Get ready to bring some magic to your garden with my DIY project: garden lanterns featuring succulents! I’m about to show you how to create these charming lanterns that will make your outdoor space shine. Picture this: adorable succulents planted in bowls, nestled inside lanterns, and topped off with battery-operated twinkle lights. The result? A whimsical lightning bug effect that will leave everyone in awe. So grab your materials and let’s dive into this fun and enchanting project that will transform your garden into a magical oasis!

Two lanterns that are white with a warm honey stained top with a bowl of succulents inside on the bottom and twinkle lights floating to look like lightning bugs.

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 should work just as well for this project.

Why You Will Love This Project:

  1. Easy and approachable: This DIY project is perfect for beginners and seasoned crafters alike. You don’t need to be an expert to create stunning succulent-filled lanterns.
  2. Visually captivating: The combination of succulents and twinkling lights creates a magical and enchanting atmosphere in your outdoor spaces. It’s like having your very own little world of lightning bugs.
  3. Personal touch: You can choose your favorite succulents and containers, allowing you to customize the lanterns to match your unique style and taste.
  4. Budget-friendly: With just a few supplies, including affordable lanterns, succulents, and twinkle lights, you can create beautiful garden lanterns without breaking the bank.
  5. Quick and satisfying: This project can be completed in no time, making it a perfect way to spend an afternoon or a weekend DIY session. You’ll enjoy the satisfaction of seeing your creation come to life in just a short amount of time.
  6. Versatile decor: These succulent-filled lanterns can be placed anywhere in your outdoor spaces, from the back steps to the patio, or even hung from tree branches. They add a touch of natural beauty and elegance to any setting.
  7. Low-maintenance: Succulents are known for their resilience and ability to thrive in various conditions. Once planted, they require minimal care, making this project not only visually appealing but also easy to maintain.
  8. Conversation starter: Be prepared for compliments and inquiries from friends and neighbors who will be captivated by the unique and eye-catching design of your lanterns.
  9. Relaxing and calming: There’s something soothing about the soft glow of twinkling lights combined with the lush greenery of succulents. Your garden will become a tranquil oasis where you can unwind and enjoy the serene ambiance.

So, gather your supplies, unleash your creativity, and embark on this delightful DIY adventure. Get ready to bask in the beauty and charm of your very own garden lanterns featuring succulents.

two lanterns with succulents inside and twinkle lights. these lanterns are sitting on a white buffet where I made them.

Supplies for this project

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Choosing the Perfect Container

Alright, let’s talk about the first step in creating our succulent-filled garden lanterns: choosing the perfect container for our adorable green friends. It’s like finding the right pair of shoes for a stylish outfit – you want something that fits just right and complements the overall look. Here’s what you need to know:

a larger bowl with mixed succulents and a small ceramic bowl with one succulent.

Importance of selecting a container that fits inside the lantern:

You might be wondering, why does the container size matter? Well, my green-thumbed friend, it’s all about ensuring a harmonious fit inside the lantern. We want the succulent-filled container to sit comfortably at the bottom, creating a delightful visual display. So, let’s find the Goldilocks of containers – not too big, not too small, but just right!

A photo showing how its important to fit the bowl on the bottom of the lantern.

Suggestions for suitable containers and their sizes:

When it comes to containers, the world is your succulent-filled oyster. You can get creative and choose bowls or pots that tickle your fancy. Just make sure they have enough room for soil and the succulents to thrive. Glass bowls, ceramic dishes, or even decorative planters can work their magic in this project. Remember, different lantern sizes may require containers of varying dimensions, so keep that in mind while picking your perfect match.

Considerations for proper drainage and soil:

We don’t want our succulents to feel like they’re stuck in a puddle during a rainstorm, right? That’s why proper drainage is key. Ensure that your chosen containers have drainage holes or use materials like gravel at the bottom to promote water flow. As for soil, opt for a cactus and succulent potting mix. These plants are like divas and prefer well-draining soil to keep their roots happy and healthy.

