Even if the days are still warm, the nights are getting chilly and crisp—what better time to be outside than an early fall evening? If you’re not the bonfire type, maybe tiki torches and a table lantern will do you just fine. Try my easy fall table lantern—made with pretty patterned paper and paper in fall colors, it looks just as nice during the daytime as it does in the evening! (And, it uses a pickle jar, so you get to take delight in being resourceful and using things you already have around the house!)
Gather your supplies:
Scraps of patterned paper or paper in fall colors
Sharp paper scissors
Stencils in leaves and other fall shapes
Modpodge (not pictured)
brush (not pictured)
Tea light (not pictured)
I used plastic stencils my babysitter brought over, but you can download shapes to cut out and create your own stencils with lightweight cardboard (feel like reusing cereal boxes, too?)—here are some ideas to get you started.
Trace the shapes onto your paper. For patterned paper, trace on the plain side. Cut out your shapes, staying as close as possible to the lines. (Remember that the backs of the shapes can be seen through the lantern during daylight, so we don’t want to be too messy here.)
Sharp scissors specifically designed for cutting paper (such as these Cutter Bee precision scissors) will help you make really nice cuts and get some nice shapes for your lantern, or anything else, for that matter. I had been using my sewing scissors to cut paper without much luck (or talent, so I thought), and I’m so glad I tried these. Look at how nicely my shapes came out! It’s all scissor.
Use Modpodge to glue the shapes to the glass, clearly, with the patterned sides out. It dries clear, so you don’t have to worry about seeing glue through the other side of the lantern. Tip: Let the Modgodge goosh a little over the edges of your shape and use your finger to press the edges down. For heavier paper like cardstock, you might want to pre-bend the paper so it has the same curve as your jar (it’ll make gluing easier).
Set a tea light inside and enjoy day or night!