Decorate A Lantern For Christmas With Greenery From The Garden

Welcome to the 253rd Metamorphosis Monday!

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and an awesome weekend! I worked on Christmas decorations for the front porch and it’s basically done, but it feels like something is missing. I’m not sure what just yet, but I’ll figure it out and share it soon.

So, for today I thought I’d share how I’ve decorated the gas lantern this year. Throughout the year,Β the lantern normally looks like this. I just noticed today I never got around to planting my pansies at the foot of the lantern. There they sit, still waiting patiently in their container. Bad gardener! I did get pansies planted in the other two annual beds in the front yard but it got dark that day before I could get these in, then I just forgot. Will get that done today, putting it on the “to-do” list now.

Gas Lantern Before Decorating for Christmas


When I’ve decorated the lantern for Christmas in the past, it looked something like this. I purchased the faux greenery many years ago. It looked really pretty the first few years I used it and was still looking nice the year this pic was taken. Last year it was starting to look kind of scrawny. Over time some of the berries have fallen off and the greenery and bow have begun to fade. I decided this year to retire it and decorate the lantern with live greenery from the yard.

Gas Lantern Decorated for Christmas


First I made a big bow from my stock of ribbon, then I cut off a wee bit of foliage from the magnolia you see in the pictures above. I also cut some Nandina berries from my large Nandina bushes in the back yard. I didn’t bother cutting any of the Nandina foliage because I learned long ago that it looks pretty for about 5 minutes, then it wilts. Okay, that’s a little exaggeration, it may last a few minutes longer, but it’s almost that fast. Β I learned that the hard way when I attempted to use it in a centerpiece once.

I clumped the magnolia branches together, tied the bow I had made around them with wire, then tucked the Nandina berry stems up under the wire. Now it was ready for the lantern.

Swag for Lantern


Here’s how it looks as you approach the walkway leading to the front porch.

Lantern Decorated for Christmas


Christmas Lantern Decorated with Greenery


A view from the other side…

Lantern Decorated for Christmas with Greenery


Magnolia lasts a nice long time after it’s cut, making it a wonderful greenery for wreaths, garland and almost any type of Christmas decorating.

Lantern Decorated for Christmas


A little close-up…

Lantern Decorated for Christmas


This arrangement took about 10 minutes to make, including the bow-making time. It cost $0 since I used ribbon I already had along with fresh greenery from the yard.

Okay, I’m off to find my trowel…got some pansies to plant! πŸ™‚

Christmas Lantern Decorated with Greenery


Looking forward to the Before and Afters linked for this Met Monday!

One on sidebar

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  1. Love your decorated lantern with your magnolia and nandina berries Susan! I’m envious of your bounty of magnolia to decorate with πŸ™‚

  2. Susan, I love the way you decorated your lantern. Such a pretty shot going up to your porch. Just beautiful!!

  3. Susan,
    Last years lantern look great, dear friend!!!
    This years Lantern is stunning!!!
    I adore the use of natural elements. . .and those magnolia leaves are magnificient!!!
    Thanks for hosting Metamorphosis Monday each week!

  4. I love your lantern Susan and I love how you adorn it for Christmas!
    Pansies in Nov. ? That is pretty amazing to me.
    Thanks for hostessing too.

  5. So cute. I wish I had a lantern to decorate. It makes me think of Charles Dickens Christmas. I also checked out your garland tutorial and I will be making me some! Thanks for hosting.

    Shannon ~

  6. Very nice Susan! Love the choice of magnolia leaves and berries. My magnolia has no leaves since the fall! Your home really looks fabulous with all your dressings!

    • Yikes! Is it the deciduous kind? Supposed to do that? The one in my yard is a Southern Magnolia Grandiflora. It drops a fair number of leaves once or twice a year…I think twice, but it never loses them all. I think some magnolias do though. Thanks, Liz!

  7. I didn’t get my pansies planted either. Completely forgot about them. I left them in the potting bench sink and then did not discover them until I decorated the potting bench too. So I am also a “bad” gardener. I really like your Magnolia decoration. You have inspired me to look around the yard for possibilities. Thanks!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  8. Absolutely beautiful Susan! I just love the Magnolia leaves. So luscious and green. Am going to do some research as I wonder how they would fair in our colder climate and whether any florists here carry them.
    Now, off I go with my shovel …. as have some snow removal to do. Wish it were to plant some pansies. ☺
    Wishing you a wonderful day. -Brenda-

  9. Looks great Susan, I keep forgetting about magnolia leaves, I must put them to use! I didn’t realize they could last without floral foam, so I’m excited to experiment with them, Thank you!