So, my green-thumbed friend, let your creativity bloom as you select the container that will house your succulents inside the lantern. Remember to find the right fit, consider drainage needs, and choose the perfect soil. Next up, we’ll dig into the delightful task of planting those lovely succulents! Let’s keep the fun and green vibes flowing!

hands holding soil in heart shape

Planting the Succulents

Let’s dive into the exciting world of planting succulents, shall we? Get your gardening gloves on and let’s make these little beauties feel right at home in their lantern abodes! Here’s how we’ll do it:

Selecting and preparing the succulents for planting:

It’s like choosing the coolest succulent squad for a green party! Look for small plants that catch your eye and make you do a happy little succulent dance. Give them a quick once-over to make sure they’re healthy and ready to shine. Before planting, gently remove any excess soil from their roots and give them a little pep talk to boost their confidence. They’ll appreciate the love!

A tray with an assortment of small succulent plants.

Instructions for planting the succulents in the chosen containers:

Time to find the perfect spot for each succulent to thrive! Grab your chosen containers and fill them up with the perfect cactus and succulent soil potting mix. Create a cozy little well in the soil, like a snug bed for your succulent friends. Gently tuck each succulent into its new home, making sure to give them a gentle pat on the back (metaphorically speaking, of course) to help them settle in.

Tips for ensuring proper soil and drainage for succulents:

Succulents are pretty chill, but they do have their preferences. They love well-draining soil, so make sure it’s not too soggy. If your containers don’t have drainage holes, don’t worry! Just place some rocks or pebbles at the bottom to create a little drainage system. This way, any excess water can make a stylish exit, leaving your succulents feeling happy and comfy.

Take a moment to appreciate your planting skills and the adorable succulent homes you’ve created. These little green buddies are going to rock their lantern abodes like the stars they are! Now, get ready for the next step: illuminating your garden lanterns with mesmerizing twinkle lights. Let’s bring some enchantment to your outdoor space!

Succulents, the bowls and a bag of cactus and succulent potting soil.

Attaching the Battery Pack to the Lantern

Now it’s time to add a little sparkle and magic to our succulent lanterns! Let’s get those twinkle lights twinkling and attach the battery pack like pros. Here’s the lowdown:

Introduction to the twinkle lights and battery pack setup:

Picture this: tiny, sparkling lights dancing like fireflies in your lantern. Ah, it’s going to be pure enchantment! Grab your battery-operated twinkle lights and their trusty sidekick, the battery pack. These lights bring the perfect amount of whimsy and charm to our succulent-filled lanterns. Get ready for some serious glow-up!

Using a hot glue gun to secure the battery pack to the top inside of the lantern:

It’s time to unleash the power of hot glue! With your trusty glue gun in hand, carefully secure the battery pack to the top inside of the lantern. A little dab of hot glue here, a gentle press there, and voila! The battery pack will be snug and secure, ready to work its magic.

Reinforcing the attachment with clear packing tape:

We want that battery pack to stay put, even if the lantern decides to have a dance party. To give it some extra support, grab some trusty clear packing tape and reinforce the attachment. A few wraps over the glued pack will do the trick. It’s like giving your battery pack a warm, supportive hug. How sweet!

Importance of keeping the on/off switch accessible:

We wouldn’t want our twinkling lights to go MIA when we need them the most, right? So, while securing the battery pack, make sure the on/off switch remains easily accessible. You want to be able to bring that magical glow to life with just a flick of your finger. It’s like being the wizard of light in your own little succulent kingdom!

Take a moment to admire your handiwork. The succulents are snug in their cozy containers, and the battery pack is securely attached, ready to sprinkle your lanterns with a sprinkle of stardust. We’re almost there! Get ready to light up the night with our lightning bug-inspired succulent lanterns.

