Make an autumn leaf lantern

I have always found joy in working with my hands, especially if it involves elements from nature. During this time of lockdown, spending time doing activities that we enjoy, that calm us down and that we can make together as a family, can have a great impact on our day.

This nature lantern is a great way for taking a break and engaging in a nature project with the kids in a fun and creative way. It is very simple when done with more than two hands and the result is a beautiful nature lantern to brighten any space at home.

For this project you need one balloon, tissue paper, dried flowers or leaves, glue and a paint brush. It is the perfect time of the year to walk around your garden and collect fallen dry leaves, look for different shapes and colours, or you can use fresh ones but you will need to dry them out in between the pages of a thick book about a week before you make this project. Before you start, have all your materials ready. Include a small bowl with water and a second one with a mixture of craft glue and water in the same proportions. Cut the tissue paper in long rectangle pieces and blow your balloon to the desired size. This will be the size and shape of your lantern. You can use a yogurt container to hold your balloon while working on it.

Start by making a primary layer of tissue paper on your balloon. Use the brush and only water (not glue yet) to stick the paper into your balloon. Make sure the balloon is almost all covered with paper leaving a small section - about the size of a fist - around the knot of the balloon. This will later be where you insert the candle. Making the first layer with water will allow you to remove the balloon later on.

Now add a second layer of tissue paper making sure to cover the same area as the first one, and with the brush add a coat of the glue and water mixture on top and flatten the paper. Once you have the second layer you can start positioning the dry leaves and flowers. Now go on for a third layer of tissue paper covering the leaves and flowers and finish with a coat of the glue and water mixture.

You will now need to put into practice your children's patience and let it dry for one day close to a window sill with good sunlight. Once it is dry, pop the balloon and carefully remove it from inside.

Make it bright and illuminate your lantern with a flameless candle or make it into a lamp by replacing the lamp shade on an old one that you may have at home. Enjoy bringing nature and light into your home and don’t forget to follow us and share your pictures on our facebook and Instagram.

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