  10. Susan, your lantern decor is perfect with the magnolia cuttings. Thank you for sharing and for hosting. Have a grand week. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  11. Thanks so much for hosting, Susan. Hope you had a delightful Thanksgiving. Your lantern is just beautiful.

  12. Beautiful, Susan. I miss getting cutting from our Magnolia tree we had at our previous home. They are perfect on your lantern with the pretty bow. laurie

  13. I use magnolia all the time to decorate, looks so much better than faux greenery! Nothing like red berries and magnolia…..I have two blue/white large happiness vases on my matel,I always put magnolia/red berries in them, looks so pretty with the blue/white vases. Liz Hamrick

  14. Susan, thanks for the nudge this morning. This is exactly the look I need for my mailbox this year — and since today’s in the 40s instead of the 20s, I guess it’s the perfect time to grab my clippers and head out back to the mighty magnolia…

  15. This is lovely! I love your home and the Christmas decorations are just perfect for it! I also use Magnolia leaves; I think it’s so nice to add a natural element in our decor. Thanks you for hosting!

  16. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Hi Susan,

    I too love the look. I always enjoyed decorating our lamp post light at our other house. And now we have a magnolia tree at our new house, but an odd looking lamp post light that I want to replace, lol. πŸ˜€ Maybe I could ‘hide’ some of it’s oddities with magnolia and holly berry leaves. Say, just taking a chance here, but you don’t know of any really, really, really good sources for those types of lights, do you? Ours is electric. But I want one with horizontal bars so I can hang an address plaque and maybe even a pretty seasonal scene (the kind you see on slate) The type they sell in Lowes is too thin and not strong enough to weld on an arm. I’d be happy to find one already made with arms. Surely somebody must make them!

    Anyway, I do love that you used natural elements from all around you. And the fact that you were able to make it so quickly, for no money out of pocket, AND it came out so pretty and welcoming-looking is icing on the cake.

    Good luck with the pansies, hee. πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks, Pam! I don’t know of a lamp manufacturer off hand but I bet there are some online. The company I purchased my lantern from a gazillion years ago, has gone out of business. I would just try googling electric lantern on post or something similar. Hopefully there are some companies online from you could purchase a lantern. πŸ™‚

  17. pretty pretty!

    My son has a lantern in his yard so I will do this for him!

  18. Norma Bethea says

    Very pretty!

  19. Love the lantern Susan! Great inspiration. I don’t have a magnolia but my neighbor does!
    Vikki in VA

  20. I love the look of Magnolia and Nandina at Christmas. This arrangement is perfect as both dry well and will look great until Christmas. Thanks so much for hosting!

  21. LOVE your lantern! Thanks so much for hosting! Life to the full! Melissa

  22. Thanks so much for hosting! I love your idea for the no cost greenery this year. It looks great.

  23. What a great idea, Susan. I might have to copy this for the 3 lamp posts in the back. I love yours, it’s gas, ours are elec….Christine

  24. Selma Claire says

    Susan, the lamp looks beautiful with the magnolia leaves and nandina berries. I had never heard of nandina berries until today! Always something beautiful to see and fun to learn on your blog. πŸ™‚ As always, thank you so much for sharing! Selma

  25. Your lantern is beautiful Susan – I love your use of magnolia leaves. Thanks for hosting another party!

  26. I remember you did it last C’mas too and I just adored the lantern with the huge bowl!!! Have a lovely first week of December sweet lady.

  27. Hi Susan. Love your gas lantern and how you dressed it up for the season. Thanks so much for hosting. Have a great week!


  28. I am not a gardener and where I live, it’s evergreen, evergreen, evergreen. You are lucky to have so much at your fingertips to use in your dΓ©cor! It looks lovely. Thanks for the party and Happy December!

