How to Preserve Autumn Leaves in Beeswax

by Josée

Dipping autumn leaves in beeswax has become one of our favourite fall family traditions. It’s a simple yet beautiful way to preserve and display the colours of fall. Learn how to preserve your own leaves in melted beeswax in this simple tutorial.

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Post updated September 2022.


To preserving autumn leaves in beeswax you will need a few basic supplies. However, an important consideration is that beeswax is difficult to clean. It sticks to everything, so it’s best to have dedicated materials for this project. On the plus side, once you have your dedicated supplies you can reuse them for years to come and for any other beeswax project you might take on.

Be sure to read my tips below for gather these materials.

A Double-Boiler/Mini Slower Cooker

Many years ago I purchased a slow cooker and it came with a bonus dip warmer (mini-slow cooker). This is the what I use to melt my beeswax and it works perfectly. I don’t even bother to clean it. I’ve come across this little slow cooker at thrift stores on several occasions. A double-boiler works well too and it can easily be found second hand.

Knife and Cutting Board

It’s possible to buy pelleted beeswax, but more often than not you will need a knife and cutting board to break apart your block of beeswax into smaller pieces to melt. It’s a good idea to a dedicated knife and cutting board for cutting beeswax because beeswax is very difficult to clean.

Butcher paper/Recycled Paper/Table Cloth

This is a messy project! I strongly advise you to cover your work surface in several layers of recycled paper or an old table cloth. I like using kraft butcher paper because it does a good job absorbing beeswax drips and protecting my table.


The most expensive part of this project is the beeswax, but a little goes a long way. The most affordable and sustainable way of purchasing beeswax is to get it from a local beekeeper. Typically beekeepers sell natural (yellow) beeswax in blocks by the pound. Here in British Columbia, Canada I can find it for about $13 CAD/pound. Another option is to collect the ends and drippings from 100% beeswax candles and reuse them for this project. Beeswax can be purchased in blocks or pellets, either is fine but blocks then to be less expensive.

Fall Leaves

Cather a variety of colourful fall leaves from nature. I’ve noticed that red and orange leaves tend to hold their colour well while yellow leaves will fade to a light brown colour. Make sure the leaves are free of dirt and wet spots before dipping them in beeswax. I like to lay the leaves on my table while the wax melts to allow any moisture to evaporate. Some people like to press their leaves before dipping them but I don’t bother with this step.

Melting the Beeswax

Please read! It’s important to melt beeswax safely. Beeswax has a relatively low melting point of 62 to 64 °C (144 to 147 °F) and if the beeswax gets too hot it will start to change colors. Discoloration typically happens around 85 °C (185 °F). If beeswax gets too hot it will catch fire, this is called the flash point and it happens at 204.4 °C (400 °F). For these reasons beeswax is melted low and slow in a double-boiler or slow cooker, and always carefully monitored.

Helpful tip: If you notice that the melted beeswax is leaving thick drips or streaks on the leaves it means that the wax is getting too cold and needs to be rewarmed.


1. Start by gathering your materials and setting up a work space. Cover your work surface with butcher paper, recycled paper or an old table cloth to catch drips of beeswax. Remember beeswax is difficult to clean and remove!

2. If needed, chop the beeswax into smaller pieces using a dedicate knife and cutting board.

3. Safely melt the beeswax in a double-boiler or slow cooker. If you are using this mini slow cooker it may take a while for the beeswax to melt.

4. Spread out the leaves on your work surface to allow any moisture to dry off the leaves and the set the melted beeswax in the middle of on your work surface.

5. Caution! Melted beeswax can be very hot! Carefully hold the stem of a leaf and dip the leaf into the melted beeswax. Lift the leaf up, and hold it over the pot for a few seconds to allow the extra wax to drip back into the pot. Gently lay the leaf on your covered surface to harden.

Finishing Detail: Use your beeswax dipped leaves to make a garland, leaf crown or to decorate your nature table.

A couple more tidbits:

  • Use you beeswax dipped leaves for making a leaf mobile, leaf crown or put them around your home for lovely fall decor.
  • Leaves that are dipped in beeswax will maintain their colour for several months, but they do eventually fade. For this reason, we preserve new leaves every autumn.
  • Beeswax dipped leaves can be safely composted since beeswax is a natural material that will decompose.

I hope your family enjoys this fall project as much as we do. If you have any questions about this project please post them below and I’ll be sure to answer them.

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Mom of 2 December 16, 2022 - 11:55 am

Thanks so much for your post! We had so much fun with this project but it didn’t turn out. Our leaves turned brown the next day 🙁 I feel they would have been better preserved naturally as it seems like the beeswax caused the leaf to deteriorate more rapidly. However I have seen this project work for many others. Any idea of where we might have gone wrong? Thank you and we look forward to trying more of your fun activities 🙂

Bonnie December 24, 2023 - 10:06 pm



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