Creating the Lightning Bug Effect

Get ready to bring the magic of lightning bugs to life with our succulent lanterns! It’s time to create that captivating glow and make your garden shine. Here’s how we do it:

Hanging the twinkle lights from the top of the lantern:

Imagine the lantern as the stage and the twinkle lights as the stars of the show. Grab those shimmering strands and drape them from the top of the lantern, letting them cascade down like a waterfall of sparkling wonder. You can get as creative as you like with the arrangement, letting the lights weave their magic throughout the lantern.

my hand holding twinkly lights.

Positioning the lights to achieve the desired effect:

Now comes the fun part—finding the perfect positioning for your twinkling stars. Arrange the lights inside the lantern, making sure they’re evenly distributed and creating a mesmerizing glow. You might want to gently manipulate the strands to give them that natural, organic look. Experiment, play around, and let your inner artist shine!

Optional use of glue to secure twinkle light strands inside the lantern:

If you want to ensure your lights stay put and maintain that whimsical effect, a dab of glue or tape can be your secret weapon. I don’t recommend a glue gun for this purpose as the glue will melt the outer coating of your stand of twinkle lights. Use clear glue to tack some of the twinkle light strands inside the lantern, so they fall just the way you want them to. This little touch of glue magic will keep everything in place, even if your lantern decides to sway with the breeze.

Step back and bask in the glow of your creation! The succulents are nestled at the bottom, and the twinkle lights are set in motion, mimicking the mesmerizing dance of lightning bugs. It’s a magical sight to behold, and it’s all thanks to your creative touch.

Now, all that’s left to do is turn off the lights, flick the switch, and watch your garden come alive with the enchanting glow of your lightning bug-inspired succulent lanterns. Prepare to be amazed as the night sky meets the charm of your own little oasis. Get ready to revel in the wonder and whimsy that only succulents and twinkling lights can bring!

A photo of the lanterns take at dusk to show the glow of the lights.

Variations and Other Considerations:

  1. Theme-based lanterns: Explore different themes by selecting specific types of succulents and containers. For example, you could create a desert-themed lantern using cacti and sandy-colored containers, or a tropical-themed lantern with vibrant succulents and colorful containers.
  2. Seasonal lanterns: Switch up the succulents and decorative elements to match the seasons. Use festive succulents and add small ornaments or seasonal accents during holidays like Christmas or Halloween.
  3. Hanging lanterns: Instead of placing the lanterns on the ground or steps, consider hanging them from sturdy hooks or tree branches. This adds a whimsical touch to your outdoor spaces and creates a captivating visual display at different heights.
  4. Grouping lanterns: Experiment with grouping multiple lanterns together to create a focal point in your garden or patio. Vary the sizes, shapes, and succulent arrangements for an eye-catching ensemble.
  5. Personalized embellishments: Add your personal touch to the lanterns by incorporating decorative elements such as ribbons, beads, or small trinkets that reflect your style and personality. Let your creativity run wild and make each DIY garden lantern a unique work of art.
  6. Consider the lighting: If you want a softer glow or a different ambiance, try using warm white or colored twinkle lights. You can also experiment with different lighting effects, such as steady glow, slow fading, or twinkling patterns, by using twinkle lights with adjustable settings.
  7. Long-lasting options: If you prefer a more permanent lantern display, consider using artificial succulents instead of real ones. This way, you can enjoy the beauty of succulents without worrying about maintenance or seasonal changes.
  8. Outdoor protection: While succulents are generally resilient, it’s essential to consider the weather conditions in your area. If you live in an area with harsh winters or intense sun exposure, choose containers and lanterns that can withstand outdoor elements or bring them indoors during extreme weather.
  9. Experiment with different containers: Besides traditional lanterns, explore alternative container options like mason jars, vintage tea cups, or terrariums. This adds a touch of uniqueness and allows you to showcase your succulents in unexpected ways.

Remember, this fun project is all about embracing your creativity and infusing your outdoor spaces with a touch of natural beauty. Enjoy the process, let your imagination soar, and make your succulent-filled lanterns truly one-of-a-kind!

