Waxing leaves is a family tradition, which my mom used to do with my brother and I in the fall. Passing down these fun traditions, to my own daughters, is a way for me to honour my mother, and the great job she did raising me.
The leaves in the Atlantic Provinces change into multitudes of reds, yellows, oranges and browns each fall; but they don’t last long. You can easily preserve them longer through waxing. There are a few different ways to wax leaves. This is the ironing method.
1) Pick some of your favourite leaf types and colours. We chose traditional red maple.
2) Make sure your leaves are clean and dry. You can iron them between two sheets of paper towel to dry throughly, but I’ve never found this necessary. I just pat them dry.
3) Set up an ironing board and cut as many pieces of wax paper in approximately 10 x 20 inch pieces or as big as you would need to cover your leaves on top and on bottom. You can do this multiple times if you have a lot of leaves, but use new sheets of wax paper for every set. Turn on your iron to a medium setting.
4) First put down an old cloth or pieces of paper towel to protect your ironing board from wax.
5) Lay a sheet of wax paper down on the cloth or paper towel wax side up – smooth side down. Then lay your leaves on the wax paper spread apart, so they don’t touch.
6) Cover those leaves with another sheet of wax paper. This time put it wax side down, so both wax sides are against the leaves.
7) Cover the entire sheet of wax paper with paper towel and iron slowly.
They are done if you look at the paper towel and see that the wax has melted through (looks smooth and a little wet). Set aside this piece to cool somewhere and start over again if you have more leaves to wax.
Once the wax paper is cool to touch you can peel it off the leaves.
They should be shiny and waxy and ready to use in a craft, decorate with or put in a scrapbook.
The leaves also make pretty designs in the wax paper. My children loved this part!