This popular method preserves leaves by dipping them in melted beeswax. It’s an excellent way to capture the beauty of fall leaf colors—red, orange, yellow, green, and gold—for use in crafts and decorations. You can also preserve wildflowers with this method.
How to Make Beeswax Leaves
Preserving our favorite fall leaves in pure beeswax is a simple way to capture those beautiful colors and make them last long after the season is over.
In addition to fall leaves, you can also preserve seed pods, flowers, stems, and other plant leaves using this method.
Beeswax, an all natural product created by honey bees, has so many uses including crafts like candle making, kitchen uses like beeswax food wraps (see the tutorial), makes a good shoe polish, is found in many beauty products, and more.
This shows 15 Creative and Practical Beeswax Projects in case you have leftovers after preserving your leaves.
While the beeswax-dipped leaves look beautiful on a mantle or table, I like to hang mine from branches to display them in front of a window. See How to Make a Decorative Fall Leaf Mobile here.
I’ve linked to products on Amazon but always recommend checking local sources for items like beeswax.
Beeswax for Crafts
- Beeswax for crafts comes in blocks or pellets, natural yellow or white, purified (natural debris is filtered out) or natural.
- I use the basic natural yellow beeswax in block form.
- Here (Ontario, Canada) I get 1lb (16 ounce / 450 gram) blocks for $6 each. Check with local beekeepers for best prices.
- At room temperature, beeswax can be fairly difficult to cut into pieces, which is why pellets are handy. You don’t have to cut them up and they melt rapidly.
- Tricks for cutting a block of beeswax
a) Place beeswax in the freezer for a day (in a heavy duty freezer bag) and then smash it with a hammer to break it into bits.
b) Alternately, you can also heat the blade of a good cutting knife and slice it that way.
- Melting point: 62 to 64°C (144 to 147 °F)
- Discolors: >85°C (185°F)
- Flash point: 204.4°C (400°F)
- Best storage: 15 to 25°C (59°F to 77°F)
Love crafting with natural materials? You might enjoy Naturally Crafty—see it here.
Notes for Hand-Dipping Leaves in Beeswax
While fun to do, this can get messy if you don’t set up your work area correctly.
You will be melting beeswax in a double-boiler on your stove top. The double-boiler is just two pots or a pot and bowl. They are used to produce a gentler heat than you would get if the beeswax was place directly in a pot on the stove.
Dedicate the bowl used for melting the beeswax to crafts only
Because this can get messy and it is not easy to completely clean a bowl used for melting beeswax, use a bowl that is heat proof and can be dedicated to future crafting.
Place the baking tray lined with wax paper beside the stove
After dipping each leaf in the melted beeswax, which only takes a few seconds, you will be placing it on the wax-paper lined baking sheet to dry.
Wear clothes you don’t mind getting beeswax on: it doesn’t wash out
To avoid drips, have your tray right by your double boiler.
Beeswax is harmless but takes some work (scraping) to remove from surfaces once dry.
If you do get drips, you can use a hair dryer to re-melt the beeswax and wipe if off your counter.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛
How to Preserve Leaves With Beeswax
Supplies & Materials
- 2 ounces Beeswax All-natural, blocks or pellets (approx 55 grams)
- 25 Leaves
- Gather fallen leaves (with their stems) in good condition. Do not let them dry longer than 24 hours before preserving.
- If using a block of beeswax, slice two ounces into smaller pieces if possible to make it melt faster.
Set Up Work Area
- Line baking tray with wax paper and have supplies ready.
- Set up double boiler on stove with two cups of water in bottom cooking pot and heat-proof bowl or other suitable pot on top.
- Place beeswax in top bowl and bring water to boil to melt beeswax. You want the beeswax to turn to liquid but not get any hotter. As beeswax begins to soften, check constantly with thermometer. The melting point is 62 to 64°C (144 to 147 °F). Adjust heat to keep around this temperature.
- Use tweezers to grip end of leaf stem and dip into melted beeswax until coated on all side and up stem to tweezers. This takes just a few seconds.
- Raise leaf out of beeswax and allow excess to drip off before placing leaf on wax paper.
- Repeat for rest of leaves.
- After beeswax coat dries (just takes a few minutes), you can re-dip each leaf is desired.
- Melted beeswax dries quickly. Once the leaves are cool they are ready to use for crafts or decorations.