May 12, 2009

Decorating with Paper Lanterns

Paper Lanterns you see them everywhere from dollar stores to on-line stores that sell them in every color, size, shape and pattern. I love paper lanterns, they are colorful and fun and add that extra pop. I am a firm believer that any time you can decorate above your guests the impact is so much much more. One of my favorite on-line resources for paper lantern decorations is Luna Bazaar. They offer a great variety of paper lanterns as well as all the lighting gadgets you will need.

Just a few simple white lanterns makes this tree just a little more special.
{not quite sure why there are people picnicking just behind the bride, wouldn't happen at my event LOL}
Photo courtesy of the Knot.

A good idea for an easy installation and look is just to focus a grouping of paper lanterns in a specific area, like they did here just over the dance floor. This adds impact and makes a statement less expensively than trying to decorate the whole ceiling.
Photo courtesy of the Knot

Another fabulous look for evening is use colored led lights in your paper lanterns
to create a colorful glow in the room.

If you are planning on lighting your paper lanterns I recommend using triple LED lights. They shine, brighter, longer and lessen the risk of going out. If you use a single LED light and it goes out you have no light in your lantern. Replacing these lights is much easier said than done. When installing ceiling decor it has to go up before tables can be laid out and set. If your lantern goes out after the tables have been set you have to move the table, drag out the ladder, replace the light and move the table back. Easier said than done.


Use monofilament (fishing line) or ribbon to hang the lanterns with.

Mix up your sizes, shapes and colors. Use groupings of different sizes for more impact.

Be sure you have a ladder tall enough to reach the ceiling.

Use a sturdy ladder and a minimum of two people for the installation.

Give yourself plenty of time to install the paper lanterns. A good formula is 10 mins. per lantern, some will go up easier than others. If you have two ladders multiply the number of lanterns X 10 mins and divide by 2. This will give you a pretty accurate time frame needed for installing the paper lanterns.

Be sure not to light your lanterns too soon before your event, you want to make sure they will stay lit during the entire event.

Order replacement batteries at the same time you are purchasing your LED lights, they are handy to have on hand and you will have the batteries for next time you want to use them.

Don't pre-assemble your lanterns until you get to the venue, trying to transport them assembled is a recipe for disaster.


  1. hi i'm trying to have a party at my apartment with paper lanterns.

    how do you attach the led lighted paper lanterns to the ceiling if you live in an ordinary apartment?
    is there a particular way you recommend?

    also what do you think about lanterns that are stringed to each other? not the separate led lights...but the ones where the paper lanterns are connected in one electric string- (
    do you think then it'll restrict me from decorating them in the perfect alignment?

  2. Hi Sookie,
    I have never hung paper lanterns from an ordinary ceiling. Some people use tape, if your ceiling is white you could use white tape or even a push pin, but that can damage the ceiling if you are not careful. If you use tape you just want to be sure it doesn't pull off the paint. You would want to use a ribbon to hang with the tape, it will give the tape something to hold onto, I wouldn't recommend fishing line or anything really narrow, as the tape won't have much to hold onto.
    I wouldn't use the string lights since you are limited on how you can hang the lanterns and with the weight of the lights tape will probably not work. I would use single led lights that lunabazaar sells anything else will be too heavy for how you want to hang them.
    Hope that helped, and best of luck with your party.

  3. can I use the battery operated tea lites in the lanterns to hang from a ceiling

  4. You probably could but you would just need to hang them in such a way that the lit candle hangs down and it should work. If you are using larger lanterns you might want to get the larger led lights they give off more light.

  5. I wonder did that person ever find a way to hang paper laterns from the ceiling without damaging it. I am having a party at a venue that I am renting and ceiling has amazing height but no way to hang the laterns, anyone know if the 3m products that say they don't damage the surface really work?? And would they be strong enough to hold a string of the lanterns