summary: photos of fall leaves taken with the sun shining through them, printed and wrapped around clear glass votives, to be used for Thanksgiving dinner placecards
I used metal cup tealights. I taped the paper to the glass cups up a bit, bottom edge of the paper is parallel to the top edge of the tealight. I liked it best when the entire paper is glowing when the candle is lit.
Also, I preferred to place the photos so that only part of the leaf was showing. Without the edges of the leaf it is hard to tell it is a leaf.
Photo#1 (the colors are a little better in real life, your eyes are better than my camera)
Here's the too-long description of how i made them. summary, on the computer in Photoshop Elements i made shapes of the right size to wrap the votive, then imported, sized and moved the leaf photos so they showed well through the shapes.
OK. To make the shape the right size, I printed a leaf photo, cut it into a big approximate rectangle to fit around the small votive, then marked and trimmed it until it fit well. It ended up as a wide arc since the votives were not strictly vertical. see photo#2.
I scanned the hand-trimmed paper piece. Using Photoshop Elements, i created a new 8x10" transparent file candleleaf1. i imported the scan, then used the line tool (5 px wide) to outline the scanned paper piece and created a shape. I merged the layers with all the individual lines… maybe there's an easier way but it worked. Once I had a single layer with the shape, i duplicated it and moved it so i had two shapes on the layer. (Deleted the original scan layer.) I used the paint can tool to fill white around the two shapes.
Then I opened the jpgs of the leaf photos as separate files. I would choose one, select all and copy, then paste into candleleaf1 which makes a new layer. The leaf layer should be moved to the back (so it will only be seen through the arc paper shape). Now, the leaf layer can be resized and moved until it looks good within the paper shape.
hint, after i placed the leaf, sometimes it was too big and encroached onto the second space. For the leaf layer, I would use the marquee tool to select the rectangle i wanted to keep, then invert the selection (on PC, control-shift-i) and press delete. This is basically a single layer crop. You can't use the regular crop command because it will crop ALL layers.
Added text layer with the name, using white color, bold. When i preferred to move the name away from the middle of the shape, i also rotated it a bit so the name was parallel to the bottom edge. Otherwise, the name looks crooked on the votive.
Photo#3 (because people on the other side of the table will see the backs!)
Be careful lighting them - if you made them as tall as i did, and if you are using matches instead of a long barrel lighter, i would light them first and tape on the paper second. With the long barrel lighter, the flame is contained within the glass and no fear of scorching the paper.
Have a great Thanksgiving!