If you’re looking for winter wonderland home decor to celebrate the season, this DIY winter lantern decor is the perfect way to decorate your home after Christmas.
Winter Lantern Decor
Need ideas for a winter terrarium? Looking for stylish winter home decor ideas after Christmas? This winter lantern decor is a beautiful way to decorate your home for the season. My DIY winter lantern is a cute and easy to make winter home decor that also doubles as a winter terrarium. In addition, you can make extra lanterns to use as winter wedding lantern centerpieces if you’re planning a wedding or know someone who is getting married.
Inspiration for My Winter Home Decor
Winter is probably my least favorite season. The lack of color across the city, and especially along the Blue Ridge Mountains, can get rather depressing. Being stuck indoors due to the cold weather is no fun either. Winter’s one redeeming quality for me, however, is snow.
Roanoke is unique from other cities in a lot of ways. Despite being a densely populated urban area, that it’s surrounded by mountains and forests means we see a lot of wildlife even within the city limits. So I see a LOT of deer in my backyard as well as along roads and major intersections.
While we don’t get a lot of snow in this area, when we do it’s absolutely beautiful. Seeing the snow across the valley and along the mountains is, at times, breathtaking.
As snow and deer make such a beautiful sight to behold in the winter, I wanted to create a winter terrarium that highlighted the beauty of the area. Therefore I used trees, snow and deer figurines inside a lantern to create this winter home decor idea.
Keep reading to learn how to make a winter terrarium for your own winter wonderland home decor this season.
Supplies Needed to Make a Winter Terrarium:
I purchased the supplies to make my winter terrarium before the holiday. Therefore you may not be able to find the exact list of materials and supplies to make your own winter lanterns. Don’t get discouraged, however, if this is the case. Finding substitutions works just as well and makes your winter decor unique to you. You can also add additional elements to create a theme for your winter terrarium that fits your own creative style.
Here are the supplies I used to make my winter lantern decor. The majority of the elements for this terrarium came from Hobby Lobby and Michael’s. However, don’t feel like you have to shop with these suppliers. Every craft store should have similar items for you to choose from.
- Lantern: Lanterns are relatively easy to find at home decor and craft stores. After shopping around, I found the most economical lanterns at Walmart. The Better Homes and Gardens brand offers several different styles and sizes ranging in price from $14 – $24. I liked the white wash finish of this white wood and metal lantern and knew it would blend well with the wintery scene for my winter lantern decor. The natural wood and the black lanterns would also work well for crafting a winter terrarium.
- Blue Spruce Tree Figure: The Blue Spruce Tree figurine is from Michaels in their Christmas Village Collection by Lemax. I like this particular tree figurine because it is thinner, taking up less space inside the lantern. It could be substituted with an 8” flocked bottle brush tree since these aren’t generally available after Christmas. Although keep in mind that the bottle brush tree will take up more space, unless trimmed. If you have a Christmas village you can also use a tree you already have.
- Buck and Doe Ornaments: I found the Buck and Doe deer ornaments at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. These ornaments were larger than most of the miniature Christmas Village deer figurines. Therefore they were better suited for this winter lantern decor. The buck ornament is 5 1/2” tall and 4 1/2” long. The doe ornament is 3 tall and 3 1/2” long. If you are making winter wedding lantern centerpieces, you may want to use couple wedding cake toppers inside the lanterns instead as an alternative.
- LED Fairy Lights: The LED Bottle Lights (“Fairy Lights”) also came from Walmart. I love that it has a small battery compartment as it makes it easier to hide inside the lantern. Walmart is currently sold out, but they can be found on Amazon here.
- Miniature Snowflake Garland: The Miniature Snowflake Garland was sourced from Hobby Lobby. You can also different lengths of thin curly white ribbon or several miniature snowflake ornaments hanging from fishing line.
- Batting: You will using batting as the snow in your terrarium. This is then covered in faux glitter snow or snow spray.
- Faux Snow: The Faux Frosty Snow was sourced from Michael’s. However, any glittery faux snow will work for this winter home decor project. I used a half of a handful of the faux snow to add sparkle on top of the batting material. This helps to reflect light from the fairy lights inside the winter lantern.
- Faux Greenery: Craft stores generally have tons of faux floral picks you can use as greenery to create your winter terrarium decor. I selected a variety of floral picks that I picked up on my travels between Michaels, Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby. You can use any greenery you like for your winter decor. Just be sure to choose a variety of textures and shades of frosted greenery to give the greenery more depth.
- Pinecone Bird Ornament: The adorable Pinecone Bird ornament I used for the top of my lantern was purchased at Michaels. Substitutions for this ornament could include a cluster of small pinecones, one large pinecone or even a snowy bird figurine.
