How To Decorate With Lanterns – Tips And Ideas

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Lanterns are a home decor staple that you should be sure to include in your home decor capsule.  Whether being used to shed light or simply to occupy a spare corner, they bring plenty of literal and figurative light and ambience to any space.

I adore decorating with lanterns!  There seems to be no end to their versatility.  I never tire of dreaming up new displays for them and use them all over my house!  I love them in every color, shape and size and don’t see any sign of them falling out of favor in the world of home decor.

SPRING BREAKFAST ROOM

Wood lanterns with greenery inside on the dining room table.
Lanterns are one my favorite accessories to decorate with because you can do so much with them – you’re only limited by your imagination!  You can use them for a year round display or change them up for every season and holiday.

They’re available in pretty much all sizes and styles to fit it with any type of decor.  You can spend a much or as little as suits your pocketbook – of course I’m always on the lookout for a bargain.  😀

I’ve been collecting lanterns ever since they hit the shelves of my favorite home decor stores and have accumulated quite a lantern collection.  I never miss an opportunity to browse the lantern aisle – you never know what you might find!

Let some of the ways that I’ve decorated with lanterns in my home inspire you in yours!

Talk about versatility and using your imagination!  Let’s start out with one of my most favorite and most popular diy projects – this easy hanging lantern display that I added above the wooden sideboard on a long wall in my dining room.

Don’t for one second think that placing a simple white candle in your lantern will be boring.  When lit, the simple white battery operated candles in these lanterns give off a nice glow and give the whole room great ambiance at night.  The candles even have a timer so that they automatically come on and turn off!

DIY FIXER UPPER STYLE HANGING LANTERN DISPLAY

Dining room sideboard with shelf above all decorated.

When you dress up a lantern in other ways, a simple white candle is all you need!  Something as simple as tying sprigs of greenery and pinecones to the top of the lantern with pretty ribbon dresses it right up.

CHRISTMAS IN MY KITCHEN

Christmas centerpiece in a wicker tray with lanterns, candles and mini tree.

What’s better than decorating a lantern with a single white candle?  How about a whole trio of them!  I love, love, love using over-sized lanterns.  They’re great displayed on the floor, on your porch, in the center of a table – any place that you want to make a real statement.

WARM AND WELCOMING CHRISTMAS FOYER

Basket fill with greenery and red Christmas ornaments at the entryway.

When a little extra punch is needed, I especially love to tie twine around each of the candles for added texture and interest.

FAMILY ROOM GALLERY WALL

Large gray lantern filled with a trio of white candles.

Here’s another example of what a great statement you can make by using over-sized lanterns.  The Christmas decorations in my friend Nancy’s foyer certainly wouldn’t be quite as dramatic without the large lanterns.

Notice that the way that she placed the lanterns on one end of the console table reinforces the angle of her stairway.

NANCY’S CHRISTMAS HOUSE

Foyer with Christmas decorations on a sofa table by the stairs.

Here’s another statement-making idea.  When you’re setting a tablescape just for ambience, look at all of the drama that the use of large lanterns adds to a small table.

A BEAUTIFUL AND CASUAL ROUND TABLE SETTING

Round table set with gray and blue dishes.

LANTERNS AREN’T JUST FOR CANDLES

What can you fill lanterns with besides candles?  Well….anything!  Candles are easy, but you can do so much more with them.

I love to pull all sorts of items together to create seasonal displays!  It doesn’t have to be complicated though – just gather whatever goodies you have stashed away and combine them together in your lantern.

As a centerpiece for an Easter tablescape, I filled a pair of large open lanterns with a mix of decorations geared towards the holiday.  The tablescape itself, was pretty simple, but the addition of the lanterns gave it drama.

AN EASTER TABLESCAPE THAT ISN’T OVER THE TOP

Wood lanterns filled with Easter decor.

Even Uncle Sam got into the act in a lantern that acted as a centerpiece on a table that I set for July 4th on our screened porch.

JULY 4TH SCREEN PORCH DECOR

Uncle Sam in a lantern for July 4th.

One more idea is to put a lantern within a lantern.  The lanterns that you already own may be silver, black, wood or white, but this is a great way to add a pop of color and tie them in with the rest of your decor.

