I love the new craft book Weekend Handmade by Kelly Wilkinson because it is full of simple, fun projects. Case in point: these lovely pressed flower luminarias. Made from waxed paper and materials gathered from the garden, they make the perfect last minute DIY decoration for the Thanksgiving table.
* Flowers and greenery
* Heavy book
* Paper towels
* Waxed paper
* Craft knife (like an X-Acto)
* Cutting board or self-healing cutting mat
* Ironing board or cloth for pressing
* Washi tape
* Press Flowers and Greenery
Press Floral Material
Collect leaves, flowers and foliage, keeping in mind that delicate, thinner plant material dries faster. Foliage with interesting shapes, including ferns, maple, gingko, and oak leaves, look especially pretty.
Make Wax Paper Panels
1. For each luminaria, measure and cut four 4 ½ x 9 inch rectangles.
2. Fold the waxed paper rectangle in half to make a square. Open square, and arrange the dry flowers or leaves inside. Close the square, sandwiching the plants between the layers of waxed paper.
3. Heat an iron up to medium. Seal the plant material between the layers of waxed paper by pressing the iron over the paper lightly and quickly. Repeat until you have four finished square panels for each lantern.
Assemble the Lantern
1. Lay two panels side-by-side and right side up with the edges touching. Cut a length of tape about an inch longer than the panel. Center the tape over where the panels meet and press in place.
2. Flip panel over and press the extra tape to the wrong side. Close the panels together like a book and then run your finger along the tape to make a sharp crease. Continue joining the panels together until all four panels are taped into a cube.
3. Set candle (inside of a glass votive) or LED tealight inside the luminaria and enjoy!
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Willi Galloway writes The Gardener column. She lives in Portland, Oregon and writes about her kitchen garden on her blog DigginFood. Her first book Grow Cook Eat: A Food-Lovers Guide to Vegetable Gardening will be published in February.
(Images: All images used with permission by Kelly Wilkinson)