WENDY’S Gilt Beeswax Leaves


From DIY: Do It For the Bees

Photo by Erin Scott

Photo by Erin Scott

When she’s not scouring the countryside for lost treasures of the extinct mercantile age, Wendy Addison can be found in her Port Costa studio and storefront, the Theater of Dreams, where she spins her nostalgic magic with authentic letterpress and vintage-style paper goods. Incorporating a bewildering array of raw materials and found objects, be it wire, clockworks, mushrooms, moss, glass, glitter, porcelain, antique tinsel, or beeswax, whatever she touches literally turns to gold.

1 pound beeswax* (or more, as desired)
Leaves (Pick broad flat leaves with interesting shapes.)
Gold or artificial gold leaf*
Soft bristle brush

Melt beeswax in a small crockpot or double boiler. Dip leaves into the molten wax, then remove, letting excess wax drip off. Allow leaves to cool for 10 to 20 seconds until wax is still warm but no longer runny. Press each leaf down onto a sheet of gold leaf firmly enough to make complete contact. Lift from the gold leaf, and using a large soft-bristle brush, carefully brush off the excess gold leaf, and then burnish the gold with your finger, pressing and rubbing the leaf into the wax. Voila!

*Find beeswax at Bee Healthy Honey Shop in Oakland and MarElla Honey Bees in Concord. Juniper Tree Supplies in Berkeley has beeswax, wicks, molds, and many other candlemaking supplies.

*Find gold leaf at Otto Frei, Oakland; ottofrei.com or FLAX Art and Design, Oakland; flaxart.com.