SUMMER OPEN SHELVES

Open shelves decorate with blue, white and green accessories.

Call attention to a lantern by displaying it in an unexpected way, such as how I placed this lantern inside of a crate on my fireplace hearth.  I think the overall effect is much more eye-catching and appealing than the display would have been with just the lantern alone.

RUSTIC FALL MANTEL

Fall decor on a white brick fireplace hearth.

I have a pair of square lanterns that I adore.  At Christmas, they look great in the middle of a table filled with miniature Christmas trees.

CHRISTMAS IN MY FARMHOUSE KITCHEN

Square lantern filled with mini Christmas trees.

For one spring and summer look, I filled a large square lantern on the shelves in my breakfast area with a stack of plates, a pretty blue bowl and faux succulents.

6 REASONS YOU NEED GREENERY OR FLOWERS {REAL OR FAUX} IN YOUR HOME RIGHT NOW

Shelf with lantern and black and white canisters.

DECORATE WITH LANTERNS OUTDOORS TOO

So far, I’ve only talked about decorating with lanterns indoors, but they’re for outdoor use too!

I used lanterns in another unexpected way on my fall front porch.  I started off by flanking my front door with a pair of black urns filled with wire lanterns and a fall colored candle, then added a grapevine wreath with a few fall picks tucked in.  This idea was a huge hit with all of you!

WELCOME FALL ON MY FRONT PORCH

A black urn filled with autumn decor.

I used the same lanterns in a slightly different way for Christmas, by placing them into wooden planter boxes and surrounding the lantern with faux Christmas greenery, topped with a grapevine wreath and a few Christmas baubles.

CHRISTMAS FRONT PORCH

Wooden planters decorated for Christmas.

Here’s another over-sized lantern that’s displayed on a deck outside filled with decorations that reinforce the outdoor vibe – a mossy branch, a bird and a potted plant.

SIMPLY STUNNING NEW DECK – BEFORE AND AFTER

Blue lantern on deck.

These are just a few of the many ways that I love to decorate with lanterns!  Have I made a believer out of you yet?  Gather up a lantern or ten and have some fun!

Worthing Court Blog

Tips & Ideas For How To Decorate With Lanterns poster.

First Published: July 28, 2016… Last Updated: June 24, 2019

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45 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing. I love lanterns!! But I only have one….I know!! They are definitely on my list of items to get. I NEED more!

    1. Hi Kim. There’s no such thing as too many lanterns. Or pillows! 😀

    1. Thank you, Penny. Congrats on starting a blog! I’ll be sure to visit.

  2. You have the best design posts! Can you tell me where you got the candlesticks in the first picture? Great post! Thanks for linking up for the Best of the Blogosphere Linky party!

    1. Thank you so much, Chelsee! Those candlesticks are old ones that I already had. They used to be red, gold and green. I spray painted them gray paint and then applied a coat of Minwax Special Walnut stain to them and allowed that to dry.

  3. Love these! The last four were my favorite! Large lanterns are awesome because you can do so much with them!
    Kate | The Organized Dream

    1. Thank you so much, Kate. I totally agree with you about large lanterns – they can be too fun!

  4. I agree there is no such thing as having too many lanterns and I’m always looking for another! Hobby Lobby always has a great selection and their prices are so reasonable. I love the vignette you did for Christmas. Will have to tuck that away for future reference ; )

    1. HI Cricket. You’re right – Hobby Lobby does have a great selection and they’re forever putting them on sale for 50% off!

    1. Glad to meet a fellow lantern lover, Edye!

  5. They are all so pretty that I don’t know which one I like best! Each one lends a differently “feeling” to the space. Going to use some of your ideas for my tablescapes. Thanks for the great post!

    1. So glad you found some inspiration, Carole!

  6. I love your lantern ideas, pinned several to my ‘Home’ board. Love the squirrel, he looks rather desperate trying to get inside!

    Roxann

    1. That’s too funny, Roxann. I never noticed that, but you’re right – that squirrel looks pretty desperate. Must be an acorn hidden in there!

  7. Suzy I am partial to lanterns too, and adore your ideas. I’ve often presented friends with a bouquet in a lantern, and they’re always well received as well. Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Hi Mimi. What a great idea for a bouquet! I know that I’d certainly love to receive something like that.

