Waxing Leaves

Apparently waxing leaves is a forgotten art, by the snarky comments yesterday.  (Oh, you guys are bad! -grin-)  No, it doesn’t have anything to do with removing hair from “limbs,” and unlike shaving, it is more fun in a group.  I’m talking about dipping leaves in melted wax to help preserve them for a few weeks, and now that I know how from a professional, I think I’ll be doing this every year.  (Thanks Mom!)

We melted a box of paraffin (which you can find in the canning section of the grocery store) in a metal coffee can resting in a larger pot of steaming water, sort of like an informal double boiler.  It took about fifteen minutes I’m guessing?  Just long enough to find the leaves in a slow walk around the block.  The fresher the better, especially in the heat we had this past weekend.  Avoid wet or dry, curling leaves as they won’t show as well.

And then you just dip them in the wax, letting the excess wax drip back into the can before you give it a couple of good shakes and set them on a sheet of wax paper to dry.  Once dry, you can dip the stem, too, and they last a little longer. We did about three dozen each, I’m guessing?  It took about an hour with reheating the wax a few times when it was starting to lay down a little thick on the leaves.  The leftover wax my mom left in the can for the next time.   QED!  And it was a lot of fun.  ;-)

35 Comments

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35 responses to “Waxing Leaves

  1. Interesting! I didn’t know about that technique. But then I grew up on a farm where there was so many leaves in the yard we didn’t feel the need to have some inside. *laughs*

    Regarding your reply yesterday, it would be very cool if you NaNo-ed with us. I recently noticed on Twitter that there is a trend of “NaNo is for amateurs who need to feel like a writer”. It saddens. There is no age or career that prevents one to push oneself and that’s what NaNo is about.
    Anyway, having an awesome author NaNo with us amateurs might force some people to reevaluate their perception of the challenge.
    But that’s only if your other deadlines allow you to do it.😉

    • Hi Aheila. I really enjoyed last year when I NaNoed the last three weeks with you. It’s all about timing. If I can get this rewrite done by the first, I will.

  2. Kylie Ru

    Coolios! Maybe I’ll wax some leaves. Or flowers. Wait . . . there’s not much desert flora I can wax. Unless I want to preserve a cactus.

  3. Candace

    Oooh, those are pretty! I’ll have to try that some time!

  4. Vampyre

    Howdy ma’am,

    All I have in my yard is pine trees, squirrels and pine cones. What I find kind of dumbfounding is people who go buy pine cones from a store when I have a yard full of them. 🙂

    V^^^^V

  5. Judi in NJ

    I LOVE that plate! The leaves are pretty too! A beautiful way to preserve one of the best parts of the season!

    After reading all these posts though, I just want my Mommy.

  6. Antonio

    Ohhhhhhhhhh…

    See, I honestly didn’t know what “waxing leave with my mom thrown in” meant. Now I do. Gotcha.

    Hey, it’s been pointed out to me(by Miss Kylie-san) that WordPress now has what they are calling “Gravitar Hovercards.” If you “hover” the curser over a Gravitar image you get an enlarged picture that can contain links as well as your name and any statement you wish to make about yourself. For those who would like a Gravitar image: http://www.gravitar.com. Be good, happy waxing!😎

    • -grin- I’m just messing with you, Antonio. 😉 You’re a good sport.

      I saw that hover card! Mmmmm, not sure I like it myself, but I’m rather straight-laced..

  7. Rosalie

    My parents’ 25th anniversary is in a few weeks and I’m hosting a party for them, with an autumn “theme” I think I’ll do this, its muuuuuuch less expensive than buying the silk leaves! Thanks for the info🙂

  8. Growing up in New Jersey, I do remember an elementary school project where we took the biggest maple leaf we could find, placed it on top of a slab of rolled out clay, traced the shape, pressing down so that the leaf made an imprint, then peeled it off. Our teacher must have taken over because all I now recall is a finished “leaf”, glazed and molded to form a shallow bowl in the shape of a leaf. Alas, the leaf bowl is long gone but it’s a pleasant thought to remember on this picture perfect autumn day. Thanks, Kim.

  9. JanisHarrison

    Funny how just one missing letter can mislead us all {:-D I think waxing leaves would be a fun thing to do–if we got some really colorful leaves. Ours just fade to yellow or tannish-brown, and the rain converts them to storm drain-clogging mush. The city is begging people to patrol the gutters around their homes and rake the leaves out, because our city (like everyone’s) is in a financial bind and every time they have to send out that super-sucker plus crew to clear a blocked drain, it costs extra $$$. The painting project (our part of it) is coming along better than I expected. It’s sometimes difficult, coordinating 4 strong-minded people, but we’ve pretty well accomplished the packing & stacking part of the job. We have today to vac the walls and wash the woodwork in the living/dining area, and my dear BiL is trimming the old wall-to-wall away from the baseboards right now. Our painter returns tomorrow; just have to finish packing up the kitchen now!

  10. suzannelazear

    the tot and I do that with waxed papers and crayons! I’ve never dipped leaves in wax, but I have preserved roses that way. We don’t have pretty leaves out here though.

    Have fun!

    ~Suzi and the tot, too

  11. mudepoz

    I did the wax paper thing, too. And the glycerin thing:) Fall is awesome, but with the heat and wind, our color is landing on the lawn way too fast.

  12. Sandra

    You know, you can use that parafin wax as a hand softening treatment as well. Just dip your hands instaed of the leaves, (make sure the wax isn’t scorching hot of course)- then you leave it on for about 30 minutes. when you peel the wax off, your hands are soft and silky smooth for daaaays. It really works. The dipped leaves sound really fun. Aaaaaand, I think I may have to read all the comments on yesterday’s post, apparently I missed something…err… interesting.

  13. I hate to admit being this old, but we did something similar in crafts class when I was in grade school. We lived in upstate NY at the time and had gorgeous leaves every Fall. We used rags and a paste wax like something to rub all over the leaves. I think the school was afraid of burners and melted wax for our age group.

  14. S. Smith

    Not a forgotten art! I did these every fall with my mom growing up. I haven’t done them in a few years, at least not since moving to Calgary… but you may have just inspired me to start it up again. I used the long weekend (Cdn Thanksgiving) to start halloween decorating, and they would be great around the pumpkins in the graveyard scene…

  15. RebeccaK

    Oh they are so pretty! We don’t have fall leaves yet where I’m at yet. But I’m headed to the Blue Ridge Mountains this weekend and I”m sure there will be fall leaves aplenty! Maybe I’ll try that too…sounds like a fun and relaxing way to spend time away from work.

  16. Sebrina

    I think I remember doing something similar in school when I was much younger.🙂

  17. Sara

    When I was a kid we waxed leaves by pressing them between layers wax paper with a warm iron. This was fourty (or more) years ago, so I don’t know if it would still work today. I doubt that there’s enough wax on the paper to do it anymore.