- Let It Snow Tag or Ornament: The “Let it Snow” Farmhouse Faux Wood Ornament was a last minute addition. I knew it would look great with my winter lantern. For other ornament ideas, a snowman or woodland creatures would compliment the winter scene. Or you can also use scrapbook embellishments to serve the same purpose.
- Styrofoam: In addition to the decorative elements you’ll need to create this winter terrarium, you’ll also need a sheet or block of styrofoam. The styrofoam will be used to line the inside of the lantern to raise the elements so they are easily viewed through the lantern’s windows.
Tools for Crafting Winter Home Decor:
- Scissors: You will need sharp scissors to cut supplies and materials down to size. For this winter home decor project, you will use scissors to cut down the styrofoam block for the lantern base as well as the batting that is used for snow. In addition you may also need scissors to cut faux florals or greenery down to size.
- Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks: You will use hot glue to adhere the decorative elements of the lantern both inside and outside of your winter wonderland home decor.
- Dowel or Pencil: A dowel or pencil helps to position the batting around the figures in the lantern. This is especially helpful if you don’t have small hands.
How to Make a Winter Lantern
To make this decorative lantern your winter wonderland home decor, first cut out a piece of styrofoam into a square so that it fits inside the bottom of the lantern. Then place the styrofoam inside the lantern base.
Next, position the deer and tree figurines how you’d like them to appear inside the lantern. Then use hot glue to adhere the deer and tree figurines to the styrofoam base.
Now over the entire bottom of the lantern with batting material. You can use a small wooden dowel (or even a pen or pencil) to push the batting material under the deer and into the corners of the lantern.
Once you’ve arranged the batting to act as snow, add the LED fairy lights to the lantern. To do this, first, push the battery pack up through the lantern and out the top opening on the backside of the lantern. If your lantern isn’t open at the top, place the battery pack behind the lantern and thread the wire under the door.
Tip: Fairy Lights are easily tangled when trying to fill a small container such as this winter lantern decor. I found it easiest to make multiple spirals in the string lights. Then simply place the spiraled wire in various spots around the inside of the lantern. Once all the spirals are inside, loosely pull each one apart to spread out the string lights.
Once the string lights are positioned as desired, cut the snowflake garland into various lengths. Cut the garland into 3 longer strands and approximately 4 shorter strands.
Tip: To determine how long to make each of the strands, hold the snowflake garland to the inside top of the lantern and eyeball the longest length you want it to hang. My longest strand hung just above the head of the deer ornaments.
Now add hot glue to the end of a strand and press it to the top of the lantern. Continue with this process until you’ve glued all the strands of snowflake garland into your terrarium.
Next, sprinkle several pinches of Faux Frosty Snow on top of the batting material to give the faux snow some depth and sparkle. The glittery snow will also add charm and help the light from the fairy lights reflect more inside the lantern.
Once you’ve decorated the batting for the snow, add the greenery. To do this, make two bundles of greenery. Layer the sprigs of greenery on top of each other. Then take one of the stems and wrap it around all the stems to hold the bundle together.
For the next step, hot glue the two bundles to the top of the lantern. The bundles need to face in the opposite direction of each other. In addition, the stems should overlap in the middle between them.
Now that the the greenery is attached to the top of the lantern, use hot glue to glue the pinecone bird ornament (or ornament of choice) to the center area between the two greenery bundles.
Finally, hang an additional ornament off to one side of the lantern, if desired. Simply glue the hanger up under one of the greenery bundles.
Your winter lantern decor is now complete and ready to display in your home. All that’s left to do is turn on the fairy lights and enjoy!
Ways to Decorate with Winter Lanterns
Need ideas on how to decorate your home with winter lanterns? This winter lantern decor looks beautiful displayed on fireplace mantel along with my DIY winter wreath. (You can learn how to make a winter grapevine wreath here.) For a smaller display, you make this winter terrarium the centerpiece for your mantel and surround it with faux snow and pinecones, along with floral picks or the greenery of your choice as a winter home decor idea.
If you don’t have a fireplace, the same concept can be used as a table centerpiece. These winter lanterns make especially beautiful winter lantern centerpieces for wedding tables as well.
An even easier way to decorate your home with this winter decor idea is to simply set your lantern on a side table or bookshelf.
If your winter lantern has a handle at the top, you can also hang your winter terrarium on a hook indoors. Or hang it outdoors in an enclosed or covered porch.
Love my DIY winter lantern decor? Then also check out my DIY winter suncatcher terrarium here.
Or learn how to make these Dollar Tree mason jar Christmas decorations. While created as Christmas decorations for the home, they also make lovely winter decor after Christmas has passed.