Autumn Leaves Too Soon

Treetop Flyers

I looked at this old oak tree and couldn’t remember the last time I climbed a tree so I did. It felt good despite my fear of heights.

See me, in the tree at 53. Try it. Hold on tight.

The tree felt solid, it made me feel safe. It made me feel younger.

Autumn is all around us, it’s mild here in England. We’ve had no rain so the leaves are staying on the trees whilst they turn glorious shades.

I always pick up stunning specimens and lament that they never look as pretty once you get them home.

The light in the landscape has a special quality especially at certain times of the day.

The Purkinje Effect is something I experienced whilst in India and as I can’t say Purkinje, I renamed it the Punjab Effect.

Light glows and colours harmonise, the world tilts on it’s visual axis and we are lucky to catch it.

Have a look outside around dusk. That old plastic cup? I bet it’s singing like a treasure trove.

I never wanted to set the world on fire
I never wanted to set the world on fire

And while the leaves are on fire and I’m at my peak (insert relevant emoji here) I always want to capture the moment.

The point at which a wave breaks or a flower blooms, ethereal and other worldly, I want to capture it. I want to own it.

Hello is that the leaf emporium?

Yes please, may I purchase 362 orange leaves, 234 scarlet ones and 123 green turning lime?

Would you like them wrapped ma'am?
Would you like them wrapped ma’am?

In order to halt the ageing process, to circumnavigate the Order of Things and step into a time machine I decided to preserve the moment of nature that is there shining briefly like The Punjab Effect. I’ve bottled it and now I own nature itself. You can too if you follow my instructions.

Buy some Paraffin Wax

Craftovator delivers for free and I received it the very next day.

Or you could melt some old candles but you are on your own with that. I suppose it’s a good use of those 500 tea lights you bought in Ikea.

Paraffin Wax

I melted mine in an old metal bowl, I wouldn’t think of using it again for food stuffs so I sacrificed it to the Gods of Craft. I placed my wax in a dry clean bowl and placed that snugly into a pan of water to melt.

Double boiler wax melting machine
Double boiler wax melting machine

Remember your health and safety badges here. It’s hot enough to hurt and if you spill it on your clothes it’s a pain. Ahem.

Meanwhile, you’ve collected your leaves and ooohed and ahhed over them and pressed them overnight in between the pages of your old cookery book that you never particularly liked. You can place them between paper, newsprint or whatever you have but it’s not essential.




Then you are ready to wax and dip them into preservation for the gloomy winter nights.

When your wax has melted, take a leaf and post it into the wax holding the stem.


After dipping each leaf for 10 seconds or so, hold it over the melted wax to drip off any excess and then hold it somewhere cooler to set for about 10 seconds. Then you can lay it on some greaseproof paper to set.



Find a stick or pole, I sprayed mine with copper Valspar.


Attach your set leaves to some thread or fishing line and Autumn is yours for as long as they last. They are delicate, it’s not a project for little fingers as the leaves can tear or the wax can crease but you could miss out the wax and just press the leaves for a junior project.


If I did it again, I would thread the leaves before dipping as it would make them super secure and save a bit of fiddling.

The wax preserves and even strengthens the colour.


If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.

And if you do this project then #autumnleavestoosoon is a great hashtag to share your results.