Sunday, November 6, 2011

beeswax leaves

One of our favorite Autumn crafts is beeswaxing leaves.  We do this sometimes a couple of times a week and end up waxing all manner of Mother Nature's treasures.  Last year I found a "Crockette" (mini Crock Pot) at Goodwill for $2.99 and it's one of the most useful items for crafting I've ever brought home.  The Crockette is dedicated to this one use so I never have to clean it out and, as long as we plan ahead (it takes an hour or two to melt the full hardened pot back down to liquid wax), we've got a sweet smelling, entertaining, natural activity at our fingertips.

After a gathering walk, when the leaves (or seed pods, or sticks or whatever) are still fresh, we dip them into melted wax, gently flatten them a bit and leave them to dry on parchment paper.  If we want them extra thick, we dip them in a bowl of cold water to harden the first wax layer then dip them again.  It's easy for kids of all ages and takes no skill at all.
In addition to our Nature Table, we have a Nature Tree in one corner of our living room.  Its branches are filled with butterflies and dragonflies in Spring, flowers and fruits in Summer and waxed leaves in Autumn (held in place with mini clothes pins). 

The wax preserves the leaves for longer than they would normally last but, over time, they still fade and return to the earth as the season passes.

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