tutorial :: autumn leaf lantern

In this beautiful season we have been enjoying leaves by collecting handfuls and ironing them between wax paper.  This inspired me to think about creating some candle lantern decorations for our Thanksgiving table.  I wasn't sure about using real leaves to make the lanterns; I've seen photos of how others have done it, but these things never seem to work as well for me, so I decided to try making lanterns with paper leaves...

Like this.

-- a glass jar (or jars)

-- Mod Podge or diluted white craft glue

-- a wide paint brush

-- scissors, a pencil & a small bit of cardstock

-- Kite paper, also called Window Stars paper,
    which can be purchased here or here. Plain
    tissue paper will work as well.  Note: for this 
    project you will need autumn colors plus white 
    paper for covering the jars.

STEP 1 :: Find leaves which you like and, using a pencil, trace around the leaves on a small scrap of card stock.  This will be your template for cutting our your paper leaves.

STEP 2 :: Fold your Kite/Window Star paper (or tissue paper) into thirds or fourths and use your template to trace leaf shapes onto your folded paper.

STEP 3 :: Carefully cut out your leaves along the pencil lines you made from tracing your templates.

STEP 4 :: Cut pieces of white kite/window star/tissue paper to size for covering the jar.

STEP 5 :: Using a wide paint brush, cover the entire jar with Mod Podge or diluted white glue and then wrap the white window star/tissue paper around the jar.  Once the white paper is in place, paint a thin layer of Mod Podge/white glue over it.  The paper will have crinkles, but once the Mod Podge (or glue) dries, it will look very nice (I promise!)

STEP 6 :: While the Mod Podge (or glue) is still wet, place your paper leaves all over the jar.  If the top layer of Mod Podge (or glue) dries too quickly, add more Mod Podge (or glue) and keep sticking on your leaves until you happy with your design.

To help the leaves stick to the jar (and so the whole thing has a nice, shiny finish) go over the paper leaves once again, with another layer of Mod Podge (or glue).

STEP 7 :: Place your decorated jar someplace safe and allow it to dry for several hours.

 STEP 8 :: Light a candle in your jar and enjoy the beautiful glow of autumn leaves.

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