This project was awhile in the making, as there was some trial and error involved. I have been dying to cut leaves with my Sizzix since they started changing into the warm autumn hues. The part I couldn’t figure out about how to do this was preserving the leaves. If I pressed them, they would be brittle and fall apart when I rolled them into the rose shape. What to do?
The solution turned out to be beeswax. The idea came to me when I saw this post at Artsy Ants on preserving autumn leaves with beeswax. I thought just maybe I could dip the leaves, then die cut and roll the spirals into the 3D rose. There were some things to learn along the way, but in the end, it worked. I used my roses to embellish an oval frame containing autumn themed subway art. See how I did it…
Colorful Autumn leaves
Bamboo skewer or toothpick
Oval frame ($1 at Michaels)
Sizzix die cut machine (I used Vagabond here)
Melt beeswax in melting pot
Dip leaf into melted beeswax and set on wax paper to cool for 30 seconds or so. You can do several leaves at once, but you want to move on to the die cutting and rolling quickly, as the wax becomes brittle if it cools too much and you will be annoyed. Seriously annoyed. I would dip about 20 leaves and move on to die cutting right after that.
I used the smaller rose to cut my leaves, since most of them were too small to completely cover the large rose shape. Place the wax coated leave over the shape and tape in place with masking tape so it doesn’t shift. You can stack up to 4 coated leaves at a time to run through the machine.
Use your bamboo skewer to roll the die cut leaf into the spiral rose. I showed you this in the aluminum can rose video below. The process is the same for the leaf rose. Be careful, as they are fragile and will tear. If you have a stack of the shapes because you cut 4 at once, carefully separate them and roll each shape. Use a paintbrush to add beeswax as a glue at a couple of points throughout the spiral.
This shows me painting on the beeswax as “glue”
Glue the bottom tab to secure as shown in the video, using beeswax instead of glue.
Once your leaf is formed, remelt the wax that cracked during the rolling process with the heat tool. This makes sure the entire piece is sealed and gets rid of the cracks. Hold rose in place with tooth pick while heating.
Use your leaf roses to embellish your next project. I glued mine to an oval wood frame I found at Michael’s for $1. I used Mod Podge fall themed rub on transfers to create subway art on cardstock to put inside the frame. LOVE.
If you like this, you don’t want to miss our nature craft roundup!