Learn how to make turkey leaf lanterns for Thanksgiving with mason jars and real fall leaves with this fun Thanksgiving craft tutorial.
Our family is absolutely in love with how our Thanksgiving Turkey mason jar lanterns turned out… Aren’t they the cutest fall leaf lanterns that you have ever seen?
These cute little turkey mason jar luminaries look beautiful, both lit and unlit, and make a fun centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table, or, in addition to your DIY Thanksgiving home decor. Gobble gobble!
Add this gorgeous fall leaf lantern craft to your mason jar crafts list this year!
Related: Thanksgiving Turkey Leaf Crafts
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Fall Leaf Luminaries Thanksgiving Lantern Craft
Making Thanksgiving turkey mason jar lanterns with your children is a DIY project the whole family can enjoy together. Your children will be so happy to see their fall leaf luminaries adorn the Thanksgiving table.
Our daughter gets a kick out of seeing the leaf lanterns that she made several years ago come out of the Thanksgiving box looking just as amazing as the day she made it. She can’t help but squeal, “My leaf turkey!” every time she sees it again.
Fall Leaf Mason Jar Lanterns DIY Materials
This leaf turkey fall leaf luminary is made with mason jars and real fall leaves, but you can also try fabric fall leaves.
- Real or fabric fall leaves
- Wide mouth mason jars
- Mod Podge
- Foam brush
- White tissue paper
- Burgundy or brown tissue paper (or try construction paper)
- Orange and red construction paper
- Googly eyes
- Beeswax tea lights, votives, or flameless tea lights
Related: Fall Leaves Watercolor Art
How to make Leaf Lanterns: Step by Step Directions for Mason Jar Luminaries
Leaf turkey lanterns are a Thanksgiving lantern craft that kids can help make. These fall leaf luminaries make wonderful Thanksgiving lantern centerpieces.
Learn how to make luminaries with mason jars, and real fall leaves with the step-by-step mason jar lanterns DIY tutorial below.
Step 1 – Collect and select fall leaves to make Thanksgiving mason jar lanterns
Play with arranging the leaves on the canning jars and decide how you would like to make them into turkey crafts. We used fresh fall leaves, but you can also use preserved fall leaves or fabric leaves.
Step 2 – Cut the tissue paper strips and parts for each Thanksgiving Turkey craft
- Strips of white tissue paper 1 1/2 to 2″ wide and slightly longer than the glass jar that you will be using to make your leaf lantern.
- Trace the bottom of the canning jar and cut out the circle.
- A small triangle of orange construction paper for the turkey beak.
- An amoeba-like shape of red construction paper for the turkey wattle.
- Circles of burgundy or brown tissue, or, construction paper to make the head and the body for the turkey craft. (We traced the top of a tapered shot glass for the body of each turkey, and the bottom of the same shot glass for the head of each turkey craft.)
Step 3 – Apply Mod Podge to the glass jar luminaries
Step 4 – Stick the tissue paper strips onto the mason jar Thanksgiving craft
Keeping your hand inside the glass jar, carefully stick the circle of tissue paper onto the bottom.
Next, place each tissue strip onto the mason jar one by one and wrap the strips around the bottom. Apply Mod Podge all over to glue the tissue paper to the sides and bottom of the mason jar. Make sure you wrap each strip of tissue paper down and stick it to the bottom of the jar.
Step 5 – Paint Mod Podge onto tissue paper on the mason jar luminaries
Carefully reapply Mod Podge to the sides and bottom of the canning jar over the tissue paper. This will seal the tissue paper and protect it if it gets wet.
Step 6 – Glue one fall leaf onto each fall leaf lantern craft
Paint Modge Podge onto the underside of each leaf and carefully arrange them onto the mason jar lanterns. Position the fall leaves so that they look like the fan of feathers behind a turkey.
We have learned through trial and error that these fall leaf luminaries look much better when they are lit if the autumn leaves do not overlap.
Overlapping leaves look beautiful in the daylight, but it is too dark to see the features of the leaves and the turkey very well when the lantern is lit with a candle. This is why we recommend using only one leaf for each leaf lantern craft.
You can move the fall leaves around a bit before they dry, but be careful not to disturb the tissue paper. Smooth out any air bubbles by gently rubbing the leaf(s) from the center out.
Step 7 – Carefully paint Mod Podge over the leaves on the mason jar leaf luminaries
Use a foam brush to apply Mod Podge onto each autumn leaf.
Step 8 – Stick the turkey craft parts over the fall leaf to complete fall leaf luminaries
- Place your hand inside the jar to hold it.
- First place body circle.
- Apply Mod Podge on top of body circle.
- Next place head circle.
- Apply Mod Podge on top of the head circle.
- Then place the googly eyes.
- Last place beak and wattle.
- Apply Mod Podge on top of beak and wattle but not the googly eyes.
9. Place turkey leaf luminaries upside down and allow to dry
How to Make Turkey Leaf Lanterns: Step by Step Photo Tutorial
Mason Jar Thanksgiving Crafts
Leaf turkey lanterns are a Thanksgiving craft idea that kids can make. Fall Leaf Mason Jar Luminaries make a wonderful Thanksgiving decoration and centerpiece for any holiday table.
Add this gorgeous leaf lantern craft to your mason jar Thanksgiving crafts this fall… Then, make your own fall leaf luminaries today!
For more fall fun, be sure to check out 20 Thanksgiving traditions and fun things to do on Thanksgiving!
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
More Thanksgiving Crafts and DIY Ideas
- Best Thanksgiving Thankful Tree Tradition Ideas
- How to Make Clay Gratitude Leaves
- 40 Thanksgiving Gratitude Activities and Crafts
- Thankful Tree with Gratitude Leaves