Fall Craft: Branch Mobile with Preserved Leaves
The colors are SO vibrant this time of year where we live. Yellows, oranges, reds, purples, greens, and leaves that seem to display all of the colors at once. Don't you just want to freeze them in time and keep them that way?
Well, here's a craft that will do just that! I'm feeling very Martha Stewarty after this project, so I knew I needed to share it with you!
We're creating Wike Baby's playroom and this beautiful idea kept popping up on Pinterest and Instagram. I had to try it myself. I'm not a huge Pinterest project person. My life is not a curated one-- honestly, it's uninstagramably practical. My house is not uber decorated. It's not a showhouse... it's our home where we eat, sleep, dance, and make messy memories!
BUT I do like a good craft, so off I set to try this one out. And I think it came out pretty well. My husband even said, "I like your stick thing." And he meant it. If you know him, you know that's a HUGE compliment! (Wink, wink-- love you, husband!)
Can I also say...how lucky is this girl to have an entire room to herself for playing? It's really a luxury, and I hope she appreciates these sorts of things as she grows up.
Ok, drum roll... STICK THING!
This is a super simple, beautiful nature project that will add a rustic-chic element of decor to any room. AND you can create with your children! (Did I say "rustic-chic"? Who am I?)
1. GO OUTSIDE and collect beautiful leaves! I recommend finding a variety of shapes and colors. Leaves with stems worked well for us.
2. Press and dry your leaves. While you're doing that, purchase beeswax pellets, twine, and clothespins. We happened to have all of these on hand. Wait, what? You don't have beeswax pellets on hand? Doesn't everyone? Good thing they are available on Amazon.
3. When the leaves are dry and ready, slowly melt the beeswax pellets in a double broiler. If you're worried about cleaning the pot after the project, you may want to use your child's play kitchenware from Ikea, like I did. However, in the end, I had no problem getting it clean with hot water and a sponge.
4. Dip each leaf carefully, one at a time, to cover it with a thin coat of wax. This is amazingly calming and therapeutic. I only wished we had collected more leaves! Hang the leaves to cool and dry. Voila! Preserved leaves!
5. GO BACK OUTSIDE! Find a perfect stick from which to hang your preserved leaves.
6. Tie twine of varying lengths from the stick with a leaf at the end of each one. Be creative with positioning the leaves and with how many you choose to display.
7. Find an awesome spot in your home where you can admire your craft and Mother Nature's colorful leaves all year long!
Variation 1: I have seen some beautiful versions of this craft with colorful twine or wire wound around the stick. I personally like the natural look without it, but if you're looking for a more designed look, go for it.
Variation 2: Instead of a stick, use an 18 inch embroidery hoop for a chandelier look!
It can be fun to complete this project in its entirety with older children who can handle hot wax. It can also be fun for young children to choose leaves and see them displayed--with you, of course, doing the manual labor.