How to Decorate Outdoor Lanterns for Christmas

It’s the festive season – a time for laughter and togetherness. As the holidays draw closer, what better way to warm your heart than by bringing some cheer to your outdoor space? Decorating with lanterns is a wonderful way to spread the holiday spirit and make you feel right at home.

With just a few simple supplies and an eye for detail, we’ll show you how to decorate outdoor lanterns for christmas to create beautiful Christmas lantern decorations that are sure to bring joy into your home this season!

How to Decorate Outdoor Lanterns for Christmas

So grab those twinkling lights, festive bows, and glittery ornaments – because there’s no better time than now to start decorating your outdoor living area with enchanting illuminated displays that will light up any winter night!

What to Keep in Mind When Decorating Outdoor Lanterns for Christmas?

1. Safety First

Before you begin decorating your outdoor lanterns, make sure they are placed away from combustible materials and in a location that won’t pose a fire hazard. It’s also vital to keep any candles or other flammable materials away from the decorations.

2. Think Outside the Box

You don’t have to stick to traditional Christmas decorations for your outdoor lanterns – think outside the box and get creative! There are many unique ways to decorate a lantern, from using painted glass jars with festive designs or adding paper doilies and sparkly beads around the base of the lantern.

Get inspired by nature for your decorations and use pinecones, evergreen branches, or holly sprigs to give your lantern a rustic look.

3. Get Festive with Light

When it comes to outdoor lantern decorations, nothing beats adding twinkling lights! Wrap the exterior of the lantern in fairy lights or set up a string of small battery-powered lights inside the lantern that you can switch on and off. For a more dramatic effect, hang several outdoor lanterns with Christmas lights in an area of your garden or patio.

Required Items

  • Lanterns- Choose from a range of lantern styles, including rustic metal ones, traditional paper Chinese ones, or modern glass designs.
  • Christmas lights- Fairy string lights are ideal for wrapping around the outer frame of the lanterns. Battery-powered lights can be used inside the lanterns.
  • Decorative items- Pinecones, evergreen branches, holly sprigs, paper doilies and sparkly beads are perfect for decorating the outside of your lantern.
  • Glue gun- A glue gun is useful for attaching decorations that need a strong bond to the surface of the lantern.
Glue Gun is Useful for Attaching Decorations

10 Steps on How to Decorate Outdoor Lanterns for Christmas

Step 1: Choose the Type

Choose the type of lanterns you want to decorate. Choosing the right style for your outdoor space will ensure that they look great and fit in with the overall design.

Step 2: Decide on a Theme

Decide on a theme for your outdoor lantern decorations. You could go for traditional Christmas decorations or opt for something more unique, like rustic woodsy elements or wintery white accents. This will help you decide the type of decorations to use.

Step 3: Gather Materials

Gather all the materials you need for your outdoor lantern decoration project. Make sure they’re all suitable for outdoor use and are in good condition. All the materials should be weather-resistant to ensure a long life for your decorations.

Step 4: Prepare the Lanterns

If you’re using metal lanterns, use fine-grit sandpaper to remove any rust or dirt before you start decorating them. Paper Chinese lanterns will need to be taken out of their packaging and hung from the string so that they can hang freely.

Step 5: Glue on the Decorations

Start gluing pinecones, evergreen branches, holly sprigs, and other decorative items to the outside of your lanterns. Use a low-heat glue gun for materials that need a strong bond and hot glue them in place.

Step 6: Wrap the Exterior in Lights

Wrap the exterior of your lanterns with fairy string lights. Make sure to wrap them tightly around the frame and secure them in place with glue. Wrapping the lights in a spiral pattern looks especially pretty!

Wrap the Exterior of Your Lanterns

Step 7: Place Lights Inside

Insert battery-operated Christmas lights inside your lanterns. Hang them around the rim of the lantern or cluster them together for a more festive look. Placing a string of mini-lights inside the lantern will give it an extra twinkle and glow.

