Living Arts Weekly: Autumn Leaves

November 3, 2019

Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile. – William Cullen Bryant

Those lovely autumn leaves are falling!  Today’s Living Arts Weekly blog post looks at some ways to celebrate the brilliant tones of the autumn leaves.

Creative Exploration

Beeswax Candle Holders

Simple to make, these are created by dipping small water balloons in melted beeswax.

1.  Melt wax in a can  inside a pot of boiling water, over medium heat.  Bees wax melts at a higher temperature than other waxes so you need the water at almost boiling to be successful.  Keep an eye on it as bees wax is flammable.  Don’t try to melt bees wax directly over a heat source.  If it boils over it can cause a fire.  Don’t leave the pot unattended.

2.  While the wax is melting fill enough water balloons half-full to use as a form.  Vary the fullness of the water balloons if you want to vary the size of your finished luminary.  When you add hot wax the water inside the balloon will expand, so don’t fill them too full. (LifeWays teacher Bridget Shetty says,”Get small, round water balloons.  You don’t want balloons too big or ones that end up with a little nipple on the bottom.”)

3. Now you are ready to begin dipping the water balloon into the wax.  Hold the water balloon by the knot.  Eyeball a place on the balloon above the curve of the widest point.  This will be your dip line.  While holding the balloon securely, gently dip the balloon into the wax, just to the imaginary dip line.  Lift it up out of the wax,while holding the balloon just above the melted wax,  and let the excess wax drip back into the wax can. (Another tip from Bridget: “Once you start dipping, you have to hang on to the balloon the whole time.  If you set it down, the balloon expands and shifts the shape of the wax, often cracking it.”)

4.  Dip the balloon in this manner at least 4 times, each time lifting the balloon above the can and allowing the excess wax to fall back into the can.  (Tip from Bridget: “The leaves go on before your last dip.  Stick them on gently, dip one more time to seal in the leaves.  To flatten out the bottom, it helps to heat up a large butcher knife or something else flat and metal.  Press the wax holder on to it, flattening out the bottom so it can sit on a table surface.”)

5. Holding the luminary over the sink, gently cut the knot from the balloon.  The water, which is under pressure from the wax, will spurt out.  The balloon will expel the water and shrivel away from the wax, so that you can remove it easily.
6.  Bridget says, “I like to trim up the top rim, but that isn’t necessary.”  Trim the top of the luminary with scissors to create a smooth, even wax edge. You can remelt excess wax for further candle making adventures.
7. Add a tea light and enjoy the glow!
Glass Jar Lanterns with Leaves
Use Mod Podge to adhere lovely fall leaves to a glass jar, and you’ve got a simple, beautiful lantern! Watch the video below for the process:
Felted Autumn Leaves
Our most loved blog post from last year featured Pamela Perkins’ stunning felted leaves.  Click the link below for her tutorial on how to make them!
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Click HERE for Pamela’s felted leaf tutorial!
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Finally, for more ways to enjoy the rest of the autumn season, join our Living Arts Through the Seasons online course!  The November lesson just opened, and you’ll have access to the entire autumn season (resources for three wonderful months!)
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CLICK HERE for more information on Living Arts Through the Seasons – Autumn edition!
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