You can have a festive autumn swag of lanterns lighting the path for your guests this fall season with a little bit of work and a lot of fun.
I made these lanterns with flowers a few years ago and thought they were so lovely outside during springtime that it seemed even more fitting to have them decorate the deck for the autumn season.
Here is how I made them:
I used the leaf shapes from my Wee Gather Together Leaves cut-it set on Lettering Delights. I first cut out many colors of leaves about one to two and a half inches in size, using Paper Source text weight papers (colors: moss, chartreuse, curry, poppy, papaya, persimmon). Once cut, the leaves were thin enough to curl into nice bends and shapes. I use a bamboo skewer for curling.
I then laid them out and spritzed them with quick, uneven bursts of spray paint. I used a few spray paint colors to make the leaves appear more blended, like real autumn leaves. When spraying I recommend that you not spray close to the leaves, rather lift the can about one to two feet above the leaves to get a dusting of paint, then repeat with another color. You can see this in the photo above and below.
Once I had about three or four leaves prepared per lantern, I cut out the lanterns in two colors of paper. Paper Source cover or text weight paper works for the lanterns. For the spring lanterns I used text weight, but for these autumn lanterns I used cover weight. The paper colors I chose were gravel and curry. I used the Cut Flower Accessories cut-it project from Lettering Delights (it is in my Cut Flower collection on LD). It is a pattern that can be used for pedestals, but it works great for lanterns too. There are four pedestal designs in the set, I used the green one for these lanterns.
Each lantern is about four inched high. I taped each lantern after connecting it, then glued the leaf sets to each on the opposite side of the connection.
The lanterns have a tabbed edge at the top (about 1/2 inch tall) that must be folded inward to hold the paper lantern over the lightbulb that it is covering. My lights are the circular, clear bulbs (approximately 1.5 inch diameter) in a string of 20 or so lights. The lanterns slip up and over the bulb and hang with the tabs holding them on.
Thinner paper will allow more light to shine through the paper lantern, if you would like that. The thicker paper will make the lanterns more durable, but will not allow for as much light to shine through. Keep that in mind when making your choice of lantern paper.
Now you can enjoy your crisp autumn evenings while sitting outdoors under your autumn lantern lights and the harvest moon.