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December 02, 2022
HOW TO MAKE A FALL GARLAND
Do you love the beauty of fall, and want to preserve it just a little bit longer? Making a garland with real fall leaves, is easy, fun, and a great project for the whole family. By dipping fresh fall leaves in liquid wax, you help preserve them and they will maintain their color much longer. It definitely depends on the leaf, but in our experience some will hold their color up to a year!
Keeping the garland out of direct sunlight will help them keep their color longer. Either way, once dipped, they get a nice soft satin like texture, and will be easier to pierce with a needle for your garland. They also make nice additions to fall centerpieces, mantle decorations, and wreaths.
WHAT YOU NEED:
• Fall leaves - make sure they are dry, somewhat clean. Leaves with stems are easier to dip
• Wax - beeswax, paraffin, or soy will work
• Needle and thread
STEP ONE - Gather your leaves!
First, you are going to need some pretty fall leaves. Take a nature walk, bring a basket, and have fun picking out a variety of colors and shapes. Green leaves do not work as well, but a few can be fun. Just know the color in green leaves won't preserve as well. Dried flowers, clusters of berries and other small objects can also be fun. They will have varying results, but we encourage you to try a few and experiment!
STEP TWO - Choosing your wax!
You will need a few cups of wax for this project. You can use beeswax, paraffin, or soy. If you don't have wax, you can melt down old spent candles that you have lying around your house. Keep in mind the color of the wax may tint your leaves, but that could be fun too! You just need enough melted wax to submerge the leaves in.
STEP THREE - Set up a work space!
Lay down some newspaper or something to protect your work surface from dripping wax. You can also try this by melting down an old spent candle that you have lying around your house. Keep in mind the color of the wax may tint your leaves, but that could be fun too!
STEP FOUR - Melt the wax!
Heat up wax until it is clear and completely melted. An old pan, or a can, can be set up in a double boiler fashion and are easy solutions. Heat it slowly. Do not over-heat the wax. Remove from heat immediately if you begin to see it boil or smoke. Do not leave wax unattended when heating.
STEP FIVE - Dip the leaves!
Holding each leaf by the stem, dip in the leaf and then pull it out and let it hang above the pot until it is finished dripping. This thin coat of beeswax will help preserve the color long after it would naturally turn brown. You only need a thin coat so to dip it once. Over-dipping, or dipping it in wax that has cooled too much will result in a cloudy look. Try reheating the wax if this happens.
STEP SIX -String them up!
Now you have some beautiful preserved leaves. You can string them in a garland using a needle and thread, tie a fishing line to each stem and hang them individually, or simply display them on your mantle. Keep in mind, if you choose to hang them in a window, it's best to choose one that does not have direct sunlight to preserve the color. However, they look the prettiest with some light behind them, so as long as you aren't attached to them keeping their color all year, a window is perfect!
STEP SEVEN - Share them with your friends!
These leaves end up being super pretty. There are many ways to use them, including decorating cards, adding them to a bow on a present, or simply tacking on a cork board! We hope you enjoy making them and share this blog with your friends!
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