Step 8: Hang It Up

Carefully hang up your decorated outdoor lanterns in any area of your garden or patio that could do with some added Christmas cheer! Place them near windows, doors, long pathways, or walkways. Make sure to hang them up securely so that they won’t blow away or fall down.

Step 9: Add Extra Touches

For a more personal touch, add some thin ribbons and velvet bows around the top of the lanterns. You could also write a message on a piece of paper and add it inside each one, such as ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Holidays.’

Step 10: Enjoy the Festive Cheer!

Sit back and admire your beautifully adorned lanterns – it’s time to enjoy the festive cheer you’ve created in your outdoor space! By decorating outdoor lanterns for christmas, you’ll be able to create an illuminated display that will sparkle on any winter night.

What better way to bring the joy of Christmas into your home? So get ready to make your outdoor space shine with beautiful and festive lantern decorations! It’s the perfect way to celebrate the season in style.

Beautiful and Festive Lantern Decorations

8 Common Mistakes to Avoid

No matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced Christmas decorator, there are certain outdoor lantern decorative mistakes that can easily ruin the holiday cheer. To help get your outdoor decorations looking perfect for the holidays, here are 8 common mistakes to avoid when decorating with outdoor lanterns:

  1. Not waterproofing outdoor decorations. When using lights and other decorations outdoors, make sure to waterproof all items with a protective sealant. This will help keep your outdoor decorations looking their best throughout the holiday season and protect them from damage caused by moisture and rain.
  2. Overwhelming the space with too much lighting. Outdoor lanterns come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s easy to get carried away when decorating with them. Make sure to keep your outdoor decorations tasteful by limiting the amount of lighting you use, and focusing on one or two areas of the yard where they can be best appreciated.
  3. Not considering the size of your lanterns. When selecting outdoor lanterns, consider their size relative to other items in the space you’ll be displaying them. Oversized lanterns can take up too much space, while undersized ones will be easily overlooked.
  4. Not positioning lights correctly for a visual impact. Poorly placed outdoor lighting can ruin the effect of your decorations. Position your lights strategically so they highlight special features and draw attention to areas of interest.
  5. Using inappropriate bulbs and cables for the season. During the winter months, sub-zero temperatures and icy conditions can quickly ruin cabling and bulbs that are exposed to the elements. Make sure to use waterproof cabling and LED bulbs that are designed for cold weather durability in order to keep your decorations looking great all season long.
  6. Forgetting safety measures when decorating with outdoor lanterns. When displaying festive decorations outdoors, remember to take additional safety measures in order to avoid any potential accidents. Use clips and hooks instead of nails or screws for hanging outdoor lanterns, and avoid placing them near flammable materials.
  7. Underestimating the cost of outdoor decoration. Outdoor decoration often costs more than you may think! Make sure to budget accordingly for all your festive items, and don’t forget to include extra costs such as electricity, weatherproofing, hooks, and clips.
  8. Not using the right outdoor lanterns for your decoration style. Different types of outdoor lanterns can add different decorative elements to a space, so make sure to choose ones that fit in with the look you’re going for. For example, if you’re looking for a more rustic vibe, opt for natural woven lanterns instead of metal modern ones.
Opt for Natural Woven Lanterns

By keeping these mistakes in mind while decorating with outdoor lanterns, you can ensure your holiday decorations look their very best! Have fun and get creative with your outdoor decorations this season!


So, whatever style or type of lanterns you decide to use this Christmas season, don’t hesitate to get creative and have fun. Personalizing your outdoor decorations helps create the perfect holiday ambiance that will make your home feel inviting and festive. With these steps on how to decorate outdoor lanterns for Christmas, you can give your home a warm, inviting look that is sure to light up every guest’s heart.

From weaving ribbons and greenery around your lanterns to rigging them up with twinkle lights, there are many lovely ways to give your lanterns a truly magical glow this holiday season. By layering colors from top to bottom and using complimentary accents throughout, you can put together an outdoor display that will leave everyone marveling at its beauty.

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