Leonie Weekend Projects - Leafy Lanterns

November is the time in the garden when branches are bare and almost all the leaves have fallen. I always forget how much I love Autumn, especially crisp days when it’s dry and fresh. I absolutely love waking through a forest and kicking up the leaves, the rustle sound and the scents of the Winter garden are so lovely. Recently I took a walk in the forest with my son and his friends and we collected some of these lovely leaves and decided to create a fun weekend project with them. It is a wonderful project to do with children, not only do they love picking the leaves but it’s also great for looking at the shape of leaves and what trees they belong to.

What you need

  1. A selection of Kilner jars-I love these jam jars as you can take the tops off them but leave the metal rim on the jars making for a perfect candle holder for the lantern. 
  2. A collection of dried leaves. We used lots of different ones but the ones that work best are the papery thin leaves such as Japanese Maple or Birch leaves. Smaller is better too as the large leathery leaves often don’t stick as well
  3. A scissors for cutting the stems off the leaves
  4. clear glue such as the wallpaper adhesive such as the Durabond one pictured here. 
  5. paintbrushes to paint on the glue
  6. gloves or children (they are better to not touch the glue directly). 
  7. Tea lights such as the lovely Duffy & Scott range from Woodies.


Collecting and drying your leaves

The first thing we did was to collect the leaves we all liked in the forest. This would be great to do a few days before you make the lantern as they are best dried for a few days. It was so much fun finding out which tree had what type of leaves. We then placed them in between newspapers and then put a few heavy books on them to dry them. They end up looking lovely and brown-the perfect colour for to lantern. 

Creating your Leafy Lanters

Step 1.

Take your collection of leaves and ask everyone to choose a few. The idea is to cover the whole outside of the jam jar with leaves so there are no gaps. This will give a wonderful glowing light to the lantern.

Step 2.

Cut the thicker stems off the leaves as they will not stick as well as the leaves


Step 3.


Mix up some of the glue according to the instructions of the package. The great thing about this glue is it is so easy to mix and dries clear so you cans till see the leaves when it's dry.

Step 4.

Spread a thin layer of glue over the whole jar and glue leaves in whatever way takes your fancy. With ours every lantern looked totally different which was really lovely. 


Step 5.


Cover the whole jar and make sure there are no gaps in the leaves.

Step 6.

Finally, cover the outside in a thin layer of glue to finish it off and allow to dry.