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Saturday, October 12, 2013

beeswax modeling clay and fall leaves crafty-ness


This fall has been so busy I feel like I looked up and suddenly it was FALL and the leaves were turning and pine needles covering the yard. And, as is the case when you have a crafty bug in you, fall makes one need to craft. NEED.

Like right now, the woodstove is going, the kids watching a movie, dada in the garage trying to get the chain saw working, toddler dozing, kitties dozing, cold rain coming down. NEED TO CRAFT.

I'm thinking sewing, possibly (GASP) knitting.

The other day though it was windy, sunny, and beautiful. We ran around the yard with baskets picking up the most perfect fall leaves we could find. Because mama had an idea. A crafty idea. Involving the several pounds of beeswax on the shelf, courtesy of a local beekeeper friend.

Here is what we did.

Create some kind of a double broiler to melt the wax. I simply put a layer of tinfoil in a pot, an inch of water inside, and placed a chunk or two of beeswax in the foil. Now heat on med high or so until the wax is melty.

Now, turn off the heat and take your clean most perfect-est leaves and gently dip them in the wax. At first I was nervous to let the kids try but they convinced me and did really well dipping them. You have to hold each leaf over the pot as it drips but it only takes a minute or so to dry enough to lay down on another sheet of foil to cool. Depending on how many leaves you do you might need to reheat your wax at some point.

Next we hung a stick from the yard by the sliding doors out to the patio and strung up the leaves for a beautiful fluttery display in our dining area.

It really is beautiful! I also took a few downstairs to our nature table area in the school room to hang on another mobile with "fall fairies" I made last year. I love this one too. A little bit of breeze makes them flutter and dance in the window. Simply fall magic at its best.

SOOOO then I had a bunch of leftover melty wax. And I had an idea. HHHHMMM to make it more pliable?? To make it into that fancy expensive modeling beeswax they sell on the fancy expensive websites???

Oh. I did. And it totally worked.

I had maybe a cup of beeswax melted. Maybe less. I turned the heat back on and added one tablespoon of olive oil and then the same amount of lanolin. Where do you find lanolin? In any babies r us type store! The breast cream Lanisoh is 100% lanolin and perfect for lots of crafty projects (like lanolizing wool pants for diaper covers!) I found mine and added it. Now melt it together on med high in your little double broiler creation. Turn off the heat and let it cool, in the foil on the counter, and once its cool, peel it off in chunks!


Nice and pliable, a lovely smell and super fun for kiddies to play with AND non-toxic! Little miss and little man both spent more than 30 minutes working with it. When kiddies are done playing I just wrap it back up in a bit of tinfoil and stick it in a shelf with our craft supplies. It takes some working to warm it up when you first pull it out again but it does become pliable as you work it. Next I was thinking I could try dying batches of it to make different colors??

In any case. Let me know if you try!

Happy fall crafting!



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