Wax Resist of Leaf Rubbings

June 5, 2012

On a recent vacation, my daughter and I found all of these lush tropical leaves on the ground after a heavy rain.  We washed them off and marveled at their beautiful colors and shapes.  Since we happened to have a drawing pad, crayons and a small box of watercolors, we had the right materials to make wax resist leaf rubbings. 

We were able to get our hands on some tape. We taped the leaves on a piece of paper with the veins facing up. 


We taped a piece of 9" x 12" paper (for painting) over the leaves and began to rub them gently but firmly with the crayons.  We used the heart shaped crayons (which we brought along with us!) since they are easier for little fingers to manipulate for this type of activity.  It was like magic to see the shapes of the leaves appear.   

As we were finishing up our rubbings, it began to rain.  I suggested we collect rain water in a glass to paint with. Sophia loved the idea of collecting water and watched the glass intently.


Once we had collected enough rain water, we used the water colors to paint over the leaf rubbings. It was interesting to observe how the areas covered with wax crayon resisted the watercolor. 


Making leaf rubbings was an amazing sensory activity and the end results were gorgeous.  This was a fun project to do during downtime while travelling and it was amazing to observe the nature of the island in a more hands on way.  I can't wait to do it again this autumn when the leaves begin to change and fall.  We may try wax and watered-down food coloring for a variation.


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Bread Charms
Paper Towel Butterflies