out what to put on the big wall between the two windows. I wanted to get this awesome ice cream print, but the big map was on the neighboring wall and it would have been too many big things in such a small room.

dipping leaves in wax

I decided to leave it blank and use it like a classroom bullitin board– putting up little crafts my kids make or things to celebrate the season.  First we had a pompom garland up (which you can see in this post) then some bats (behind me here) and now leaves. I had my kids run around the block collecting leaves, then I dipped them in wax, and we stuck them up with washi tape.  I had envisioned the leaves laid out in straight rows like a scientific collection, but the kids had other ideas.

leaves and washi tape

I first saw the wax dipping thing on Martha Stewart (of course) but she uses beeswax and ooof that stuff is pricey.  Then I stumbled on this post where the leaves are dipped into plain old paraffin wax (2.99 at the grocery store and apparently you can wax your snow shovels with it?).

leaves and clouds

After about a week up on the wall, the leaves are starting to curl a bit, which is a bummer.  If you have the patience, you should probably press them over night or even after you dip them. Maybe dipping them twice would make curling less likely? They are pretty nonetheless and I think they would make a beautiful thanksgiving garland.



Posted in craft.

18 Responses to waxed leaves

  1. That is soo sweet! I love collecting leaves and I’m definitely going to do this soon. I love how it brings the outdoors in.

  2. Peggy says:

    Do you have any idea how long they will last? I would love to do a batch up to send to my mother who lives in Louisiana. The one thing she misses most about living farther north is the color in the fall. So I was thinking of making something like this up and she could display them in a bowl. Thanks!

    • meg says:

      I would guess a month a least? But press them a bit before you wax them. And what a lovely thing to do for your mom!

    • I had non-curling, long-lasting leaves (maybe two months? I seem to remember trashing them to make room for Christmas decorations…) when I double dipped them. After the first dip, I placed them on waxed paper (or newspaper, I don’t remember) to dry, then I put them inside a big book to flatten. Then I dipped them a second time to seal any cracks. It did the trick for me!

  3. Dacia says:

    gorgeous! i love the idea of having it be a rotating wall of seasonal things.

  4. Carla says:

    Oooh, I like the curling, they look so cool like there’s a tree just out of sight showering them down. I tried this once with soy wax and it was a total bust, thanks for the pariffin tip.

  5. hayley l. says:

    I wonder if this would work for doilies? Not paper ones, but real ones? I sense a literal hot mess, but it could potentially be rad.

  6. Melissa says:

    Oh I love how the scattered leaves look! Just as it happens in nature, right? :) And a great idea to dip stuff in wax to preserve. My kids like to collect pinecones and some of them get really sharp edges when they dry out (and some have their seeds which scatter EVERYWHERE in the house). Think we’ll have to try out the dipping!

  7. molly says:

    I can’t tell you how much I love this. Where did you get the tape in all the pretty colors? Thanks for sharing.

    • meg says:

      I got the tape off etsy. Look up washi tape in the supply section and a ton will pop up. I got the skinny stuff, but don’t. It’s a little too skinny to be functional, but it does hold up leaves well!

  8. molly says:

    ahhhhh, if only the screen had a smell chip….

    we did up some of these for the first time last year, and they preserved the color until spring. SPRING! stitched them up into a garland, but i think i like the tape (washi?) better. very eco meets hip mod. or whatever. love.

    now, off to go investigate that hand-printed fabric loveliness from a few posts back…

    happy t-day to you and your peeps!


  9. Kate says:

    Your craft projects are so inspiring! My Kindergarden students and I did something similar a few weeks ago – we collected magnolia leaves from the park, painted them with glittery paint, and strung them up on the wall for a week.

  10. sam lamb says:

    i think the leaves on the wall look amazing. especially with the tape.

    (and thank you for the quilting book review – now i know what i’m getting my mom for christmas!)

  11. Anne Marie says:

    What a nice idea! I will try this next fall (all the leaves have fallen of around here)

  12. May I chime in that paraffin also melts to a thinner consistency and dries faster and clearer than beeswax? It’s less romantic, but then, so many practical things are.