Autumn Leaves - as lanterns

These fragile lanterns I made the other day turned out quite pretty, so I'll share them here, and maybe inspire you to make some for your own Autumnal party, Halloween get-together or such. 

They are not long lived, but quickly and easily made. 

It started with a walk in our next door little park, which is in itself interesting as leaves go, because it is a university botanical garden, so rare, unusual and colorful leaves are abundant! But any leaves will do, and most leaves are beautiful, somehow. 

Rather blurry photos, I know, but they were taken in near darkness. 

But they were so pretty, and the shadows and silhouettes were most poetic.You need to decide to make them for a party, or something like that, because they will loose color and stability rather fast! So enjoy them while they last...

I made the lanterns the day after I gathered the leaves, while they still had some life in them (= not too dry), so I used actual tea lights in small glass jars, but already next day they were so dry and withered, that I didn't want to light the candles again. But I have some LED tea lights from IKEA that are actually quite nice, and they went in instead. They still look nice, all dried up!

Here is what I did:

I gathered a lot of different sizes and shapes of leaves that were still fresh with some color and sap - and flattened them a bit between the pages of a newspaper with a stack of books on top. 

Next day I made the lanterns like this: organized the leaves a bit according to size, and lined them up nicely, overlapping a bit like this: 

I dotted a bit of hot glue, not too tidily, between the leaves (lifting them one by one) and pressed the row flat with my hand, and let it dry for a short while....

Then I cut a neat, sharp line with my steel ruler and knife, and to close the loop in the back, I simply used my office stapler. 

PLEASE be careful with the real tea lights - these things can become a bit of a fire hazard, but not so if the leaves are freshly gathered, and have just fallen off the trees. Otherwise use battery powered mini LED lights!


While you enjoy the flickering light and the dancing shadows on the wall, I suggest you listen to this lovely, lovely song, performed by the unforgettable Eva Cassidy.


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