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Have you ever seen something and you instantly want it, like, really badly? That was me and a Christmas wreath this merry-making season. I saw this Poinsettia Berry Wreath at Joann and I was all “I’m having that”. But that was before I caught the horrifying face of sticker shock. You know that look where your eyebrow furrows and your mouth hangs open a little bit because your face is going a little haywire as your brain is trying to figure out how something went from hanging up on my wall to never happening in the span of a few seconds.
I’m not going to lie… this wreath is gorgeous. But considering that I have a tendency to bounce around Christmas décor theme from year to year spending $229 on a wreath for the front door was NOT going to happen. I mean, what if somebody steals it? That would be my freaking luck!
Feeling cheap but holding firm, I started my quest to find something around the $50 to 60 range. But, honestly, I just didn’t fall in love with any other wreath.
And so I Made My Own DIY Christmas Lantern Wreath!
Before I decided to DIY I found a different wreath on the Joann website and snagged it up for $21. Now the bones of this wreath are fantastic! Straight out of the box it’s a little sad but with some fluffing this wreath would be totally gorgeous as is. But I still really wanted that lantern wreath!
So I decided to do a little bit of bargain hunting around and I made my very own DIY Christmas Lantern wreath for about $55 all in. Considering that the cost is right smack dab in the middle of my 2022 wreath shopping budget that is pretty darn fantastic, if you ask me.
Using a battery operated candle from Target with a timer, my DIY pretty wreath comes on at dusk every night and stays lit for 5 hours before shutting itself off. Plus it totally works in my love for some big, bright red poinsettias! I’m truly very pleased and, guess what? You can make one, too!
DIY Lantern Christmas Wreath Supplies Needed:
You can use any wreath or lantern you please for this project but I’ve linked to the exact ones I used in the supply list above. I know that these two will fit and work together but if you source your own you’ll need to pay attention to the inside dimension of the wreath and the overall height of the lantern.
The best way I could figure to securely attach the lantern to the wreath is by the loop at the top. Be sure whatever lantern you do ultimately purchase for this project has a loop or something similar to attach it to the wreath. We will attach the lantern using black wire to match the lantern. You want to use a sturdy floral wire or hardware wire. Do NOT use a very bendable or thin wire like jewelry wire.
How to Make a Christmas Lantern Wreath
First thing’s first, a little battery operated candle isn’t going to shine super brightly. We can fix that with a little bit of mirror paper, though.
How to Make the Lantern Appear to be Brighter
Cut a piece of mirror paper 3.75″ x 6.5″. Apply a few pieces of double-sided tape to the back and affix it inside the back of the lantern.
Note * My mirror paper comes from Michael’s and it winds up being surprisingly useful enough that I keep a few sheets in the craft stash! It isn’t a perfect mirror, you’re going to get a wavy reflection but it works in instances where you want reflection and the ability to cut with scissors!
Pop in a battery operated candle. Again, mine is from Target and has a timer. It will come on at the same time every day (around dusk) when you turn it onto “timer” and run for 5 hours.
DO NOT USE A REAL CANDLE WITH A REAL FLAME. That’s just a very bad idea.
Tah-dah. You can’t really see the mirror paper but see how it doubles the flame? This puppy just got twice as bright!
How to Assemble Your Lantern Wreath.
I love strawflowers and I plant them in my garden every single year. Those papery petals are just so neat! But it as it happens they just didn’t look Christmas-y enough for me. Poinsettias, though, those SCREAM Christmas spirit, right?
Pop off all of those lovely little straw flowers and add to your craft stash. Remove the bow, as well.
Find the hanging ring on your wreath. This is the top center. Shove your lantern into the wreath, seating the bottom on the inside edge of the wreath. Cut 14″ of strong black wire. Run the wire through the ring. Now push it in through the front of the wreath and out through the back. Run The wire through the hanging ring. Tightly twist the wire to close up. Repeat 2 more times.
Trim the excess wire and push the ends into the wreath to prevent any scratches or cuts when handling.
Test your wreath to make sure that the lantern holds in place…
supporting the lantern with your hand just in case. If the wreath can handle some jostling around, it should do fine on a door that opens and closes.
My inspiration wreath had a big red bow at the top of the wreath, but the lantern I purchased from Michael’s was already embellished. I had planned on switching the ready decorations with a big, red velvet bow but in the end, I decided that would get too busy and left the smaller bow and berries in place.
Take small to medium-sized poinsettia artificial flowers and cut the stems to about 6″. Shove the stems through the wreath so that they come out the back. Bend the stem over to lock the flower in place with no need for adhesives. This is especially great if you like to mix up your décor from year to year. Just unbend the flower stems and pull out of the wreath to swap out next year!
Add batteries to your candle, if necessary and place it inside of the lantern and hang the wreath. When it gets dark switch the power button to “timer”. Your lantern will stay lit for 5 hours and turn on again for 5 hours every day at the same time!
DIY Christmas Lantern Wreath
- Cut a piece of mirror paper 3.75" x 6.5". Apply a few pieces of double-sided tape to the back and affix it inside the back of the lantern.
- Pop in a battery operated candle.
- Remove any unwanted flowers, bows, or other embellishments.
- Find the hanging ring on your wreath. This is the top center. Shove your lantern into the wreath, seating the bottom on the inside edge of the wreath. Cut 14" of strong black wire. Run the wire through the ring. Now push it in through the front of the wreath and out through the back. Run The wire through the hanging ring. Tightly twist the wire to close up. Repeat 2 more times. Trim the excess wire and push the ends into the wreath to prevent any scratches or cuts when handling.
- Take small to medium-sized poinsettia artificial flowers and cut the stems to about 6". Shove the stems through the wreath so that they come out the back. Bend the stem over to lock the flower in place with no need for adhesives.