Capturing real fall beauty indoors is simple and fun. Easy crafts like this are also inexpensive. Kids will love helping with this project. Individual leaves or branches with multiple leaves can be treated for indoor use. Treated leaves are obviously much more realistic than artificial ones, and it costs so little. Fall colours quickly flee, so gather you leaves while you may. Here is a silly rhyme to repeat while you gather.
Yellow perched by green on a tree, / Splendid in colour for all to see, / The tree was lush, / Making leaves blush / and dive to the ground with a wheee!
Materials Needed for Treating Leaves
- Paraffin – Paraffin can be purchased where canning supplies are sold.
- Waxed paper or parchment
How to Treat Fall Leaves for Indoor Decorating
Place 1 block of paraffin in a 4 cup heatproof measuring cup. Place the cup in the oven, and place a baking sheet that has sides between the cup and the heating element. Paraffin is flammable, the sheet will prevent any spills from reaching the heating element. It’s also a good idea to avoid possible spills by having the cup no more than 1/2 full. Heat at 225 degrees until the paraffin is completely melted. The wax can also be melted in a double boiler on top of the stove. Never place a container of paraffin directly on a burner. Heat the wax slowly at a low heat to avoid over heating.
Remove the cup from the heat and dip each leaf in the melted paraffin, letting the excess drip off and back into the cup. Place the leaves on either parchment or wax paper to finish cooling. If using a branch with multiple leaves, dip each leaf individually, there’s no need to dip the branch itself.
Suggestions for Using Treated Leaves
Dipped leaves will hold their shape and colour nicely. To hold waxed leaves into place, use drops of melted wax. Tilt a lighted candle so that it drips onto the leaf and secure.
- Add to a wreath
- Secure to a ribbon to hang on a wall
- Make a drift in a corner
- Use under the Thanksgiving turkey platter
- Scatter on a shelf
- Fill a glass bowl
- Hang a branch on a wall
- Place around a punchbowl of pumpkin juice
The paraffin keeps the leaves from drying out and crumbling. Just as Joyce Kilmer wrote “I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree”, capturing the real beauty of tree leaves, even for a moment, is so much lovelier than pale imitations.