Both lanterns with the lights on sitting on our stairs to our deck.

Frequently Asked Questions about DIY Garden Lanterns Featuring Succulents:

Can I use glass containers as succulent planters for this project?

Absolutely! Glass containers can make stunning succulent planters and add a touch of elegance to your lanterns. Just ensure that the containers have proper drainage holes or consider using a layer of small stones at the bottom to prevent water accumulation.

Can I use air plants instead of traditional succulents?

Yes, air plants can be a unique and low-maintenance alternative for this project. They don’t require soil and can be easily attached to various surfaces, including the glass containers. Explore creative ways to incorporate air plants into your lanterns for a visually interesting centerpiece.

Can I use Christmas lights or fairy lights for a different lighting effect?

Absolutely! Christmas lights or fairy lights can create a magical ambiance in your succulent centerpiece. Opt for string lights with a warm glow to complement the natural beauty of the plants. Ensure that the lights you choose are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, depending on where you plan to display the lanterns. You can also use the twinkle light trick to make a Christmas lantern. A christmas fireplace scene with a large lantern with twinkle lights hanging.

How can I add a personal touch to the finished product?

There are various ways to add your personal flair to the DIY garden lanterns. Consider spray painting the glass containers in your favorite color or adding decorative elements like wood discs, vintage camper figurines, or small pots with white stones. Get creative and let your imagination guide you!

What are the best types of plants to use in these lanterns?

Succulent plants are the perfect choice for this project due to their fleshy leaves and ability to thrive in various lighting conditions. Look for small succulents that don’t require too much light, as they will be housed inside the lantern. Varieties like Echeveria, Haworthia, and Sedum work well in these arrangements.

Can I use faux succulents instead of real ones?

Yes, you can definitely use faux succulents instead of live plants for this DIY lantern project. Faux succulents are a great alternative because they require no maintenance, won’t wilt or dry out, and can be easily positioned and arranged within the lantern. Simply follow the steps in the tutorial for this succulent planter, substituting real succulents with faux ones. This way, you can enjoy the beauty of succulents without worrying about their care or lifespan.

Where can I find the materials for this project?

Materials are available online, linked above. Materials such as glass jars, small pots, fairy lights, and decorative stones can be found at various places like hobby stores, thrift stores, garden centers, or even home goods stores. Check out places like Hobby Lobby or explore online options for a wide variety of sizes and styles to suit your preferences.

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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And there you have it—a magnificent display of DIY garden lanterns featuring succulents, complete with their enchanting lightning bug effect. Your garden has transformed into a magical oasis, radiating warmth and beauty. So, grab a cup of tea, invite your loved ones, and bask in the glow of your handcrafted masterpiece. Cheers to your green thumb and creative spirit!

For more Summer inspiration visit:

baskets, trays and other wicker/woven items hung over a white mantel.

DIY Wall Basket Decor: Creating a Stunning Summer Mantel with Layered Basket Wall Design: Revamp your living room this summer with a vibrant and fresh look by creating a stunning summer mantel adorned with a captivating basket gallery wall. This DIY project guide, “DIY Wall Basket Decor: Creating a Stunning Summer Mantel with Layered Basket Wall Design,” provides detailed information on transforming a plain wall into a boho-inspired display of woven art.

a close up of the peony balls hanging in the window

DIY Peony Kissing Balls: These DIY peony kissing balls are a spring/summer version of traditional holiday decorations. They are made by gluing together faux peony blooms, creating a ball-shaped ornament. The peony balls can be hung in various places, such as windows, front doors, or porches, and they add a touch of floral beauty to any space. The tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to create these kissing balls using supplies like peony bushes, black jewelry chains, and bulb pins.

Thanks for visiting the blog today for DIY Garden Lanterns Featuring Succulents. As you can see these DIY Lanterns are a great way to bring some sparkle to the summer months. If you have any questions please leave them below in the comments section.

Keep creating friends!

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