Today I’m sharing a little late summer project that was so fun to create! These lightning bug lanterns featuring succulents are not only simple to make but they look really great nestled amongst the plants on our back steps and would be a great addition to your outdoor spaces!

succulents in a lantern

I bought these lanterns around Christmas time at Burlington Stores. I am unable to link these exact ones but below you will see I pulled together some other options that would work just as well for this project.


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2 Lanterns – see buying options below. The ones used in this post are 18″ and 24″ high

Assorted Succulents

2 Bowls or Pots – make sure they fit on the bottom of your lanterns

Cactus and succulent potting soil

3 pks of twinkle lights

9 AA batteries

Glue gun with Glue

Clear packing tape

Planting the succulents

succulent in bowls

The first step was planting the succulents in bowls. I choose these bowls because they fit perfectly on the bottom of the lanterns. One is a simple glass bowl from my kitchen that I chalk painted white, the other a little white ceramic dish – also from my kitchen. Any bowl or container would work as long as you have room for soil and the sizes work for your lanterns. I “potted” these assorted succulents using this cactus and succulent soil to help support proper drainage. Once planted I put the succulent bowls aside to move onto assembling the lanterns.

Attaching the lights

twinkle lights

My next step was to secure the twinkle lights to the top of the lanterns. These are 10′ twinkle lights that are on a very light clear wire. The power source for each is a battery pack requiring 3 AA batteries. I decided to use 2 strands for the larger lantern (24″ Lantern) and just one for the smaller one (18″ lantern).

battery pack
holding battery pack

To secure the battery packs I used my glue gun and then reinforced with clear packing tape. I originally tried just the tape but with the battery packs being somewhat heavy and suspended, I felt they really needed glue as well.

glue and tape on a battery pack

I was careful not to cover the on/off switch.

2 battery packs

Pictured above are both battery packs attached to the larger 24″ lantern.

succulents in lantern

The Assembly

Next I placed the succulents in the lanterns and closed the tops. The lights fall into the lantern and when lit give the appearance of lightening bugs. For the larger lantern I did use a little glue to tack some of the twinkle light strands up so they fell correctly in the lantern.

lightening bug lanterns

I love how these lightning bug lanterns featuring succulents turned out! So simple but so fun!

Lantern options

Below is a round up of some lanterns that may work for this project. Please check the listing for specific sizes.

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Thanks for visiting the blog today. If you have any questions please leave them below in the comments section.

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