Preserving Leaves in Beeswax For Fall
Holding on to the beauty
Beeswax Is Great For Crafting
Anything you create with beeswax seems to have a magical quality. Preserving leaves in beeswax is a great way to make the color of Fall last just a little bit longer.
The holidays approach as another sweltering summer has passed. Cool temperatures, wind and falling leaves fill the air. For many of us, this is a time of busy schedules. We have so much to do in just a few months.
As we head into the Christmas season, we do not have to leave all the beauty of Fall behind. By coating Fall leaves in beeswax we can increase their value as a part of our home decorating plan. This is an easy craft that is fun for everyone.
Collect Your Fall Leaves
This first step is to choose some colorful fall leaves. You may use all colors and combinations of colors. Red, yellow, orange and many vibrant colors will be on display in a diverse forest.
You may choose leaves of any size but remember you will have to dip them in beeswax. Be sure to consider the size of your dipping vat.
I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon walk through my woods. The trees were ablaze with color. I saw so many beautiful leaves that choosing was difficult.
When selecting leaves, choose ones that are colorful and pliable. You want most of the green color to be gone but the leaves should not be too dry.
Preserving leaves in beeswax works best when you choose leaves that will lay flat naturally. Once your leaves have been chosen, you can turn your attention to the beeswax.
Melting the Beeswax with Care !
Beeswax is a natural product that is produced by honeybees. ( Cool right?). Beekeepers have excess beeswax as a by-product of the honey extraction process. You can purchase beeswax from a local beekeeper or find it in a local craft store.
Beeswax can easily be melted however caution should be used. It is flammable and can catch fire at flash point temps around 400 ° F. Use a candy thermometer to maintain a safe temperature.!
The safest way to melt beeswax is in a container (that you don’t plan to use for anything else) and then put the container into a pan of water. This double boiler method will reduce the danger of over-heating.
Melting beeswax in a crock pot is possible (but it takes longer). Some crafters use a deep fryer pot.
The fryer works great but is very dangerous without continuous supervision. Be safe. Continuous supervision and using the lowest temperature setting possible.
Dipping Your Leaves in The Beeswax
Tie a small piece of string to the leaf stem for ease of dipping. This is especially true when coating leaves in beeswax with children as participants. Otherwise, carefully dipping the leaves and coating most of the stem will serve the purpose.
Do not over heat your beeswax. Beeswax melts at a temperature of about 144° – 147 °. It is not necessary to heat your beeswax to a high temperature.
When beeswax reaches a temperature of around 180 degrees it will darken and become less appealing. For most projects a beeswax temperature of around 170° (or less) is best.
We want the wax to be completely melted but at its lowest temperature. If it begins so skim over on the top, it is not quite warm enough.
Take each one of the leaves and dip them quickly in the melted beeswax. When you pull the leaf out shake it firmly for a few seconds, allowing the excess wax to drip back into the pot. Lay the leaf flat on a piece of wax paper or aluminum foil. It should cool for several minutes ( 5 min).
Now gently pick up the leaf and repeat the dip and shake process. Place your finished leaf out flat once again to cool. A cloudy coating of beeswax will be visible on the surface of the leaves.
Don’t worry. If you performed the dip process correctly, the wax will whiten as it cools.
After a few hours of drying time, you will have a selection of sturdy, colorful fall leaves to use for decorations. This is a great lesson of sustainability for children.
A voice from the past when home decorations were made from natural materials that were readily available from nature.
Thanks for stopping by – Beekeeper Charlotte
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