Preserve Pretty Fall Leaves With Wax Paper

My favorite fall activity? Preserving those pretty, pretty leaves. Whenever I mention this option to friends, they claim to have never tried it, so if you’re like them, now’s your chance. As the leaves are changing rapidly in many parts of the country, seize the seasonal opportunity and create a very autumnal piece that will last for weeks.

How to preserve colorful fall leaves for home decor.

All you have to do is pick your favorite leaves, sandwich them between sheets of waxed paper, top the waxed paper with a thin rag (to keep your iron clean), and iron on medium (without steam!) for a few moments to allow the wax on the paper to transfer to the surface of each leaf.

How to preserve colorful fall leaves with wax paper.

Allow the leaves to cool with the wax paper on them, and then peel the paper away. The leaf pigmentation may have changed slightly (I find this has more to do with how soon the leaf was going to turn brown), but the color that remains will continue looking beautifully preserved for several more weeks. You won’t wake up finding these leaves turned immediately to brown!

How to preserve pigmentation in colorful leaves for fall decor with wax paper and a warm iron.

Do what you will with your beautiful preserves: adorn a wreath, make a bouquet, make pretty fall party invites or assemble as a beautiful centerpiece for your fall-through-Thanksgiving holiday table decor.

Preserved colorful leaves for seasonal decor!

16 Responses

  1. Lisa says:

    Crafty housewife: I think that would be beautiful. Since you are using flameless candles there is no fear of fire. I would love to see how they turn out.
    Have a great day!! Lisa

  2. crafty housewife says:

    Im wondering if I could do this and glue them to mason jars and put flameless tea lights in them for pretty decor?

  3. Margie Phillips says:

    Just Google Preserve Leaves Using Glycerin. There's a man on video with all the instructions. It's pretty clear. I think I just might try to do this too. Happy crafting!!!

  4. [...] PRESERVE AUTUMN LEAVES WITH WAX PAPER … Such a brilliant idea … I will have to wait till I live in a country which actually experiences traditional Autumnal weather … [...]

  5. Trish Long says:

    Hasn't anyone used glycerin to do this? My mom and I unpacked some leaves we have had for more than 20 yrs. to make a wreath for the front door… still just as bright today as when we preserved them, when I was a young girl.

  6. Martha says:

    When I first moved to central Texas, I really missed the beautiful fall leaf colors I had grown up with in central Illinois. My mother would occasionally send me leaves she had pressed in wax paper, and it made me so happy!!

  7. Carolyn says:

    I do this and send them to my grandchildren, ages 6 and 8, who live in Arizona. They are so amazed at the colors and different types of leaves.

  8. Amber says:

    You can also take a pretty leaf and place it in a large book, like a dictionary and dry them and they will remain colorful and you can frame them or use them to decorate, People love them as gifts.

  9. elambert says:

    I did a similar project in elementary school. Along with the leaves betweeen the wax paper we sprinkled shavings from crayons as well. The wax paper was not pulled away as it may a transparent picture we taped the windows in our school room.

    • merrypad says:

      I think I did something like that too! Great memories and cute craft project to try again with the kids…

  10. Cathi says:

    You could even write a name on with sharpie and use them as place setting indicators.

  11. Peggy says:

    Beautiful yet easy! I love leaves. I'll be decorating with them!


About Emily Fazio 


I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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