Using wax to preserve fall leaves has been all over the internet lately (click here for some info), so I thought I'd try it with the kids. First off, we went on a scavenger hunt for the best leaves. A huge tree resides on the corner of our block, it's one of those things that you don't really pay much attention to most of the year, but when fall comes that tree is the BOMB. The tree's leaves always change color first and it reside on a slope, so the whole surrounding area quickly fills with fall foliage.
Anyways, for our scavenger hunt we took along buckets and gathered a LARGE amount of leaves. I then melted beeswax over the stove (double-broiler fashion, using clamps to hold an old beeswax-filled tin can in the boiling water), but the wax dried fast and it was hard to submerge the whole leaf (truthfully, I think you'd need a LOT of beeswax to make this work). So we moved to plan b - mod podge. I covered the table with newspaper, gave the kids paintbrushes and asked them to paint with the podge (we used glossy, but I think matte might have looked a little better when dry). The kids had a blast, though my husband complained that the smell permeated the house throughout the night.
So what to do with the leaves? At first I left them in a bowl by the door, simple and seasonal. But then F decided we needed more decorations throughout the house (holiday decorating is not my strong suit), so we used string and wooden clothespins to create a leaf banner and hung it in our front room (along with other banner-worthy paper decorations created by my 5 year old). We had a few leaves left over, which the girls chose to decorate with silver glitter pens. All in all a nice fall project. And I like that years from now we can get the leaves out and remember autumn of 2011, as cheesy as that sounds.
I couldn't get a good picture of the banner. The flash, the mirror, and the close proximity to the ceiling made it tricky. Plus I was pretty done with being creative by the time I picked up the camera. On the upside, it's still hanging.
Post by Darcy : bedtimemonsters.blogspot.com