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100+ Stunning DIY Christmas Lantern Décor Ideas

Elaine is an avid crafter who enjoys celebrating beautiful DIY decorations.

Add a little magic and sparkle to your Christmas decorations with these beautiful homemade lanterns!

Add a little magic and sparkle to your Christmas decorations with these beautiful homemade lanterns!

Get Glowing With Festive Lantern Designs for the Holidays

Decorate your home indoors or outdoors with a beautiful lantern that's jazzed up for the holidays. These magical lanterns can easily double as centerpieces, transform your mantel, and even commemorate a deceased loved one. Whether you want to follow a traditional theme or maybe try something modern, these ideas will give you inspiration.

Bottle Brush Trees

Bottle Brush Trees

Bottle Brush Trees

Fill your lantern with tiny trees, artificial snow, and an adorable snowman figurine to recreate this idea. Add firefly lights to give it a delicate glow. This would be perfect on a hall table or in your window to welcome holiday visitors.

Winter Tree-Cutting Scene

Winter Tree-Cutting Scene

Winter Tree-Cutting Scene

Have fun creating a traditional Christmas scene in a lantern, like a family cutting down a fresh evergreen tree to decorate. This also makes a wonderful souvenir for a grown child: Use one of their old toy cars to create the scene, then gift them the lantern when they buy their first home.

Snow Globe

Snow Globe

Snow Globe

Go for a winter vibe with this snow globe effect lantern. This is similar to the tree-cutting scene, but it adds the appearance of falling snow. Layer artificial snow at the base, then add flecks of snow on the side panes to create this snowy, peaceful scene.

Centerpiece With Christmas Foliage

Centerpiece With Christmas Foliage

Centerpiece With Christmas Foliage

Spice up your Christmas table decorations with this beautiful centerpiece. Adorn a rustic whitewashed lantern with Christmas foliage, winter berries, and pine cones (either real or fake). Your table will bask in the soft glow of the flickering candle inside.

Christmas in Heaven Lantern

Christmas in Heaven Lantern

Christmas in Heaven Lantern

If you are missing someone special this year, then why not commemorate them by making this meaningful lantern? As the poem goes:

Christmas in Heaven,

What do they do?

They come down to Earth

To spend time with you.

Write the words on a little board to go inside the lantern, and set up a scene with a cozy chair next to a miniature Christmas tree.

Swag With Check Ribbons

Swag With Check Ribbons

Swag With Check Ribbons

Make your own beautiful lantern swag for the holidays by including festive elements like berries, pine cones, and fir branches. Finish with a big Christmas ribbon on top! Choose a seasonal pattern like red and burlap check to really create an impact.

Snowy Deer Scene

Snowy Deer Scene

Snowy Deer Scene

This stunning lantern design highlights the elegant charm of a glittering white ceramic deer and Christmas tree. The lights hanging at the top illuminate the scene with a twinkling glow. Consider adding some artificial snow at the bottom to enhance the wintry look.

Oversized Porch Lantern

Oversized Porch Lantern

Oversized Porch Lantern

Create a a warm and welcoming entryway by adding lanterns near your front door. With its classic shape, this wooden lantern would look great as part of your Christmas porch décor. Hang a mini wreath down the front for a delicate—and adorable—touch.

You can choose whatever color of candle you like for the interior, but I recommend white candles. They look very elegant and charming against the snow in the lantern base.

Santa's Sleigh Ride

Santa's Sleigh Ride

Santa's Sleigh Ride

Make a winter village scene with faux snow, mini houses, bottle brush trees, and a flying Santa sleigh. Add a delicate wire of fairy lights to illuminate the scene. Can't you just picture yourself living in this cozy town, tucked up by the fire with a mug of hot cocoa waiting for Santa to arrive?

White and Gold Elegance

White and Gold Elegance

White and Gold Elegance

Elegant faux white poinsettias and frothy ribbons form the backdrop for this proud golden deer. You could place a white or gold candle inside the lantern to tie the look together. This would make a wonderful addition for a winter wedding, bridal shower, or birthday party.

Candy Land Theme

Candy Land Theme

Candy Land Theme

Create a cheerful candy land lantern by layering a red lantern with red and white striped ribbons, peppermint candies, candy canes, and faux glittery winter berries. Add some pipe cleaners twisted into curlicues for a zany touch. The great thing about this idea is that it incorporates all the traditional colors of Christmas.

Well-Lit Lantern

Well-Lit Lantern

Well-Lit Lantern

For a simple but elegant look, fill your lantern with white firefly lights. Then you can decorate around it with red glittery birds, fir branches, pine cones, winter berries, and other natural elements. Display the lantern on a wood slice to complete the look.

Stag Party

Stag Party

Stag Party

Delicate deer prancing in the snow are the theme of this lantern design—hence the tongue-in-cheek "stag party" name! Of course, you could pick other winter creatures, like polar bears, reindeer, or snowy owls, but there is something so elegant about these sleek deer. Add a white tree to glisten in the background, and hang a bright star from the top to draw the viewer's eye.

