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Leaf Lanterns

Leaf Lanterns

What to do with all of those gorgeous leaves? Make them glow! You just need wax paper, an iron, construction paper, string, a twig and a battery-powered tea light.

Heat up your iron. Tear off two pieces of wax paper (11″ x 7″ makes a nice dangling lantern – but you can play around with proportions). Lay the first piece on your ironing surface waxed-side (curling-in side) up, landscape orientation (so the long sides are at top and bottom). Arrange your leaves in a single layer (not overlapping and with some space between them to allow the wax seal) – leaving some space at top and bottom to glue on paper strips. Place the other piece of wax paper waxed-side-down on top, sandwiching the leaves. Press the iron on your sandwich and hold briefly over each leaf – then flip and iron from the other side. Repeat until you’ve got a good seal.

Once the wax paper has cooled, cut two 11″ strips of colored paper and glue or staple to top and bottom ends of wax paper. Roll into a cylinder and staple ends together. Punch holes on two opposite sides of the top and feed string or wire through so that it crosses the lantern, leaving long ends to tie to the twig the lantern will be dangling from. Secure string around a tea light and dangle from the section of string or wire that crosses the top of your lantern.

Alternately, you can also make smaller votive candle holders or stained glass windows using the same technique.

Lanterns are traditionally crafted in Germany each year to celebrate St. Martin’s day on November 11th. Families parade through town singing traditional songs with their lanterns aglow – like this….

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