Monday, 16 November 2015

Autumn Beeswax Garland {Illustrated}

I've wanted to make one of these garlands ever since I happened upon them on the world wide web.  There was only one thing holding me back: the total and utter lack of autumn in my part of the world.  So guess what?  When I saw there was still fall foliage upon the trees when returning to Wales, I waxed those babies and strung them up to make a garland!

I even let Afon help some.  Mom of the Year over here!

I bought some bars of beeswax on Amazon, and the process was really quite simple.

Because I didn't have a crockpot or disposable baking dish, I lined a saucepans with tin foil and let the wax melt in there.  It was surprisingly easy.  I thought maybe the bars would take longer and that I  had erred by not looking for some special wax "petals" or "chips," but I honestly had no problem melting these down. I cut the first two in half and didn't even bother with the rest.

My leaves were a bit dirty but I didn't know how washing and wetting them would affect the waxing, so I brushed them off and dipped them as they were.  I do sort of wish I'd had a bit more wax and/or a deeper pot because the large leaves had to be sort of scrunched in there to get them completely covered.

I dried them on a sheet of clean aluminum foil because we didn't have wax paper.  After the first batch, I realized it would be better to hold the dipped leaf over the wax and let it drip for several seconds before lying it down on the foil, so that the wax wouldn't harden and the leaves wouldn't stick and be more difficult to peel off.

If I felt like they needed it, I dipped the leaves more than once.

The smell is so rich!  Afon tried to eat the wax, I don't blame him, it's too much like honey.

After I finished waxing my leaves and carefully peeled them from the foil, I used a white thread and needle and strung them along so that the leaf surfaces were all facing one direction.  If I'd had more, I might have sewn then up so that their surfaces were all touching each other, like single file soldiers, but I needed them to stretch, and I wanted a biggish garland.

The string got tangled in the crevices and leaf edges; thick string would have been better for sturdiness, but wouldn't have sewn through the leaf skins so well.  If I'd had my (now stored and over the ocean) usual range of craft supplies with me, I might have done twine and wooden clothespins.

Wow!  A craft that I could execute successfully with minimum effort and planning.  What's not to love?  But if I were going to do things differently next time, I would:

  • use wax paper instead of tin foil
  • use a larger and deeper container for the melted beeswax
  • use thicker string or twine

Still . . . it looks really great, no?  (Note: I could have adjusted the colors and lighting in post-processing to make the autumn leaves appear more brilliant, but I wanted to keep them as close to natural as possible.)

Hope you're enjoying the last scraps of your autumn.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...