If you are wondering how to decorate with paper lanterns, our 2D and 3D lantern illustrations will certainly help.
This section contains tips on:How to decorate large spaces with paper lanterns;How to set up your paper lanterns for a special occasion; and,The space and coverage that the lanterns will take, and more.
Choosing the paper lantern that perfectly complements your wedding and party theme, motif, and venue is just the first step to decorating with paper lanterns, as the real fun and challenge comes in setting these lanterns up on your desired locations, which is the key to realizing your dream for that perfect wedding venue.
Space required between paper lanterns and the resulting ambiance lighting
To know, we use a simple decorating or lighting design, i.e., by hanging paper lanterns in a linear manner and with even spacing across the room, tent, or party venue.
To give you a better picture, we created the 2D and 3D perspective layouts, which show this simple lantern decorating design, i.e., the paper lanterns (in red, orange, pink, and yellow circles) spaced almost evenly in horizontal and vertical manner across a rectangular room or function hall that measures 64.83 feet long x 48.10 feet wide, or approximately 289 square meters.
In these, we have 24 pieces of paper lanterns of the following sizes decorated and spaced as follows:
|Paper Lantern Size||Distance from the entrance wall to the lantern||Approximate distance between lanterns across the 64.83 feet length room,|
i.e., 1 paper lantern spaced between
|Lowest Vertical Distance Between the Lantern and the Floor|
|16 inches (.40 x .40 meters)||5.30 feet ||8.67 to 8.70 feet||9.17 feet |
|20 inches (.50 x .50 meters)||5.11 feet ||8.01 to 8.02 feet||9.17 feet |
|24 inches (.60 x .60 meters)||5.22 feet ||8.34 to 8.35 feet||9.17 feet |
|30 inches (.75 x .75 meters)||5.21 feet ||7.44 feet ||9.17 feet |
Using, for example, a 40 watt bulb (approximately 450 lumens) on each of these 24 pieces of 16” paper lanterns will let your lantern radiate a warm, dim light over approximately 75 square feet.
Thus, it might be necessary to use more paper lanterns or larger-sized paper lanterns, which can afford higher-illuminating bulbs, if you need to:Achieve brighter lighting for the same amount of space, especially for nighttime or outdoor functions;Need to light a bigger space; or,Hang your lantern from a high ceiling.
How to Decorate Large Spaces with Paper Lanterns
There are absolutely infinite ways on how you can pull together your different choices of paper lanterns for every special occasion.
For a great start in decorating a large rectangular space, you can recreate this simple decorating idea pictured in our sample perspective layouts, which is done by hanging paper lanterns in horizontal and vertical columns across the center of the room using cords or electrical kits and using different sizes and colors of lanterns at each time to create different looks at every special occasion.
Take note of the following factors, details, and steps that helped us to achieve this lantern decorating idea for a 64.83 feet long x 48.10 feet wide rectangular function hall:
Basic factors to consider when decorating large spaces with paper lanterns
- The designated functional areas for the party.
That is to say: "How do you wish to entertain guests on your party?" In our case, we planned to offer simple dining for 70 wedding guests, so came up with the following functional areas:
Reception Lounge (approximately 15 feet):Upon entry to the function hall, guests are greeted with a lounge, a view of the dining hall, and the fascinating sight of paper lanterns floating across the room. Comfortable sofas give this area a relaxed and homey ambiance, allow people to sit and talk, and unwind in-between the party.
Display Table or VIP Table:Situated near the entrance and at the center of the room, we want to have this area:
*As display table: For displaying the wedding cake, wedding favors, and the like. The sight of these wedding details from the entrance or doorway creates an instant feeling of welcome to your party; or,
*As VIP table for the bride and groom or the special guests as its location at the center of the room highlights their presence among the rest of the crowd.
Dining Area (approximately 40 feet): The dining area is designed for 70 guests on seven (7) 10-seater round tables.Goals for decorating the paper lanterns:
Goal #1: We want to greet our guests with a horizontal view of the party venue and then an overwhelming array of paper lanterns floating evenly across the ceiling.
Goal #2: To create horizontal and vertical columns of paper lanterns across the center of the room.The designated "highlight" of the function room or wedding reception:
Do you want to draw your guests' attention to your wedding cake? The principal table? Or the dance floor?
This lantern decorating step, thus, leads you to your "starting point." Being in the actual task of decorating a large space may make you clueless on where to start hanging your paper lanterns, but when you know how you want the paper lanterns to look like in this particular area, it would be easier to find more options on how you can make the bare and dull-looking room more festive.
In the case of our simple lantern layout, to achieve our goal, we, therefore, we need to see to it that the lanterns are noticeable from the entrance and, as we also want a clean and simple look, so the choice of paper lanterns of the same size and color.
