Here, in scenic North Carolina, people come from hundreds of miles to drive into the mountains and view the gorgeous fall leaves. With their colors of yellow, orange, red and green there aren’t many things that can outshine the beauty of miles with nothing but colorful leaves in sight. Many people use leaves from outdoors, or imitation leaves from a craft store, to decorate for Halloween, Thanksgiving and autumn in general.
Some people purchase fake leaves because they can buy them once but decorate them for many years. Other people prefer real leaves because they cost no money. You can have the best of both worlds when you gather leaves from outdoors then use a simple technique to preserve them for years.
In the old days, you had to create a double-boiler to melt wax for craft projects. With the invention of the microwave waxing things is much easier and not near as messy. If you prefer the double-boiler method, fill a saucepan with water and set it on a burner. In a tin can (minus the label) place paraffin pieces to melt. Set the can in the boiling water and stir on occasion. When the wax is completely melted you can then remove the can from the water.
If you prefer the easier microwave method just place wax pieces in a glass cup or microwave-safe bowl. The one advantage of the double-boiler method over the microwave is that, by using a can to melt wax, you don’t have to worry over trying to clean a wax-coated glass or bowl.
Take each leaf by its stem and dip it in the melted wax. Hold it over the wax until the excess drips off. Lay the leaf on a piece of wax paper to set. Do this to each and every leaf. At any time, you can melt more wax, if you see that it’s getting too shallow for dipping.
The wax leaves can last for years. When the season is over store the leaves by wrapping them in wax paper. Don’t stack the leaves without a layer of wax paper between them. Store them somewhere so that they don’t get too hot. Use the leaves year after year to decorate tables, mantles, candles and other things. The beautiful colors of the leaves are well preserved and can help you create all sorts of autumn décor!