diy paper lantern vase centerpiece

Paper lanterns are fun and vibrant party accessories, but we’re taking them to the next level with this creative centerpiece idea! You can easily turn lanterns into gorgeous vases with this tutorial. When filled with flowers, a paper lantern vase makes for such an elegant presentation, sure to be a showstopper at your next event or wedding.

What you need:

Step 1: Take the paper lantern and bend wire circles at the top of lantern up. Place a 16 oz plastic cup inside.

Step 2: Bend the circles back down and insert the wire frame around the plastic cup. Use pitcher to fill cup with water.

Step 3: Arrange the flowers to your liking and your centerpiece is complete!

Smarty Party Tip: You may want to assemble centerpieces on the table you plan to display them on so they stay upright. 

Find all the details on our fall tablescape design: A Tablescape You’ll Fall For, and shop the look below!

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Much Party Love, Smarties!


Styling: Ashleigh Johnson, Andrea Roewe

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  • Debbie

    I’m having trouble getting the cup into the lantern… Any tips?

    • Jackie Carper

      Hi Debbie! We suggest bending the metal wire towards the side of the lantern while wiggling the cup into the lantern with the other hand. It takes a bit of maneuvering, but if you are still having difficulty, you may try using a smaller cup. Hope this helps! 🙂

  • leelabelle

    I did this almost four years ago. Love seeing others combinations

    • Jackie Carper

      We love to see other color combinations too. 🙂 What colors did you use for your lantern centerpieces?

  • Kristi

    What if you’re using fake flowers? I have black lanterns with red roses for a Halloween event at work. I’m trying to find a way to arrange them before the event..

    • Jackie Carper

      Hi Kristi! Black paper lanterns with red roses will be perfect for Halloween! The good news is that you can apply the same centerpiece concept when using endless flowers. I would recommend still putting a cup inside of the lantern to ensure that the floral arrangements and the lanterns remain in place. If your endless flowers have long stems, feel free to cut them down to size or bend them to make them work for your event. After prepping each centerpiece, we suggest carrying them from the bottom during transit. I hope that this helps! 🙂

  • Kathy Renee Smith

    Hi! I am trying these centerpieces out this weekend for a friend’s bridal shower. However, I am worried about the centerpieces leaning. The wire kind of sticks out at the bottom and they’re not centered. Is there a way that you keep them upright or is that “tilt” part of your design?

    • Jackie Carper

      Hi Kathy! The lanterns will have a slight tilt when you put them together, but the weight of the water and flowers in the cup should help stabilize the lantern centerpieces. I hope that this helps! 🙂

  • Helen

    Thanks! I was worried these would take a ton of time to construct! I’ll let you know how it goes!

    • Helen, sounds great! We are anxious to hear and see how beautiful the centerpieces turn out (we love to see pictures 😉 )!

  • Helen

    These look great! I really want to do these for my wedding but I am wondering — how long did it take you to set up and arrange each one? Thanks for putting up a tutorial!

    • Hi Helen! We are thrilled that you enjoyed our DIY paper lantern vase tutorial! 🙂 We set up an assembly line to make the set up go quickly. We prepped any items we could beforehand (assembling and lining up the paper lanterns, pre-cutting the flowers and placing them in room temperature water, lining up the cups, and preparing a few pitchers with water). After our assembly line was ready, we grabbed a few friends, one for each station, and from there it only took about 5 minutes to assemble each paper lantern vase.