These Homemade Starry Night Leaf Lanterns Will Light Up These Dark Fall Nights

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This time of year, the sun is setting earlier, and soon, we will experience the dark of night by dinnertime. While there is much to love about these chilly months, the darkness is the one part that I dread. Do you and your grands need a way to keep things lighter (both literally and figuratively)?

It’s no problem with homemade Starry Night Leaf Lanterns! 

While the title alone tells you all you need to know, I want to share all of the steps and things you need to know about creating this fall-themed nightlight, including: 


  • Glass jars
  • Dried, pressed leaves
  • Mod Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Tea lights or battery-operated fairy lights
  • Star-shaped hole punch (optional)
  • Twine or ribbon for decoration (optional)

1. Leaf prep

Start by choosing your leaves. If they aren’t already dried and pressed, you can do so by placing them between two sheets of parchment or wax paper and setting a heavy book on top for a day or two.

2. Optional: star punching

For an extra touch of magic, use the star-shaped hole punch to create tiny stars in your leaves to create little windows in the leaf for the light to shine through, mimicking a starry night.

3. Jar decorating

Begin by brushing a thin layer of Mod Podge or your diluted white glue onto a section of your jar. Next, carefully place a leaf onto the glued area and brush another layer over the leaf, ensuring its edges are well-adhered to the glass. Continue this process, overlapping leaves as you wish, until the jar is decorated to your liking.

4. Drying time

Allow the jar to dry completely. This might take a few hours, so it’s a good time to read one of those autumn books or indulge in a fall treat!

5. Illuminating

Once dried, place a tea light or string of fairy lights inside the jar. If using a real candle, ensure the leaves don’t come too close to the top of the jar to avoid any fire risk. (Battery-operated candles are a safer choice for younger grandkids.)

6. Final touches

Wrap twine or ribbon around the neck of the jar for an added touch. You can even tie a bow or attach a little note or tag to make it even more special.

7. Display and enjoy!

Place your Starry Night Leaf Lantern in a safe spot, light it up, and watch as the room gets bathed in a warm, leafy, starry glow.


Gather around the lantern with your grandchild, share stories, or simply enjoy the quiet moment. The soft light filtering through the colorful leaves will surely make this a memorable autumn craft (and light up these darker nights)!

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