Shiny Baubles and Pine Cones

Shiny Baubles and Pine Cones

Shiny Baubles and Pine Cones

For a quick and easy way to decorate your lantern, fill it with your favorite shiny baubles and pine cones; flocked pine cones look particularly good in this arrangement. Add some evergreen boughs if it doesn't look full enough. Finish by adding a festive flower on top for some holiday swag.

Winter Cottage With Snowman

Winter Cottage With Snowman

Winter Cottage With Snowman

Here's another take on a winter village lantern. Place just one cozy-looking house inside the lantern, and add artificial snow and bottle brush trees around it. Decorate the front yard with a big, cheerful snowman. Light it up with icy blue lights to enhance the winter feeling.

Rustic Angel

Rustic Angel

Rustic Angel

This idea looks so inviting if you have a brown-toned lantern, like a copper, bronze, or wooden one. Place an angel figurine inside the lantern, along with some miniature fake trees and fluffy artificial snow. Illuminate the lantern with a string of warm-hued fairy lights—you definitely want a golden glow for this piece. Hang some wooden hearts and stars from the top of the lantern for an extra touch.

Mini Nativity Scene

Mini Nativity Scene

Mini Nativity Scene

If you want to display your nativity figurines in a different way this year, try placing them in a lantern. You should be able to fit Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus in your lantern, depending on the size of your figures. Line the bottom of the lantern with hay to evoke the manger. Surround the scene with a halo of lights.

Sweet Deer in the Woods

Sweet Deer in the Woods

Sweet Deer in the Woods

These little deer are so cute! Surround them with fluffy fake snow, mini evergreens, and a bright star dangling from the top. Add flecks of snow to the side panes to make it look even more outdoorsy. For a cute touch, add a tiny sign with a seasonal message, like "Warm Wishes to You!"

Baubles and Christmas Gnomes

Baubles and Christmas Gnomes

Baubles and Christmas Gnomes

Incorporate some festive Christmas gnomes into your lantern design! Hang baubles from the top of the lantern, and add a mini tree and some strings of beads inside. Instead of using fluffy fake snow, coil a piece of glittery white garland into the bottom; it looks like a soft, feathery nest! Place little gnomes near the tree.

Santa's Visit

Santa's Visit

Santa's Visit

Create a dollhouse scene inside your lantern with a tree, toys and presents, a plate of cookies, and even some furniture like a bed, sofa, and mirror. Cover the interior base of the lantern with festive fabric to make it look like a carpet or rug. Add a mischievous Santa figure to celebrate Christmas Eve!

Snowy Sledding Scene

Snowy Sledding Scene

Snowy Sledding Scene

There's no reason your decorations have to stay inside the lantern! Let them overflow onto your table to create a real statement piece. Here, the cheery red lantern is filled with fluffy snow, which spills out onto the tablecloth. Enhance your snowy scene with miniature sleds and figurines, a snowman, Christmas trees, and more. It will look like a wonderful winter day at the park!

Bunches of Berries

Bunches of Berries

Bunches of Berries

Shiny red faux berries are so pretty next to evergreen boughs. Here are two ways to feature winter berries in your lanterns.

  • Tall: Fill a tall lantern with an evergreen branch twined with several sprigs of berries. Add string lights.
  • Small: Place a big candle in the base of a small lantern, and surround it with berries and pine cones. Add an evergreen swag on top with more berries.
Red and White Poinsettia Ribbons

Red and White Poinsettia Ribbons

Red and White Poinsettia Ribbons

Buy a bold, eye-catching Christmas ribbon, like the poinsettia-patterned ribbon in the photo. Pair it with a simple white lantern, an LED candle, and berry sprigs. Enhance the bows on top with gold and red baubles and a shiny jingle bell.

Open-Walled Miniature Scene

Open-Walled Miniature Scene

Open-Walled Miniature Scene

This is a super creative lantern treatment: Remove the front pane so it looks more like a little house! Set up a miniature scene inside with a dollhouse door, mini Christmas trees, and a Santa figurine. The best part of this design is that you can also decorate the outside by adding more figures and fake snow around the lantern!

Cozy Indoor and Outdoor Scene

Cozy Indoor and Outdoor Scene

Cozy Indoor and Outdoor Scene

This is another idea for decorating both the inside and outside of the lantern. Set up a cozy living room scene inside the lantern, complete with a fireplace, cookies for Santa, and a festively decorated Christmas tree. Place the lantern on a wood slice, and then decorate the exterior as well. Make it look like a wintry front yard with a mailbox, fence, front path, and even a snowman!

Stately Golden Baubles With Twig Balls

Stately Golden Baubles With Twig Balls

Stately Golden Baubles With Twig Balls

This design looks best in a tall, narrow lantern. Fill the lantern with large golden baubles and twig balls from the craft store. It looks amazing if you paint the roof of the lantern gold to match. Add some evergreen boughs around the base, and either add string lights or leave them out—the baubles are sparkly enough on their own.

