Wax on - crafting with leaves

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Each year as the leaves are in full swing of changing colors, I gather some and take them home to begin my ironing wax marathon. The neighbors are used to me scouring their lawns for different varieties.
Sometimes I frame them for a quick fall decoration or glue leaves and acorns to branches for a nature inspired table centerpiece. Or, I just send them out to family.
This year my sister requested some ironed leaves for two of her kid's school teachers. They saw some she had taken home from the East coast and wanted their own to decorate with in the classrooms. I'm all for using natural elements and helping out a teacher, well, that just goes without saying.

While they do have pretty fall colors in Northern Utah, they don't have as many of the hardwood maples which produce the vibrant reds.

So today I gathered freshly fallen leaves and began my ritual of Autumn: waxing leaves.

The only items you will need for this are: an iron, ironing board, wax paper and a cloth. Oh, don't forget the leaves.

First - hunt and gather

Next, lay the cloth on the ironing board and put the leaves right side up on the cloth.

Then lay the wax paper over the leaves with the waxed side facing down on the front of the leaves. Covering the leaves and paper with another cloth, I use a hot iron and "wax on" like the Karate Kid.

I remove the ironing cloth to see how well the wax melted on to the leaf.

Then I carefully peel back the wax paper to see the result...

and it's a nice flat leaf which still has dimension but with a hint of shine.

This will preserve them for quite a while.
Without this they would have been crumpled and curled up the next day.

Now I'm off to the post office where they'll be shipped across the country. Maybe I'll even throw in some candy. I'm sure they haven't had enough yet.

Happy leaf hunting!


linking to

House of Hepworths


  1. I haven't done this in years and years! I may need to go leaf gathering tomorrow!

  2. I love this idea and am going to do it this evening! thanks for sharing!

  3. We used to do this to preserve leaves when I was a child. Thank you for posting the step by step directions. Really brought back all kinds of fond memories of school days and my family !


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