Sunday, October 25, 2015

How to Easily Preserve Fall Leaves with Wax Paper

I know I promised a Halloween post next, but I just had to get this super easy tutorial out there before all the beautiful fall leaves have fallen and dried up! Also the boys are taking a nap so it's the perfect opportunity to throw together a quick post. Then it's back to the owl bathroom for some thrifty renovations I can't wait to show you all!

A few days ago we went to the park to take our annual family fall pictures. It was a gorgeous 72 degrees out, one to add to the many this year with our unseasonably warm fall here in Illinois.

Here's some of the pictures from our photo shoot:

As you can see Jackson clearly would not cooperate. Out of almost 200 pictures taken, there was not a single one with him looking at the camera. *Sigh* toddlers are so unpredictable. I really did think this was going to be an easy 5 minute ordeal with him being older and so bribable ;). Oh how wrong I was!

After our trying photo shoot some promised playing at the park ensued and then some leaf and (of course) rock collecting. We got lucky since the leaves are just beginning to change we had a great variety to choose from! Normally by now all the leaves have changed and are dry, brown and brittle on the ground.

When I had picked Jackson up from work about a week before my mother in law showed me what they had done that day: collected and waxed leaves! They were preserved and flat, perfect for decorating. Jackson had even picked out a cute tiny baby leaf! She told me exactly how she did it and that they should last forever! I'm all about super easy crafts that involve Jackson so I set out to do some myself :).

Wax Paper Leaf Supplies

  • Leaves
  • Wax Paper
  • Paper towels or thin towels
  • Iron
  • Surface to iron on
I spread out my leaves when we got home from the park and by the time I got around to working on them it was bed time. I was hoping they would still be ok the next day. Some of them were very brittle already but we had collected a ton so I wasn't too upset. So letting the leaves sit and dry out is probably not the best idea.

I spread out the leaves on my ironing board and set my iron on medium.

I laid out a piece of paper towel and then a sheet of wax paper. I then placed a large leaf or multiple small leaves on top of the first sheet of wax paper.

Then I carefully pressed another sheet of wax paper.

Finally I gently placed another sheet of paper towel on top.

Then it was ironing time. I ironed each side for about 3-5 minutes. It seems like a lot and I was overwhelmed at first but I put several leaves on each sheet so I was done in no time. I suggest watching something interesting on TV to pass the time. I watched the Cubs lose the World Series. Such a sad, sad game for us Illinois folks who have been waiting 107, make that 108 years for the Cubs to win the World Series again :(.

After all that ironing I simply pulled the wax paper off to reveal a flat, waxy leaf. Some on the bare spots on the wax paper may stick together but it easily pulls apart.

I'm so excited to disperse these leaves throughout the house!

A couple of the leaves curled up a little but I think that only adds to the look of real leaves decorating the house!

Now get out there and gather some leaves before it's too late!


P.S.  We did manage to get one good picture :).


  1. What kind of a iron is that , Loos like there is no cord. ? Will be doing this today . Thanks for the idea.

  2. Eisseb, honestly it's probably the cheapest iron we could find at the store ;) it does have a cord, my hand was probably covering it up! Have fun making wax paper leaves :)

  3. Do you flip it over & iron? You said each side 3-5 mins.

  4. Yes ckay56 you flip it over and iron the other side for just as long. It smelled faintly of burning leaves while I was ironing (just an FYI!) but the leaves looked just fine when I was done!

  5. Where do you find wax paper with enough wax on it?! I use to make cards with wax paper and dried flowers but now wax paper doesn't have enough wax on it.

  6. Hi love your pictures and leafs when you put the leaf on wax paper do you put the leaf on each side or other side and then when you iron it with the second wax paper is that shiny side up too then paper towel on that and iron hope to hear from ya soon thanks

  7. i just did this exactly how you did but didnt noyice any waxy effect on leaves just look like they were presses and dried can ya give me some suugestions

    1. The shiny side has the wax. So paper towel, wax paper,shiny side up. Leaves, wax paper,shiny side down. And finally another paper towel.

  8. I did this and they turned out beautiful. How long do you think they will last?

  9. Darn it, now I've got to try that. I like the way they looked.


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