Thursday, October 22, 2009

Waxing Leaves

We did this every year when we were young and it was so much fun. It’s a simple tradition but one kids love. First you need to gather leaves…go on a nature walk, find the most beautiful, colorful, perfect leaves. OR just zip your mouth, let the kids pick up the ones they want, no matter what they look like...there is no better way to ruin a creative endeavor with your kids than by being bossy and controlling!
Pick some of this up at your grocery store in the canning section. It’s a couple dollars and one box should be enough.
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Don’t forget to buy a disposal pan like this one…if you don’t you will have to use a good pan, and you will ruin it.
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Melt the wax over low heat. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be careful…hot wax is HOT. Place it on a back burner and guard it with your life if your children are little.
I know I have done this with kids as young as 2, but you have to be vigilant!
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Have them hold the stem, dip the leave in melted wax and then set the leave on wax paper. Cover your counter with newspaper, then the wax paper, to make clean up easy, because it’s NO fun scraping wax drippings off counters.
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Let each leaf cool completely…once they are totally cool they will lift off easily. If the wax starts to harden in the pan, just warm it up on the burner again.
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You can put them in a big glass bowl, or tie them up with string to form a garland. They are beautiful and a perfectly simple (and almost free) autumn decoration.
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62 comments:

  1. That is awesome...never saw it before...wish we had leaves here so I could try it...tempted to have my mom mail me some but don't think they would make it!

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  2. So beautiful. I had no idea this could be done. I see a purchase of wax in my future! How did you string them together??

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  3. i love this!!! can't wait to try it! thanks for sharing.

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  4. That is beautiful! I've never tried this! (And I don't can/jar so I never buy Gulf Wax!) I think this will be a perfect project for us. We have a framed set of leaves in our craft room - they are holding up well. You need to find a pair that are close in size and one skinny leaf to form a butterfly. After drying/flattening in a book, a dab of glue to keep them in place and frame! (I believe this was from Martha Stewart).

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  5. THAT IS AWESOME. I would really like to try that. We are having PEAK foliage right now. Just need to find the time in my busy schedule to do something FUN.

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  6. I really like these... thank you for the idea! And defacing nature Anonymous??? Are you kidding me? I suppose you don't live in a house (defacing trees) or ride in a vehicle (emmissions), or EAT A SALAD - gasp! the horror!!!

    Karen :)

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  7. Is that defacing nature comment for real? Sarah, you need to delete it.

    I think these leaves are beautiful - and how is it defacing nature if you pick leaves that have already fallen off the trees?

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  8. First...I think they might last forever....however, mine never last past the beginning of Dec. when I redecorate for Christmas! :)
    Second...I strung them together with thread...because that's all I had! It was a bit frustrating...wire would be SO much easier.
    Third...Let's leave the defacing nature comment...don't we all need a good laugh in the morning?!

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  9. Beautiful. My mom used to press leaves in big books and then iron them between wax paper. I like this idea since it leaves the natural curl to the leaves.

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  10. we're camping this weekend. one last hooray before winter. i'm going to buy some wax and a pan to do this with the kids there. they will love it! thanks!

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  11. Doing these next week! Thanks for the tips. This is our first time to live in an area with such pretty leaves.......can't wait.

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  12. Oh I love this idea. I can't wait to try it. Thanks for another great idea!

    XO*Tricia

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  13. ohhh...i think i love this. yesterday i was walking and kept wanting to keep all these leaves but just didn't know where...why...how? i love the stringing. cute

    and you couldn't have given me a bigger compliment this morning. :) to say my house looks like my dream place....pure happiness!
    thanks for making my morning!

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  14. Beautiful! Our leaves this year are dull and lifeless because of an early freeze, but I'll optimistically bookmark for next year.

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  15. I'm all over it. So gorgeous!!

    I currently have loads of leaves being pressed in Abnormal Psychology and Sociology of Religion textbooks, but this will be even better.

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  16. This is super-dee-duper! I think my daughter who is home sick with the flu will like this to keep her busy. She's so bored right now.

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  17. What a great idea! SO pretty -- I may do this by myself :)

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  18. What a FUN project! My kids will love it. Thanks so much!

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  19. I have never heard of this. What fun. We will give it a go.

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  20. We are soooo doing this!!!!!!! Thanks!

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  21. that is so cool.......I have never seen that before

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  22. Fantastic idea - we're in need of a fun project and this just may be it. Thanks for the great idea...we're on our way outside to go on a leaf hunt!

    -Libby

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  23. What a wonderful way to preserve these "treasures" I never know what to do with all the leaves my kids collect in the Fall. This is perfect and it gives us a great activity to do together....they will love it, I know.

