Words: Kayla Haupt
This article by contributor, Kayla Haupt was originally published in Willow and Sage Spring 2017
Over a month ago, I purchased a bouquet that I was able to arrange myself at the farmers market in Iowa City. I chose some different stems that looked more like wildflowers, along with a giant sunflower, and the bouquet sat in the window for a little over two weeks. Once it began to wilt, I knew it was time for the garbage, which made me sad. I really wanted to preserve those flowers! It seemed like such a waste to set them in a vase and then throw them away. So, I saved the ones that were still decent looking (next time I’ll try to save them all) and pressed them into some heavy books between wax paper. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with them, but then I thought that making a natural air freshener might be my best bet.
– Cookie cutters/Soap molds
– Cookie sheet
– Double boiler
– Essential oils (rose, lavender, or sandalwood work well)
– Flowers: dried
– Heavy twine
– Skewer/Thin metal rod Wax paper
– Wooden stick (for stirring)
Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper. Place your cookie cutters on top of the wax paper. In each cookie cutter or soap mold, arrange your flowers of choice. This will be the side that the flowers are most exposed on, or the front. Along with the dried flowers, you can also sprinkle some dried lavender for added scent. In a double boiler (you can also use two pots as a makeshift version), heat the beeswax. How much beeswax you will need depends on how many molds you are planning to make.
The above molds required about ¾ pound of beeswax. While the beeswax is melting, pour in a little essential oil of choice. Stir occasionally until it is all melted. Pour the melted wax into the molds, covering the flowers. After you have filled each mold, cover with any extra flowers. Let the molds settle a bit. When they have settled, place them in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
Once set, pull them out of the freezer and pop them out of the soap molds or cookie cutters. I found it worked best if I pulled the edges of the cookie cutters away from the wax, which made them pop right out without breaking. Beeswax is pretty flexible, so I doubt you could break them unless you were being really rough. Heat a skewer or thin metal rod and use it to poke a hole through the freshener. After letting it cool, thread some twine through the hole.
*Note: You may notice the wax spilling out from the sides of the cookie cutters. Don’t worry; once it solidifies, you can remove it and reuse it.
Kayla Haupt is a fiber artist and single stay-at-home mother to her young son, Theodore. The two live together in rural Iowa, in one of the largest Amish communities in the United States, alongside her parents and various family members. She spends most of her days tending to her herb garden, searching for wildflowers in Amish country, reading “Outlander,” and sipping on cranberry juice. Kayla hopes to instill the idea of the simple life, creativity, and nature in her young son while focusing on her growing business. To learn more about her and follow along with her daily life, visit her blog at underatinroof.com and follow her on Instagram (@underatinroof).