It really doesn't get much easier than this. Get the kids involved and watch the glow on their faces when the birds start to roost. Child decoration time: A lot longer (ah, bliss). Durability: A full season or even two.
This would be a fun idea for kids and a great use for all those toilet paper rolls I can't throw away! Chopsticks or tweezers for fine motor skills, used to pick up and drop pom-poms into color matched toilet paper rolls.
Leaves must be completely dry. Melt beeswax in a double-boiler. Can use old candle stubs. (Optional - add a few drops of cinnamon oil). Hold leaves by the stem and dip in wax. Let excess drip off, then lay them on waxed paper to dry.