Autumn Leaves Beeswax Lanterns

I just spotted the fantastic tutorial by Rae on her blog, Morning Sun Rae, for making beeswax lanterns and that discovery immediately preceded a great walk Laura and I had with our boys and some friends. We walked through a wild field that had grass and plants taller than our heads with a big trail through the middle. We had fun finding and dispersing milkweed fluffs.

And seeing all the thistles,

And the red, red sumac peeking out. (what are these cool bean pods? I don't know- any guesses?)

Then the trail led into a pine wood, 

And looped around back to where we began. We collected many leaves, pine cones and nature-y bits along the way. We wanted leaves to press into the lantern sides.

I have worked with beeswax before and while I totally love it, I find a double boiler set up is messy and a pain in the neck. Rae show how to use a crock pot to heat and store the beeswax- totally smart! I stopped by a thrift store after our walk and picked up a used crock pot. Laura's family stayed at my house for dinner and afterwards we heated up beeswax and dipped and dipped balloons into the hot wax.

Isaac isn't in this photo, but all four boys had a water balloon to dip. They were super-respectful and careful and the project was a total success.

The boys want to try dipped candles next, I need to buy more beeswax first. We are having a dreary cold day today and the finished lanterns on the table are a great antidote to the chill. What a satisfying project!