Decorating your home for each season can require a lengthy inventory of items. From wreaths and throw pillows to centerpieces and dishes, many items are firmly seasonal and don’t offer much versatility. However, this is where decorative lanterns shine. By simply switching out candle colors and the smaller accents you display with them, lanterns are both practical and versatile. They can can be used in endless variations to suit different times of year, themes, or occasions. Read on for some of our favorite ideas on how to decorate with lanterns.

Balsam Hill's Candela Crossbar LanternsYours
Balsam Hill’s Candela Crossbar Lantern

Decorating with Lanterns Indoors

Inside the home, these pieces look their best decorating tables, counters, mantels, or bookcases. Any of these locations provides a lovely perch from which they can illuminate the room, and be easily seen. Lanterns are also fantastic anchoring pieces to help you create charming tablescapes that will invite your guests to linger.

Charming tablescape with lantern and flameless candle
Photo from Sondra Lyn at Home

To create a styled vignette as seen above, pair vintage lanterns with other objects that have a weathered finish, and then add vibrant accents and green foliage for beautiful pops of color.

Bring Elegance to the Outdoors

Give an air of rustic charm and luminous beauty to paths and steps with lanterns paired with flameless candles. Lanterns are usually weighted to give more stability, so the wind won’t knock them over. Place flameless candles inside the lantern as they are both fire-safe and are battery-operated for more convenience.

Warmly welcome to your guests by cleverly positioning a lantern and candles in a corner of your front porch. Added embellishments, such as a pot of cheerful blooms or a welcome sign to complete the look. Alternately, you can flank the front door with a pair of lanterns to provide balanced lighting and a symmetrical look to your entryway.

Adding Embellishments

Decorating with lanterns can be effortless as they are striking on their own, but to take advantage of their true versatility, a few embellishments are called for. Their often neutral color presents the perfect foil to more colorful ornamentation and complements almost any kind of décor you adorn it with. Some of our favorite lantern decorating ideas are:

  • Adding a seasonally colored bow around the top or middle of the lantern
  • Encircling the lantern with seasonal foliage or flowers
  • Adding glass or stone pebbles to the inside of the lantern (make sure to place the candle before you add these, so it can sit on a level surface)

A Lantern for Every Season

Decorating with lanterns is like working with a blank canvas – you can adorn them for any season you like!

Create a delightful spring showcase with lanterns festooned with rustic accents inspired by nature. Bird’s nests with wooden eggs, faux butterflies, or classic and simple flowers are just a few of the options you can try. You can also convert larger lanterns into interesting terrariums to serve as conversation starters or table centerpieces at your next gathering.

Balsam Hill's Fall Harvest Garland as a centerpiece
Balsam Hill’s Fall Harvest Garland as a centerpiece

For fall, surround yourself with the bounty of the season. Arrange autumn flowers, pine cones, twigs, leaves, and decorative pumpkins around a lantern for a warm and festive centerpiece.

When winter comes, decorate with minimal fuss and maximum impact. Choose a simple yet refined color palette, and accent your lanterns and candles with lush Christmas foliage in keeping with the season. Add crystal ornaments for a winter wonderland look to tie in with the theme.


  1. I wasn’t aware that lanterns are practical and versatile decorations that can be used for any season. Maybe I should try buying a romantic candle holder lantern as an anchoring piece to my dining room table. From my point of view, lanterns that can be used outdoors would also make my garden to look at so I might buy some of those lanterns online.

  2. I like that you suggested making the lanterns into terrariums which can be interesting for guests when they visit your place. I will try that out once I have bought lanterns this coming weekend. This will be for the decoration of the house party that I will be hosting since the theme will revolve on that kind of decoration. It will make the theme come alive with this idea, so thanks!

  3. That was a good tip when you mentioned that you can use lanterns their best when decorating tables, counters, mantles, or even bookcases. I’ve been wanting to decorate with some outdoor Moroccan lanterns and I’ve been trying to find ways to help them stand out. Maybe I should try decorating the patio table with them and see how I like it.

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