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nature school project: waxed leaf banner

In this week's Martin & Sylvia's Nature School Story, "I Feel Orange," Sylvia is feeling very energetic on one Nature School morning, but her friend Sofia is feeling very tired. “I feel blue,” she says. This inspires a long conversation, and then a project based on what it is to “feel” different colors.

I'm a firm believer in the power of color to make us feel different feelings. For example, I wanted my kitchen to feel happy and welcoming so I painted it a warm buttery yellow. I find brown makes me feel relaxed and calm, so I have a brown couch.

Last year I visited a friend in North Carolina right as the trees were turning their full colors, just like in this Nature School story. Having lived in the low desert for the last 12 years, I'd almost forgotten what changing leaves look like; you have to drive many hours north to see fall colors! Needless to say, I was awestruck by the gold, red, orange, and all the numerous mixes.

This waxed leaf banner tutorial was inspired by my desire to preserve the good feeling brought on by those different-colored leaves. This leaf banner will lighten the mood of any room.

Waxed Leaf Banner

waxed leaves 1 || martin & sylvia's nature school Materials:

Leaves of various colors (pressed so they are flat and dry)

Beeswax or other paraffin-free wax

Twine or yarn

Double broiler or a pot and glass bowl


waxed leaves 4 || martin & sylvia's nature school

Begin by grating the beeswax. How much beeswax will depend on how many leaves you are dipping. If you find you run out you can always melt more. waxed leaves 3 || martin & sylvia's nature school

Using a double boiler, melt the wax – making sure not to let it boil. waxed leaves 2 || martin & sylvia's nature school

When the wax is melted, begin dipping your leaves. You'll want to dip only once so that you don't build up too much wax. (Too much wax, and the leaves will begin to look white rather than their beautiful color.)

waxed leaves 5 || martin & sylvia's nature school

When you pull the leaf out of the wax, let the excess drip off and the wax cool for a few second before you put it down on a clean surface, such as the kitchen counter or a piece of paper. waxed leaves 7 || martin & sylvia's nature school After you have dipped all the leaves you want, begin tying them to the twine. I made a small loop at the end of mine for easy hanging. Then I simply made a knot and slipped the stem end of the leaf in the knot before pulling it tight. Continue tying knots and placing the leaves in the knots until you are done.

waxed leaves 10 || martin & sylvia's nature school

Hang and enjoy!

If you make this Nature School project, please share your photos with us on Instagram @sparklestories – or email us at We'd love to see what you come up with!

About the Author

KC Pagano
Sparkle Stories Media Maven

KC is a full-time radical homemaker and mama to two spunky little girls. She writes about all kinds of radical goodness, from gardening and cooking with whole foods to attachment parenting, high needs toddlers, crafting, sewing, homeschooling, and mama musings. Read more on her blog Olive and Owl.

Martin & Sylvia's Nature School

As the summer comes to an end, Momma, Martin and Sylvia reflect on all the things they loved about the summer season: hikes, walks along the beach, blueberry picking, climbing trees and collecting bird feathers. Then Momma suggests that they keep the summer outdoor fun alive all year long: “Every Thursday, let’s have Nature School!” And so Martin joins the Goose-eye Wilderness School, and Sylvia and her friend Sophia create a Nature home-school. From wildcraft cooking to outdoor games to building projects to tree identification, Nature School will be a year of unfolding learning and fun.