Fall Lantern Decor – Elegant Porch Ideas

fall lantern decor where to shop

The period after Halloween and pre-Christmas can be a little tricky for front porch decor. So let’s talk about transitioning your entryway! Lanterns and lush florals are my favorite way to strip out the spooky and lean into an elegant Thanksgiving vibe. Nothing adds a glow quite like fall lantern decor. In this post, we’ll explore the best places to shop for outdoor lanterns, tips and tricks for positioning them, and how to get maximum impact at minimal cost.

How to Decorate With Outdoor Lanterns


Lanterns are one of the most versatile home accessories, especially if they function indoors and out. They add dimension and warmth to your space—contrast too. I love the juxtaposition of metal lanterns against displays of natural elements like pumpkins or florals. The mix helps both shine brighter!

Of course, lanterns also play a functional role. They illuminate your porch, beckoning visitors to come in and stay awhile. Our street gets pretty dark, so a bit of extra light is really helpful as guests navigate our entry way.

fall lantern decor ideasDress | Lanterns | Wreath | Garland

Our Space: Fall Lantern Decor

To transition our porch from Halloween to Thanksgiving, I kept all of the pumpkins we didn’t carve, then added a few heirloom varieties for interest. Heirloom pumpkins are grown for their unique characteristics (like size, shape, or flavor) rather than mass production. They’re more expensive, but the mix of tones and shapes they provide is well worth it.

You can stretch your dollar, by positioning them carefully—setting them at an angle versus flat on your steps. This reveals more of their unique shape and takes up additional space, making your arrangement look larger. Also keep in mind that you don’t need many to make an impact. You can also use them cleverly afterwards as rose-filled centerpieces for Thanksgiving dinner (as we touch on in this post).

Pro tip: Visit your local grocery store or landscaping company ASAP – Look for bins toward the front of the store. Once pricey pumpkins will be deeply discounted.

fall lantern decor ideas

Fall Lantern Decor Ideas – Step-By-Step


1) Add interest and texture with garland

We were aiming for a sophisticated harvest look. To jazz things up, I began by weaving this battery-operated pre-lit garland between my pumpkins. The hints of red, orange, and gold, really set the tone for a season of abundance. It’s like your Thanksgiving table, but on the porch instead! The fairy lights woven within are just enchanting at dusk.

2) Fill in natural voids with outdoor lanterns

Next, I looked for areas that had a natural void. That’s the perfect place to add an outdoor lantern, like the Cooper. It’s open frame, so you can easily weave garland into and around the base. More importantly, it has a candle so realistic it fooled my six-year-old. He was so sweet and concerned when he saw me reaching into the lantern. “Mama you’re going to burn your arm,” he warned.¬† Yup, these beauties flicker just like the real thing.

They battery box is hidden in the base. You need two C batteries (which are included) and can use the timer function. They come in two sizes, medium and large. I recommend getting both, as fall lantern decor makes the most impact when clusters your decor elements. The large is 16.5″ and the medium 13″ tall.

Thanksgiving porch decorDress | Lanterns | Wreath | Garland

3) Give your urns a look of abundance 

While fall lantern decor welcomes your guests, leading them toward your door, you also want to frame that entry point. I do that, by jazzing up the artificial boxwood trees I keep in my urns most of the year.

Side note – Grandinroad topiaries are an investment, but they fool everyone and require no upkeep. As a gal who does not have a green thumb, it’s one of my best life hacks!

Now, back to the urns. For a lush look, you’ll need more floral stems, branches, and bushes than you anticipate. Don’t limit yourself to orange! Nature paints in many colors, your porch could use the same. I used golds, reds, orange tones, even peach hues, tucking branches into the urn for height and bush-type florals into the boxwoods. I snagged all of my materials at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. Both have amazing floral sections.

Complete the look by wrapping a wide mesh burlap ribbon around your urns. I couldn’t find my exact ribbon anymore, but this one is quite similar. Mesh ribbon works beautifully because it holds a shape nicely and will retain a curl, cascading down your urn.

fall lantern decor ideas

4) Finish With a Pre-Lit Wreath

Finally, you can tie your fall lantern decor together with a glowing wreath on your door. My particular wreath comes in the same family as the garland I used between the pumpkins. It’s the Sierra wreath (and currently on sale). You can get 20% off with code FALL2023. I might nab another garland, since the savings are so good right now. The 24″ wreath has a burlap covered battery box. It’s super easy to disguise and the foliage looks so realistic.

Enjoying this post? Here are a few related decor articles & some of my most popular to check out!

Thanksgiving porch decor with outdoor lanterns

Best Outdoor Lanterns for 2023


As you can see with our fall lantern decor, outdoor lanterns are a key ingredient to achieving an elegant porch look for fall. Want to achieve a similar glow? I’ve scoured the web to find the best outdoor lanterns for 2023. These choices are designed to serve a variety of needs and aesthetic preferences. Click on any of the images below to view these more closely.

1) Most Affordable – Better Homes Candle Holder Lantern

For maximum impact on a limited budget, these lanterns from Walmart are an excellent choice. You can get the medium for under $20! They look very similar to lanterns I love from Pottery Barn. Important note: They don’t come with the candles, so that is an extra expense.

2) Best for Maximum Visual Impact – Pottery Barn’s Caleb Lantern

This one is a best-seller for a reason! The lines are both elegant and eye-catching. Furthermore, it offers the widest range of sizes, from the 15″ mini to the 42.25″ XL. The Caleb comes in three colors – black, brass and gray. The black and brass are indoor/outdoor. The candle comes separately.

3) Best for Tabletop Decor – LampLust Black Metal Lantern

When dining, you don’t want anything to impede your conversation. The elegant open frame of this lantern allows you to see right through to your guests. They’re also more petite than the other options. The set of 2 (5.5″ and 8.5″ high) works inside or out and has a timer function.

4) Best Solar Option – LampLust Solar Lantern

Looking for a low fuss, no maintenance option? This beauty includes pre-installed rechargable batteries that last six to eight hours. It automatically turns on at night and has a really realistic flicker, mimicking natural candlelight. Available via Amazon in two sizes – 18″ and 14.”

5) Best Small Scale – Lights.com Cooper Lantern

Super charming and comes with a very realistic looking candle! Since I discussed it above, I won’t belabor the point – It’s a winner and has anchored my front porch decor for two seasons now.

6) Best Sleek & Modern Lantern – Frontgate’s Quincy Lantern

Reaching up to 45″, Frontgate’s Quincy Lantern is a great choice for those who have a large space to fill. The gold is not brassy or shiny, but muted and gorgeous. They’re also quite sturdy, despite their delicate look. You can tell they are made to last.

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fall lantern decor ideas

Thanks for stopping by! Hope this discussion of fall lantern decor ideas and the best outdoor fall lanterns for 2023 gives you some inspiration as we approach Thanksgiving. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop a comment below and I’ll be sure to answer.

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