Use these easy fall leaf lantern instructions to make leaf luminaries with whole leaves, or cut autumn leaves into heart shapes like the leaf lanterns pictured. Or, use paper hearts instead!
These DIY heart leaf lanterns make a beautiful gift idea that even kids can make. Little ones, like mine, need assistance while older children can easily make these gorgeous leaf luminaries on their own. Or, use these directions to make fall leaf lanterns for a lantern walk!
Feel free to use these directions to make leaf lanterns with whole leaves, using a heart-shaped cutter to trim them into hearts is optional. Leaf lanterns can be filled with treats, and a candle or two, and given as a gift. They are perfect for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or any other special occasion. You may also like turkey leaf lanterns and gifts kids can make.
Fall Leaf Luminaries
The heart-shaped leaf luminaries pictured here are made with real fall leaves! Use these instructions to make leaf lanterns with whole autumn leaves, use a heart cutter to cut them into heart shapes first. If you don’t have any fall leaves available, you can cut colored tissue or kite paper into heart shapes instead!
Homemade Leaf Lantern Supplies
- Fall Leaves (beautiful yellow, orange, and red leaves – alternatively you can use tissue paper.)
- Wide Mouth Upcycled or 16 ounce canning jars and/or 32 ounce canning jars
- Sqeeze punch heart
- Mod Podge
- Foam brush
- White tissue paper
- Tea lights
How to Make Leaf Lanterns with Whole or Heart-Shaped Leaves
1. Use a heart paper punch to cut hearts out of fall leaves, tissue paper, or kite paper. You may need to trim the edges of the leaf to be able to easily slide it into the squeeze punch. Kids love helping with this. (Optional- if you are using whole leaves skip this step.)
2. Cut white tissue paper strips for leaf luminaries. Cut strips of white tissue paper 1 1/2 to 2″ wide and slightly longer than the jar you will be using.
3. Apply mod podge to jar — Place your hand inside the jar to hold it and use a foam brush to apply Mod Podge to the entire jar below the threads. Mod Podge goes on white and dries clear.
4. Stick tissue paper strips onto the jar — Carefully stick tissue strips one by one onto the jar. Place a circle or square of tissue paper on the bottom of the jar and wrap strips around the bottom. You will need to apply Mod Podge on top of the tissue on the bottom to stick everything down.
5. Reapply Mod Podge to sides and bottom of jar on top of the tissue paper. This will seal and protect it, and make it easy to stick the heart leaves on it.
6. Apply heart leaves on the jar while the Mod Podge is still wet. Kids love to do this part. You can move them around a bit once stuck before they dry, but be careful not to disturb the tissue paper. Smooth out any air bubbles by gently rubbing the heart leafs from the center out.
7. Carefully apply Mod Podge on top of heart leaves
9. Place Upside down and Allow to Dry
DIY Heart leaf lanterns make beautiful luminaries and an easy gift idea that even kids can make. You can use real fall leaves or tissue paper to make them.
They are wonderful centerpieces for both indoor and outdoor use and would be perfect for an autumn wedding. They can also be filled with treats and a candle and given as gifts for any special occasion!