I have been totally blown away by the beauty of the autumn leaves this year. They might be coming to an end but I really wanted to get this one down. All the incredible colours, the amazing autumn light and the cosy-ness of the change of season has been so lovely. I always love a change of season and love marking it with some seasonal activities. Once you have the wax, this is an easy home craft with so much scope for lovely chats – the colours of the leaves, the veins, our connection to nature, how the trees create oxygen for us to breathe, how trees shed their leaves at this time of year, as well as creating a beautiful, rustic decoration for your home!
What you need
- Leaves – choose ones you love the look of! We went for a mix of colours, sizes, shapes.
- Beeswax – bars are probably the easiest form. Ideally from a local beekeeper, but it is readily available on line too.
- Saucepan, bowl and hot water to make a ‘bain marie’.
- String – we used flax yarn from The Refill Larder.
- Sticks – to make your decoration!
how to create
- Sit your bowl over a pan of simmering water and put the beeswax in the bowl. You want to keep the wax hot enough to stop it going hard, but don’t let it bubble.
- Holding the stalk of your leaf, pull it through the wax and flip it over to do the same on the other side. Hold the stalk and let the leaf drop down and the excess wax drip off. If you don’t do this, the wax may be a bit thick and cover up the colours of the leaf.
- Leave the wax to harden on a wooden board and admire!
- Once you have waxed all your leaves, you can play with creations. We tied flax yarn to the stalks and tied the leaves along a stick. I love the idea of tying three sticks together to make it into a mobile shape. We also made breathing wands with our sticks by tying the leaves to one end. Take a big, deep breath in and as you exhale, watch the leaves moving and swaying. A gorgeous little calming, mindful activity for the kids.
top tips for creating
A few of the things we learnt along the way….
- Don’t try melting the wax directly in a pan, it;s really hard to get the temperature right and if it’s too hot it will spit hot wax and if it’s too cold it will add a very thick layer over the leaves and you loose the leaf’s colours and pretty-ness.
- I did this with my three kids, just obviously supervise them!
- You might want to press the leaves for a few hours, under a heavy book, if you want them flat. It does also work with crispier, dry leaves but if they are curled it’s harder to get the wax all over the leaf. It is possible though, you just might have to push the leaves around a little more. I actually quite like the curled leaves waxed too.
Ideas for talking about the breathing wands
- Encourage your children to take a deep breath in through their nose. Imagine breathing their favourite colour all the way from their nose right to their belly button. Slowly breathe out the air, watching the leaves blow gently with your breath.
- You can talk about how our bodies need oxygen to survive and deep breaths take a lovely supply of oxygen round our bodies, keeping us healthy. Notice the pause between the in breath and the out breath. Notice how big, deep breaths make us feel – calm and relaxed. Our lovely deep breaths send a signal to our minds and bodies that everything is okay, and that we can relax.