  29. I love your Christmas decorations! Wish we had greenery like that around here! Thanks for hosting. Dee πŸ™‚

  30. Your lantern is beautiful! It looks Holiday ready!

  31. Donna Babbitt, Brea, Ca. says

    Dear busy lady, it is past time for you to give a precious orphan kitty a new home; what better way to honor the life and times of your beloved Max.
    I lost my sweet Ernie cat after nineteen yrs. in July, went to a rescue sanctuary six weeks later and adopted Chloe a five yr. old kitty……………………..she is a love. She seems to be a composite of all the best cats that have ever owned me.
    Please do yourself and some desperate sweet kitty a favor and give you both so much joy during the holidays. Small as they are they fill the house.
    Have you ever read any of Gladys Tabers books? She wrote for LHJ, and other publications, she loved her pets and chose to keep loving even after so many heartbreaking situations in her life. That’s the key, keep loving.
    Her two gentle genre books AMBER, A VERY PERSONAL CAT and CONVERSATIONS WITH AMBER are very special. I got mine on Amazon.
    I was just looking at some old blogs with darling Max and felt impelled to encourage you to give yourself the best gift ever………………………a kitty who you need and who needs you.
    Hoping you will consider this, Donna

    • Donna, I’m never, ever getting another pet. I can never go through that again. It will take me many years, if ever to get over this past summer. I still feel like I’m going to be sick when I think of it all…worse time of my life…never going through that again. I’m done. No more pets for me…they are too much like family/furchildren and I’ll never go through that again. EVER!

      • I just seen this and want to chime in. We had to have our furry son put down four years ago and I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. Zeke was a 135 rottweilier and beloved family member. We still talk about him all the time and I know I’ll be a mess when I decorate the tree and put up his ornament.

        • I know how you feel, Sandra. I’m so sorry you lost Zeke…it’s brutal to go through. I’ve had 4 cats in my adult life and 1 dog and I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older, I don’t bounce back well after they pass. I mentally can’t survive losing another one. I could never even enjoy having another one because I’d know that one day I’d lose him, too. And I just can’t bear to go through it again. Max’s death was especially gut-wrenching because it was a slow, drawn out death, the worse thing I’ve ever gone through with a furbaby. I just about lose my mind the two months he was dying. I honestly don’t know how someone goes through that with a love one, watching them slowly succumb to cancer. So, I’m done. I wish I were stronger when it comes to the death of a pet, but I”m just not. I just have to enjoy other people’s pets now and hope I get to see my furbabies again one day in heaven. That would be heaven to me.

  32. Love the fresh magnolia on your lantern. Perfection. xo Laura

  33. It’s looks so pretty all gussied up! I must add that I love the magnolia tree. I don’t think we can grow them up here, they are one of my faves.

  34. Susan, your lamp posts arrangement is gorgeous and it the perfect exclamation point to your home. Nothing is more wonderful than Southern Magnolia for Christmas decorating. We moved at the end of summer and do not have magnolia or holly at our new home (yet). I’m really going to miss having them to decorate with this year. I think I’ll call our buyers and see if they would like for me to trim their shrubbery for them. lol

  35. What a beautifully festive touch to the lamp posts, Susan!

  36. This is gorgeous, I am new to the blogging world, I would love yo participate on a party like this, if you have time check out my home decorated for christmas, I would love some feed back from ya’ll. have a blessed day and I am so happy I found this blog.

  37. Your project is really beautiful and I love how natural it is. I’m inspired to make something from my Magnolia leaves now! Your gas lantern is amazing by the way.

  38. Hi Susan,
    what a perfect creation ! I really like the way you’ve turned the bow (I really have to learn that) and how you’ve arranged the greenery.
    Your lantern is a gas one, it might be so beautiful at night with the dancing flame !
    There is a huge magnolia tree in the garden of the library where I work, I will have to think about picking some to create something. Thanks for inspiration and, again, congratulations for this great idea πŸ™‚
    Regards from France

  39. Your outside decorations for the holidays look so lovely.

  40. Hi Susan, The house looks absolutely beautiful. When you first posted your landscaping upgrade you showed the lantern and ever since then I’ve thought of how you could decorate it better; make it more special. I think it’s top heavy. I would love to see something like the pansies you forgot or even pussy willows or even maybe a little round seat (not sure you have the room) at the bottom maybe circling that lantern. I’m no gardener so I’m not sure what you would use but you mention it needs something & thought my comment might be helpful. Happy Holidays. Ann

    • Thanks, Ann. There’s not enough room for a seat since it’s close to the sidewalk, but taller plants at the bottom help, I think. I did get the pansies in, finally. πŸ™‚

  41. Bring it on!!! franki

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