(Photo of Leaf Lantern created by @mindful_kin using out tutorial)
With Autumn comes the cooler change and the darker nights as daylight savings ends and winter starts making its way. These little leaf lanterns are a great way to get your little one creating something that they can use to light up those darker nights and sometimes days ahead.
White tissue paper ~ it’s easier to have these pre cut into pieces for your little one to use.
Clear drying craft glue.
A paint brush.
A leaf ~ make sure it’s not completely dry as it will need to have a little bit of flexibility to be able to stick to the papier-mâché.
1. Blow up your balloon to the size you want your lantern to be.
2. Depending on the thickness of your glue, you can mix 50/50 PVA or craft glue with water in a bowl. This will stop potential tearing which can occur to the tissue paper when applying thick glue.
3. Begin applying the glue mixture to the tissue paper and place it on your balloon. I personally find it much easier and less messy to get the little ones to apply the glue to the balloon instead and place the dry tissue paper onto it and the use the brush with a bit of glue to smooth down the edges. It stops the frustration of tissue paper getting stuck to their fingers and crinkling too much.
Make sure you leave a gap up the top almost like a cup to pop your fairy lights in. To help with this you can use a black marker to draw a line around to show your little wild folk where to stop the paper.
You might need to let it sit and dry a little in between layers, but once you have done around 4 layers of tissue paper set it aside for the night to dry.
4. Now that it’s dried or partially dried take your balloon and place glue on the where you want your leaf to go. Place the leaf down onto the glue and then apply more glue over the top and edges ~ this will help keep all edges down. This is the part where you will find a slightly fresher leaf is much easier to use as it has its flexibility still and won’t break. This part might require you to hold the edges for about 5 minutes if they pop up a little for the glue to take.
5. Now do one more layer of tissue paper making sure to go over your leaf entirely and let it dry.
6.Once dry you can gently pop the balloon by holding a piece where the knot is stopping the air from being there and make a small cut. Once the air is out of your balloon peel it gently from the side if it appears to stick at all.
Tip: if you want your lantern to sit flat on a surface, gently pop balloon before its completely dry, when it’s no longer wet to touch but has a little flexibility to it and sit it on your hard surface, this will make the bottom flat. If you are wanting to hang your lantern, wait until it’s completely dry and then poke four holes evenly on each side of the lantern and thread a piece of cord in each, tying a knot at the end near the lantern and bringing them together at the top for you to hang it.
Now your lantern is ready for you to pop your fairy lights in and light up the nights that come in quicker with the end of daylight savings. Place it in your little wild folks room so they can see their beautiful creation as they fall asleep.
* Please dispose of your balloon mindfully, many animals mistake popped balloons for items of food, ingesting them and slowly killing them. It is important when using these items to think of a safe and mindful way to dispose of them. There are balloon alternatives for making a Papier mâché ball as well as some environmentally friendly balloon like products.
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