Staff Blogger: Ellen Venema, Rhein Center Assistant Coordinator

autumn-leaf-luminariesHalloween trick or treating is just around the corner. If you haven’t decorated your front porch and want to dress it up for the occasion, try adding autumn leaf luminaries. Use the atmospheric glow to guide little monsters and superheroes alike up the path to your door. When the angels and ghouls have had their fill of candy, you can bring the luminaries inside to warm up your Thanksgiving table.

This project is great for all ages. Here’s what you’ll need:

Leaves: Fake or real. If you choose to use real leaves, look for ones that are not dried yet and can still bend without cracking. You can find a range of colors from golden yellow to burgundy red to achieve the look you want.

Mason Jars: Choose all the same size or mix and match. (Clear vases with wide mouths will work, too.)

Mod Podge (or another glue that will dry clear and clean-up easily)

Foam Brush (or any brush big enough and soft enough to not tear your leaves)

Decorative Raffia or Ribbon

Small Candles or Battery-Operated Tea Lights

The process is simple:

  • Make sure your jars are clean and dry.
  • One at a time, coat the back of a leaf with enough Mod Podge to stick to the glass, but not so much that it will drip.
  • Apply the leaf to the outside of the jar and hold in place until it stays on the glass. Be sure to gently smooth it down all the way to the edges of the leaf, so it is less likely to break or peel away.
  • Repeat with more leaves, overlapping the edges for a beautiful blend of colors.
  • Once your jar is covered, wait a few minutes, and then you can carefully apply a thin coat of Mod Podge over the entire collage to give it a uniformly protected surface. Be extra gentle so the leaves don’t move around or tear.
  • Let the decorated jar dry for a few hours.
  • After your project is completely dry, tie a bow of raffia or ribbon around the top for a final touch.
  • Place your candle or battery-operated tea light inside, and see the leaves glow!

How are you decorating your home this autumn?