  8. I love lanterns too and you have given me some great ideas. Thanks for sharing,
    Bev

    1. Glad you found some inspiration, Beverly!

  9. Great inspiration! I love decorating wit lanterns and use them for every season as well. Thank you for sharing on Family Joy Blog Link-Up Party. Hope you are having a great week!

  10. I love these lanterns Suzy! They really are the prefect adornment to so many spots. I actually have one hanging from a hook in the ceiling in my seaside themed bathroom. It makes me smile every time I go in there 😉 Thanks so much for linking these up to our Bewitchin’ Projects Block Party this week. I always dropping by to see what you’ve been up to 😉 Hugs, Lisa

  11. These are all lovely ideas for decorating with lanterns. I have several lanterns and I’m always looking for new ways to use them. Thanks for the inspiration and for sharing at Snickerdoodle Sunday. Pinning.

  12. I love the look of lanterns! These are all so beautiful! 🙂 Thank you for sharing with us at the #HomeMattersParty

  13. These are so beautiful! I pinned your post to my Home Decor board. Thank you so much for participating in the Get It Together Link Party this past week! Hopefully you’ll join us again!

  14. Hi! Thank you for all the beautiful lantern ideas! I LOVE your pig that is encircled in a wreath on the wall at your breakfast nook. Can you tell me where you found the pig?

  15. I love lanterns too! thanks for the great ideas for using them in my home!

  16. I’m having a 70 th birthday party for my husband and I’m using lanterns for decorations. They will be setting on a slab of wood. I’m wondering if that will be enough or should I use greenery, bows etc.? Any ideas? Help! Thank you.

    1. Hi Wanda. So sorry for the delay in replaying! I’m having some technical issues when it comes to being notified of new comments. I assume you’re asking about whether or not you need to add anything to the handles or tops of the lanterns??? If that’s correct, I think it would be a good place to add something that ties in with the rest of your table decorations. You could always give it a try and then remove the decoration if you think it’s too fussy. 🙂

  17. Daphne Gilpin says:

    I like how you said that placing white candles in lanterns may be simple, but that doesn’t make it boring. My husband and I want to find some classy ways to decorate our yard before our garden party this weekend. I’m glad I read your article because I think buying some lanterns and adding simplistic decorations will create just the effect we’re looking for.

  18. Thanks so much, Suzy, I’ve used your ideas so many times – you always surprise me and these lantern ideas are certainly no exception! Are the open lanterns (in your first picture) available for purchase? They are so unique – I really love them!

    1. Hi Patty. I purchased the lanterns from Amazon, but I’m sorry to say they aren’t currently available. I contacted the manufacturer and was told more would be available in July. Here’s the Amazon link, if you want to keep an eye out: https://rstyle.me/+TJrs5HRZwBjZr-dHxDS3Mg

      1. Thanks, Suzy. I love your blog – your home is so lovely – the screened-in porch makes me want to come for a visit 🙂 We are kind of neighbors as we live in Winston Salem, NC!

          1. Susan A. Mims says:

            Hi Suzy……where can I purchase the open lanterns shown in your Easter table decor?
            Thanks,

          2. Hi Susan. I purchased them from Amazon, but they’re no longer available. 🙁

  19. Shirley Brown says:

    Where did you get the wooden lanterns used in your spring and Easter pictures?

    1. I got them on Amazon, but unfortunately they aren’t available right now. 🙁

  20. It’s interesting to know that lanterns are available in all sizes and styles to fit with any type of decor. My husband and I are looking to decorate our new apartment, and I’m looking for information. I will look for the best lanterns to give my house a touch of style.

  21. Jay Jorgenson says:

    My grandma needs a special touch for her dining table. I like how they used the lantern on the table. Thank you for the information. I’ll buy a candle lantern so my grandma can keep one on her dining table.

  22. Carla Smith says:

    I LOVE the last picture of the open wooden lantern which I believe is also on your cover page with small and large. Would love to have these! Where did you get them?

    1. I got those lanterns off of Amazon, but I believe they’re sold out. They’re sold by Creative Co-op if you want to try track them down somewhere else. 😀

  23. Where can I get the large open lanterns on the dinning table??

    1. They came from Amazon, but unfortunately are sold out. 🙁