For years now I’ve seen posts and photos of gorgeous wax-dipped Fall leaves; and I have always wanted to give it a try. Finally this year, with my sons’ obsessive leaf-collecting habits in full swing, it was time!
This is a great activity for kids starting around the preschool/kindergarten age. The wax is hot, but solidifies as soon as it touches skin, so it’s not dangerous. My 5-year old handled the project with ease. The 2-year old helped with leaf gathering on our nature walk and laying them out to dry.
Seriously this activity could not be any easier, but I know that it’s always helpful to have a tutorial, so here you go!
– an assortment of leaves
– double boiler (you’ll need to work over the stove for this so that the wax stays melted while you’re working)
– twine, for hanging
– mini clothespins, for hanging (I used THESE, cuz glitter!)
– optional, essential oil for additional aroma
(Note on leaf collection: Make sure they’re intact and that they have a decent-length stem attached to make it easy to handle and dip in the wax without getting little fingers too close. Also you’ll want to gather more than you think you’ll need so you have variety to choose from and just incase some break or crumble. For reference, we used 20 leaves for a 6-foot garland)
- Obviously, first you need to gather your leaves and lay them out to dry completely. We gathered ours after a rainstorm and laid them out on a towel in the house to dry. It only took a few hours until they were ready to dip!
- Melt your wax in the double boiler over low heat. I didn’t want to ruin my cooking pot so I used an old cookie tin on top of the bottom boiler. *Do NOT try to microwave your wax. Please.* This will melt quickly, even as one solid piece. No need to grate or struggle with a knife to cut it into smaller pieces first. Leave the burner on low the entire time you’re dipping or the wax will start to solidify.
(Optional) Once your wax is completely melted, add a drop or two of a fall-scented essential oil – I used clove – to brighten the aroma of your entire home!
- Dip the leaves into the wax one at a time and slowly move around until the full leaf is completely coated. Set aside on some waxed paper or an old dishtowel to dry completely.
- Once the leaves are dry, simply clip them to the twine to make a beautiful Autumn garland! As long as you store them properly after the season is over (between sheets of waxed paper), they should last forever!
- To cleanup, you can pour the remaining wax into an empty yogurt container to reshape and save for later use. Wipe the wax residue off of anything with a paper towel while it is warm, otherwise it’s difficult to clean. Do NOT pour leftover wax down any drains!
And that’s it! A super fun Fall activity that everyone can enjoy for years to come. Here is how we displayed ours in our home (sorry for the awful lighting!):
Have you ever made wax-dipped leaves before? Tell me in the comments below!
Want to get even more awesome nature-inspired Autumn activities that you can do with your child? Download my FREE Autumn Activity Guide today!