This is a super easy craft project that you do in two parts. First you collect your foliage and set it pressing. Then a couple of weeks later when your leaves are pressed, you can come back and use them in a craft project. Here we have used them to decorate some plain candles.
How to Press Leaves.
Collect some interesting leaves whilst you are out and about – we visited a local woods to collect ours. The leaves wont stick if they are dry, so if you need to, lay them on kitchen towel to absorb any moisture. We used a telephone directory to press our leaves in. The finish of the paper allows for any moisture to be absorbed, plus as we no longer use ours, it’s a great way to make use of something that normally ends up in the recycling bin!
Set your leaves out carefully so that they are not touching each other, and leave half a dozen pages between each set of leaves. Then pile half a dozen heavy books on top of your leaf-filled directory, and forget about it for a couple of weeks!
We left our leaves for about 3 weeks, until a rainy afternoon prompted an indoor craft project. We found that the green leaves that we had pressed stayed pretty much at their original colour, but the leaves that were showing autumn colours had continued to darken up.
How to Decorate Candles with Pressed Leaves
To attach the leaves to the candles is a really simply process. You are aiming to soften the surface of the wax just enough to adhere the leaves to it. Using a cup full of boiling water for each of us, we dropped a couple of spoons into each.
We positioned our leaves, then covered them with a piece of grease-proof paper. Then we applied the back of our hot spoons to the leaves through the paper. We found that holding the spoon in one area for about 10 secs before moving it, was what it took to get the leaves to adhere well.
As the spoon starts to cool down, simply drop it back into the water, and use the other whilst the first reheats. Once you can no longer lift the edges of the leaf it is well stuck and you can move onto your next leaf.
We think this is a great way to up-cycle a plain, inexpensive candle, and would make a lovely little gift for someone. If you are looking for some more inspiration for crafting with nature. please check out our decoupage with leaves tutorial, and our simple willow wreath.