Blue and White Skiing Santa

Blue and White Skiing Santa

Blue and White Skiing Santa

Blue is a unique and oh-so-wintry color for your lantern! It looks even more striking if you choose simple colors for the interior, like white and pale gold. Fill the base with artificial snow and add a miniature set of skis and ski poles. Add a gnome or Santa figure and some fairy lights.

See many more lantern design ideas in the photo gallery below. Whether you want to make a winter village lantern, a cute snowman lantern, or an abstract lantern filled with lights and baubles, you'll find some inspiration here.

Black and White Lantern With Gnome

Black and White Lantern With Gnome

Forest Scene With Deer and Santa

Forest Scene With Deer and Santa

Little Red Cottage With Christmas Bunny

Little Red Cottage With Christmas Bunny

Winter Village With Multicolored Trees

Winter Village With Multicolored Trees

Tree-Cutting Scene With Carolers

Tree-Cutting Scene With Carolers

Father and Child Tree-Cutting Scene

Father and Child Tree-Cutting Scene

Beautiful Bird on a Branch

Beautiful Bird on a Branch

Iridescent Tree and Sled

Iridescent Tree and Sled

Warm Santa Scene

Warm Santa Scene

Rustic Santa Wearing White

Rustic Santa Wearing White

Gorgeous Gold Baubles

Gorgeous Gold Baubles

Red and Black Argyle Bows

Red and Black Argyle Bows

Tree Scene With Ribbon Swag

Tree Scene With Ribbon Swag

Tall Red Lantern With Santa and Tree

Tall Red Lantern With Santa and Tree

Simple White Lantern With Tartan Bow

Simple White Lantern With Tartan Bow

Gray Lantern With Poinsettia Swag

Gray Lantern With Poinsettia Swag

Antique Finish Lantern With Gold Baubles and Red Bows

Antique Finish Lantern With Gold Baubles and Red Bows

Cute Santa Lantern With Polka-Dot Ribbon

Cute Santa Lantern With Polka-Dot Ribbon

Simple Candle Lantern With Faux Berries

Simple Candle Lantern With Faux Berries

Deconstructed Lantern With Snowman Scene

Deconstructed Lantern With Snowman Scene

Sweet Snowman Swag

Sweet Snowman Swag

Decorating the Tree Scene

Decorating the Tree Scene

Snowman Friends

Snowman Friends

Magnificent Deer and Pine Cones

Magnificent Deer and Pine Cones

Winter Village Scene With Real Evergreen Swag

Winter Village Scene With Real Evergreen Swag

Modern Lantern With Silver Star

Modern Lantern With Silver Star

Sleek White Lantern With Snowy Scene

Sleek White Lantern With Snowy Scene

Dangling Baubles and Evergreen Boughs

Dangling Baubles and Evergreen Boughs

Christmas Eve Living Room Scene

Christmas Eve Living Room Scene

Silver and White Lantern

Silver and White Lantern

Pine Cones and Acorns

Pine Cones and Acorns

Christmas Carolers With Faux Berry Swag

Christmas Carolers With Faux Berry Swag

Miniature Winter Park Scene

Miniature Winter Park Scene

Dramatic Tree-Cutting Scene

Dramatic Tree-Cutting Scene

Car With Tree and Fairy Lights

Car With Tree and Fairy Lights

Double-Decker Winter Scenes

Double-Decker Winter Scenes

"Merry Christmas" Fireplace Scene

"Merry Christmas" Fireplace Scene

Little Winter Town

Little Winter Town

Stockings on the Mantle

Stockings on the Mantle

Winter Fairies

Winter Fairies

Beautiful Light-Up House

Beautiful Light-Up House

Big Lantern With Little Tree

Big Lantern With Little Tree

Intricate Lanterns With Winter Scenes

Intricate Lanterns With Winter Scenes

Narrow Christmas Trees

Narrow Christmas Trees

Warm Lantern Filled With Pine Cones

Warm Lantern Filled With Pine Cones

Pretty Red Santa Lantern

Pretty Red Santa Lantern

Living Room Scene With Poinsettia Bow

Living Room Scene With Poinsettia Bow

Blue and Silver Lantern

Blue and Silver Lantern

Lantern on Wooden Crate

Lantern on Wooden Crate

Delicate Silver Lantern

Delicate Silver Lantern

Green Lantern With Branches and Boughs

Green Lantern With Branches and Boughs

Red Candle and Greenery

Red Candle and Greenery

Enjoy Designing Your Festive Lanterns!

I hope these photos have sparked your imagination with all the creative possibilities for holiday lanterns! There's something really special about a decorative piece that lights up. It's almost like two pieces in one, since it's just as striking with the lights on or off. Fill your home with the magical glow of the holidays, and merry crafting to you and yours!

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