Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Autumn Leaf Luminaries

You won't believe how easy and inexpensive these lovely leaf luminaries are to make.  I already had the large pedestal glass container ( I got it last year at TJ Maxx for $5.99).  The rest of my supplies were found at my local dollar store.  I had seen a version of these done with real leaves, while they were at their peak colors, but I wondered, what would they look like as time passed and the colors faded, so I came up with this version, and I really love how they turned out.  I hope you do too :)

Here are the supplies you'll need.
1 straight sided pedestal cylinder container ( I chose this one because it's large enough to hold a jar candle)
2 Cylinder vases ( I got these at the dollar store )
1-2 packages of fabric leaves, it's important that you get the ones without plastic veins on the back so that you can decoupage with them easier. I found these at the dollar store and they come 2 colors to a package.
White Elmers type glue
1 paintbrush
votive candles
Ribbon (optional)
I started by pouring my glue into a small plastic bowl and just brushing the entire back side of the leaf with the white glue, don't worry if some gets on the front, it will dry clear.  I chose to do 3 rows of colors but you can choose whatever pattern you  like. If you look closely at this photo you can see the glue is not completely dry yet.

Place the leaves on the glass and make sure to push down any loose ends so the entire leaf comes in contact with the glass. It took 12 leaves to do one of the small cylinders.  Now you just need to wait for the glue to dry.  You can see in this photo that I alternated the rows of leaves so each luminary started with a different color ( I worked from the bottom up ).
 Once the glue was dry, I tied an orange double satin ribbon around each luminary. This is completely optional, you could also use a different ribbon.

Here they are sitting on my antique piano style desk.  One of the things I love about these luminaries is that you could use them from September thru Thanksgiving.  You can make the 2 smaller luminaries for less than $5.00 ( the large one for less than $10.00) and they would make a lovely hostess gift.  You could sprinkle any leftover leaves on the table like you would rose-petals and it would add a beautiful touch to any Autumn table-scape. 
These really cast a magical glow of Autumnal colors at night.  I hope you give these a try, they're easy enough for the whole family to make, just make sure that only adults light the candles, or use flameless votives for a safer alternative :)


  1. Gorgeous, Shannon! I love your idea of using artificial flowers in order to use them longer without the fading that would occur with real leaves. I love the way the light glows through the vibrant colors. I'm going to make some of my own! Thanks for inspiring me, dear friend! xoxo

  2. Thank you so much Lorraine, these really are fun, I'm keeping mine up thru Thanksgiving. If you want to use the glass cylinders for something else, the glue would wash off pretty easily. xoxo

  3. oh bella I'm caught up in a romantic dream every time I visit you here....you always inspire me....these are gorgeous. Been having a little trouble leaving comments on some people's blogs since my MAC computer crashed a few weeks ago, I'm suspecting it's the browser on my HP laptop, at least that's what I've been hearing from others who are having the same trouble. But know how very often you are in my thoughts, in my prayers, and on my heart....sending much love and warm wishes up north to you sweet bella....only 3 more weeks to go in this pregnancy (hopefully less)....persevering!

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