Tuesday 4 November 2014

Autumn leaf candle lanterns

With so many beautiful coloured leaves scattered around our feet it seems a shame not to put them to good use. Aside from the autumn leaf garland I made earlier in the month, I also like to decorate the fireplace with autumn leaf candle lanterns. They make wonderful centerpieces ... give a lovely warm glow on dark autumn evenings and in true AHC fashion, they're super simple and quick to make.

All you need ...

Autumn leaves (fresh or pressed)
Brown twine / string
Jam jar
Sticky pads
Wire and pliers (optional)
Small pine cone or berries (optional)

Now I made this candle with freshly picked autumn leaves. If you want to make a quick centrepiece for a party this is perfect, however they will dry and curl after a while. I think it still looks pretty when this happens. However, if you'd like your leaves to keep their shape, press them. Just pop them in a book for a week or two until they're completely dry. 

Making the wire handle (optional)

You don't need to make a handle for this project - you could cover the rim of the jar in lace, ribbon or wind with string for a rustic finish. But if you'd like to make a wire handle they're very handy. I made the one above for my wedding, and have re-used it for countless occasions, I simply change it's dress! I'll be make a short video on this soon. 

1. Cut a long length of ply able wire (if it's too stiff you'll hurt your hands, trust me!)

 2. Double it over and take the two ends together and twist it (see the twisted effect in pic).

3. Wrapped it around the rim of the jar once, twist and secure with pliers 

4. Make the hoop for the handle (make sure it's a big hoop, otherwise you'll burn your hand when you pick it up!) Secure it the other side by threading it through the rim wire and bending it back on itself - twist to secure with pliers. 

Dressing the jar

This is easy and takes 5 minutes ... ideal craft for kids. 

1. Cut up your sticky pads into very small squares ... and stick them at regular intervals where you want to stick leaves. This is just going to keep the the leaves in place until we've managed to secure them with sting. You could try glue but in my experience it's messy, doesn't stick well and I want to re-use these jars so sticky pads are perfect for the job.                                                                      

 2. Choose leaves that suit your jar. As this is a long narrow jar I chose long narrow leaves so they won't have to bend around the jar too much (as then they would break.) So if yours is a small, dainty jar, use small dainty leaves. Stick your leaves onto the sticky pads one by one - don't overlap too much as we need light to shine through to make it glow.          
 Finally fix in place with string (or ribbon / lace if you'd prefer). I wrap mine around a few times then tie in a knot, then a bow. I then like to slip in a pine cone or berries, this is optional of course. Pop in a tea light - then sit back and enjoy the autumnal glow with a hot milky drink!


Leaves must NOT be higher that the rim of the jar. If using the wire handle to hang, please unsure whatever it's hanging from is either non-flammable, or is at a safe distance from the tealight.
If you're unsure, of want to be on the safe side, I'd recommend using battery-operated tealights, they look just as pretty.
JM x

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