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  24. Now, I know what I'll be doing tomorrow! Although, I hate to admit I don't have a clue if my local grocery store has a canning section. eek... maybe Michael's?

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  25. thanks so much for sharing something so simple yet so profound. can't wait to show my children. they will LOVE it.

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  26. SO simple but beautiful. I think I made those in school growing up. I love it!

    XOOX
    Jen

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  27. Dang it! I am going to visit my mom this weekend and won't be doing this...but you can be certain this is on my project list for this next week, especially since I made the kids give up weekday tv. Thanks for helping us fill our days without electronics!

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  28. What an amazing and unique idea. Love it. Great header picture!!
    Lisa

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  29. You see? THIS is why I love coming here! Looks like I'm off to buy some wax...and deface nature.

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  30. Awesome! I'll definitely be doing this with my three year old (and guarding the hot wax pan with my life) today :)

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  31. How beautiful! Thanks for sharing :) I'll definitely be filling a big apothecary jar with wax leaves.

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  32. we don't get to comment on your mother hands post? if we could i would say you made me cry and it is all said so beautifully....it sits differently than being NOT to spank. it shows why you chose not to spank...without ever even mentioning the word spanking.
    sarah...i love it here.

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  33. Sarah - first of all - BIG HUGS. =) Second of all... Love the leaf project. We don't have leaves like that here in my part of Arizona... Wonder if it would work the same with cactus needles?! lol...
    And finally, I am sorry we don't get to comment on your post today; it was beautifully written!

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  34. The leaves are so beautiful & that they're the real thing is so nice! I love this project. I just might have to get some supplies & do this one! Thanks for sharing!

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  35. great idea to string the leaves. we've done this before with our young kids and used an old wooden clothespin to hold the stem of the leaf to dip into the wax. It made it more fun for me to not panic about getting hot wax on their little fingers. Thanks for the great photos.

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  36. That looks like such fun. I hope you don't mind if I link to this. Thanks.

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  37. I have never seen this done, what a fabulous idea! I can't wait to try it!

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  38. That is so beautiful! And so easy! Kiddo and I gathered leaves last year for another project, but he will love this one even more!

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  39. This is a great idea.. I have been seeing the great colors around and thought about having the kids do something with them however the kids age 10-15-16 are a bit old for a leaf book but I think they may like this.. thanks for the idea.. I will spring this on them this weekend.

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  40. I knew I kept that big block of wax in my closet for a reason! Thanks.

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  41. I am not at all crafty, but I am committed to trying this!! G & G deserve to have one crafty moment from childhood!!! And if I run into trouble you'll pop over and bail me out right? Such a great craft idea!!

    --Lori

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  42. This is so lovely! I came over here from Ann's and am so glad I did. Thank you for this sweet, fun idea!

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  43. Wonderful! I've always ironed leaves between sheets of wax paper, but I like your idea much much better. Thank you!

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  44. Hello,

    Would it work to just buy some candles and melt them down. I can not buy the wax mentioned here in Uganda.

    Thanks,

    michelle

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  45. We just completed ours and they are beautiful! Thanks for sharing this idea! Blessings!

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  46. So lovely! I'll be sure to do this with the kids next fall.

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  47. This was so nice to see!! My mom always did this with us when we were kids and I passed down the tradition to my daughter. We gave some to her teacher each year through elementary school. I have never known anyone else who waxed leaves! I love your garland idea!

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  48. Now that's about the the perttiest and most practical and inspiring thing I've seen on a blog in a long time...good job

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  49. Love this idea. Wishing it was fall...just kidding.

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  50. beautiful. Can't wait to try this, I love them strung up in front of the window,

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  51. I saw a tutorial like this that was a smidge simpler so I'll pass it on (I haven't tried either way yet, but hope to try one of them this weekend before the leaves are gone).
    Iron them between two slips of wax paper. Same effect. My daughter so wants to make a garland this autumn and every time she goes out collecting, they all curl up because she doesn't *do* anything with them.

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  52. We are SOO doing this -- thanks for the step-by-step!

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  53. This is just so awesome! I never thought about doing this to preserve all of the beautiful color of fall.

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  54. Those are so pretty! I wish I would have seen this post earlier, but I will try to remember it for next year.

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  55. I have been collecting leaves for a few years keeping them pressed in wax paper in my BIG Books, just waiting for the perfect project..... Definetly want to try this .... TY.

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  56. Gorgeous Sarah! I am going to try to do this tomorrow. :)

    ~Tamie

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  57. I can hardly wait for fall, even though today is the first day of summer lol.....I love this idea!!!!!

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  58. Tried this today, and it turned out GORGEOUS, with lots of good memories made, too.
    Thank you!

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