Christmas Lantern Decorations: Fresh Holly and Pine Swag DIY

Christmas lantern decorations are a favorite of mine during the holiday season. With all the artificial trees and wreathes for Christmas decor, I really miss the smell of pine and cedar. Luckily our property does have a variety of holly, cedar, boxwood and pine. Since retiring to Henry County, Tennessee area, I’ve developed an annual tradition of creating Christmas lantern decorations for my home using my own materials growing in my yard.

live holly and pine swag with wire mesh ribbon for christmas lantern decorations
Live holly and pine swag with wire mesh ribbon on this first of two original Christmas lantern decorations diy projects.

DIY Christmas Lantern Decorations:

Materials Needed:

  • Collect a variety of greens, both holly and pine branches
  • 18-24 inches of wire ribbon
  • about 12 inches of craft / floral wire (The wire should be long enough to be able to wrap around the neck of the lantern.)
  • lantern with battery powered candle (I prefer Luminara battery powered candles with flickering flames).


  • Lay out the cedar branches to form the base , left side and right, with the stems overlapping in the middle.
  • Add some holly with berries, on both the left side and right, overlapping in the center.
  • Add the boxwood leaves on top.
  • Wrap the wire (you can also use twist ties) around the middle and tie securely.
  • Add the bow and wire it in place around the neck of the lantern.

To keep it fresh and fragrant, mist the greens occasionally.

christmas lantern decorations with fresh holly and pine
Re-purposed lantern with Christmas holly and pine swag.

You can use a variety of household decor items to create this look. Here is another project I made using fresh live holly and pine using a distressed wood lantern. This lantern also has a Luminara candle with a flickering wick.

If you’d like to switch it up, use two colorful ribbons instead of one and overlap them. You can also add pine cones with a hot glue gun.