A few weeks ago, my sister-in-law mentioned a method she used to preserve fall leaves for decorating around the house: she dipped them in melted canning wax. It seemed like a pretty awesome idea, so the first time I had an opportunity I decided to try it out. There was only one problem - I didn't have any canning wax AND the one store I checked didn't have it either. Since I rather despise the notion of running to 10 different stores trying to find "THE PERFECT SOLUTION", I thought about what I had at home and decided that maybe I could melt down some unused votive candles and use those instead.
I put them into a disposable baking pan and set that on a low stove burner. When the candles were all melted, I dipped in the leaves. It worked!
The leaves crackled and popped a bit as I dipped them in, and the colors did change a wee bit, but overall they came out looking really pretty!
Now that I had all these leaves, I needed to find things to do with them! Some were scattered about the house and the rest got turned into a Fall Banner. I used 4x6" pieces of left-over brown cardstock for the words, which I hand lettered in chalk. I used mini-clothespins to attach the letters to twine and then added bunches of leaves at the beginning, middle, and end.
I'm thinking of painting the clothespins a pumpkin color to give a boost to the fall color scheme, but for a quick evening project I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.
Thanks for the inspiration, Jamie. Happy fall colors everyone!