Don’t you love the colors of fall leaves? This is probably one of the best things about the seasons changing! So why not use them for decoration? Dipping the leaves in beeswax actually preserves their color so they can last through the season. We decided to try taking this idea to the next level by adding essential oils! Now you can experience the colors AND scents of fall at the same time!
When picking leaves for this project, keep in mind that the leaves need to be dead and somewhat dry. Don’t pick them off the tree because they still contain a fair amount of moisture that will cause the leaf to turn brown rather than be preserved in its beautiful color. If you have leaves that are fairly moist (let’s face it—the leaves on the trees are prettier!), then you can dry them by placing them between pages of a book for a couple days before dipping them in beeswax.
Also, if you are doing this project with kids, keep in mind that melted beeswax can be hot and this project can get a little messy; so keep your work area covered in newspaper or wax paper for easier cleanup. One idea for working with children is for an adult to dip the leaves and hand them to the child to shake off the excess beeswax and lay on the wax paper to dry. Children can also help string up the leaves and create garlands.
For easiest cleanup, allow the beeswax to dry completely; then scrape/peel as much as you can off your dishes and either save for another project (leftover scented beeswax would make a great candle!) or throw in the trash can. Use really hot water to melt the remaining beeswax and wash dishes with soap.
Scented Fall Leaves
- Essential oils (Some great fall scents include cinnamon, clove, cassia, orange, ginger, cardamom, cedarwood, patchouli, and frankincense)
- Fall leaves
- Wax paper
- Melt the beeswax in a double boiler, saucepan, slow cooker, paraffin wax bath, or microwave-safe dish. You will want enough beeswax to be at least 1 inch deep. (We used a 2 cup glass measuring cup with 1/3 cup of beeswax placed in a small pot with water to create a double boiler. This amount worked well for the 20–30 small leaves we waxed.)
- Once the beeswax is melted, add essential oils to create your desired scent. (We used 2 drops of clove, 2 drops of orange, and 2 drops of cassia for the 1/3 cup of beeswax, and it smelled great!)
- Hold the leaves by the stems, and dip them into the beeswax. Make sure to cover the whole leaf.
- Gently shake off the excess beeswax, and let the leaf dry for 15–30 seconds before placing on a sheet of wax paper to finish drying.
- Note: If the beeswax starts to cool (you’ll notice it gives the leaf a thicker coating when this happens), reheat the beeswax for a minute before continuing. Leaving the beeswax on a low heat source is easiest, but use caution if children are helping.
- Once finished with all of your leaves, string them up by tying a little knot around each leaf along a piece of string, or use them in any of your favorite fall decoration ideas.
- Use the leftover scented beeswax to make a candle! Click here for instructions.