Preserving Leaves With the Melted Wax Method

If you don't know the art of preserving leaves, no need to fret. There are several ways to create preserved leaves. One way to savor autumn's fleeting color palette is to dip the leaves in melted wax. Gather and wax your leaves while the leaves are at their most brilliant hues for best results. Leaves that are still on the tree will likely be your best color specimens. While leaves on the ground may be easiest to find, those might be bruised, brittle and faded.

Since you will be dipping the leaves into hot melted beeswax or paraffin, gather leaves with some stem still attached. Try gathering two of each leaf (front and back side) for better leaf identification. You can then draw an accurate leaf carefully and leisurely from direct observation. Compare your results to the actual leaf specimen. Later, add the waxed leaves directly into your sketchbook or nature journal.

Waxed leaves are not just for fall. Leaves collected and waxed any time of the year are great for artistic investigation and documentation.

Preserving Leaves in Melted Wax

Supplies You Will Need:
Leaves with stem attached
Wax
Double Boiler

How to Preserve Leaves in Melted Wax
Melt beeswax or paraffin in a double boiler just until the wax turns liquid. Do not walk away throughout this melting process and never leave the wax unattended.

Carefully dip leaf in and out of the wax, holding the leaf by the stem.

Shake excess wax off of the leaf.

Suspend the leaf stem from a paperclip or clothesline to drip dry or place the leaves into the refrigerator to set and harden.

Another method to preserve leaves (and one that does not involve hot liquids) is to dip the leaves in liquid floor wax.

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