Every autumn, we try to preserve the leaves that we find on our many nature explorations. We like to use them for crafts, in nature journals, and on our nature table. I’ve experimented with a lot of methods of preserving leaves and not been super enthusiastic about any of them. I almost didn’t try using preserving autumn leaves with wax paper because I had read elsewhere that people didn’t find that the method worked well. This autumn, I finally decided to give it a try though and amazingly found that it worked better than any other leaf preservation method that we have tried before.
To preserve leaves with wax paper, lay out a sheet of wax paper (it doesn’t matter which side is up). Arrange your leaves on the wax paper such that the leaves don’t touch each other.
Lay another sheet of wax paper on top of the leaves (it doesn’t matter which side is up).Place a rag or towel on top of the wax paper and leaves.Iron the whole stack with a hot iron (I had my iron on as high as it would go). Do not use a steam setting on your iron, you do not want to introduce any water into this process.Check the leaves frequently to make sure that they don’t burn. It did take me a couple minutes for each section of wax paper to melt the wax on to the leaves. Keep ironing until the paper adheres to the leaves. The veins of the leaves will be visible and the leaves will look darker as the wax melts. Note, my yellow leaves did turn brown-ish from the heat of the iron.Once you have ironed all your leaves, let everything cool completely. I actually let them cool for a couple of days. At this point, some people choose to leave the leaves between the sheets of wax paper and just trim around the leaves. I wanted the leaves removed from the paper, so I very carefully peeled off the wax paper. We’ve been using them for crafts and on our nature problem for a few weeks now and they look great! (Note, leaves that have been preserved with wax paper are like leaves that have been pressed in a book, fairly dry and delicate, so be careful when peeling off the paper and when handling them afterwards.)Enjoy! Do you preserve autumn leaves? If so, what is your favorite method for preserving them?