How to choose the size of the paper lantern?
Paper lanterns that measure between 4 to 24 inches are ideal for decorating small to medium spaces.
But for a large room with high ceiling, paper lanterns that measure 16 inches in diameter and above are good choices as they are noticeable enough and they basically provide a festive flair and a good ambiance lighting.
Our 2D perspective layouts for paper lanterns that measure 16, 20, 24, and 30 inches may seem to show significant amount of spaces in-between the lanterns, which range from 7.44 feet wide (for the 30" paper lanterns) up to 8.70" (for the 16" paper lanterns). These spacing actually look just proportional for their size.
Starting to setup the paper lanterns for a special occasion
Now, after designating the highlight of your room or wedding reception and planning for the lantern design on this area and the rest of the room, it’s now time to know: Where to hang the first sets of paper lanterns?
In our case, as we want the guests to see the paper lanterns from the entrance and these lanterns be evenly arranged across the center of the room, so we need to note of the following things:How the paper lanterns should look like from the entrance: A horizontal distance of at least 5 feet from the door or entrance wall is basically a good measurement, as this should make the reception lounge's sofa and the paper lanterns noticeable from the door for most guests.The so-called "center" of the room for our reference point:
In finding the center of the room, by actually examining the place or drawing its sketch, we can roughly see that the entrance door situated at the west of the room perfectly suggests that central reference point that we are looking for. We can confirm that by measuring the perimeter of the room and drafting the room’s layout on a design or architectural software, which helps to yield accurate results.
From this point, we can determine where to put the first sets of paper lanterns, i.e., either in line with the:
a. Center of the door (measured from left to right, or from top to bottom in the perspective layout) so we can hang a center column of paper lanterns; or,
b. Edges of the door frame so we can hang two (2) columns of paper lanterns in such a manner that creates an array of them over the room's center "aisle" (like as shown in the perspective layouts).The space or interval between each paper lantern.
How to find the ideal space interval between the paper lanterns across the length of the room?
The following figures state the converted size, or diameter, of the paper lanterns in feet (1 foot = 12 inches):
|Paper Lantern Size|| Equivalent Measurement in Feet |
|16 inches (.40 x .40 meters)||1.33 feet |
|20 inches (.50 x .50 meters)||1.67 feet |
|24 inches (.60 x .60 meters)||2.00 feet |
|30 inches (.75 x .75 meters)||2.50 feet |
While this always depends on your paper lantern decorating design, you can either choose to:Hang one or a cluster of paper lanterns over the center of the dining table. Clustering paper lanterns is quite easy as you can simply cut different lengths of strings or cords and put these cords together to make the lanterns into a cluster;String together different sizes of paper lanterns. With this, you might need to measure carefully the length, width, or diameter (in case of a circular space) that the string should pass through to know the ideal size and number of paper lanterns to be used; or,Space the lanterns evenly over the room's ceiling, like as illustrated in our perspective layout's design.
How to fill a large space with even-width columns of paper lanterns?
A rough estimate for our 64.83 feet long function room gives us a choice to fill this length with either 6 or 7 columns of 16" paper lanterns with equal or almost equal widths, computed as:
| Length of the room ||64.83 feet |
| Less: Distance between entrance wall to first row of paper lantern* ||5.30 feet |
| Length of the room to be covered with paper lanterns ||59.53 feet|
| Divide by maximum allocated space for each dining table**||8.70 feet |
| Estimated no. of columns of paper lanterns ||6.84 cols|
Notes: *Fixed distance between entrance wall and first row of paper lanterns. **To give our floor and ceiling similar pattern of measurement, we used the diameter of the dining tables as reference plus allowance to ensure comfortable seating
This 6.84 quotient gives us a choice to hang either 6 or 7 columns of paper lanterns. To find out which will work best, we have the following:
Using 6 pieces of 16" paper lanterns:
(1.33 feet per lantern x 6 pcs = 7.98 feet will be the space required by these paper lanterns)
Using 7 pieces of 16" paper lanterns:
(1.33’ per lantern x 7 = 9.31 feet will be the total space required by these paper lanterns)
For us to be able to space our paper lanterns evenly, we therefore need to use 6 columns of paper lanterns:
|Length of the room to be covered with paper lanterns||59.53 feet |
|Less: Total of the length consumed by the paper lanterns||7.98 feet |
|Total length of the room to be allocated space for paper lanterns||51.55 feet|
|Divide by maximum allocated space between each lantern||8.70 feet |
|Total no. of columns of paper lanterns||5.9~6 columns|
|Length of the room to be covered with paper lanterns||59.53 feet |
|Less: Total of the length consumed by the paper lanterns||9.31 feet feet |
|Total length of the room to be allocated space for paper lanterns||50.22 feet|
|Divide by maximum allocated space between each lantern||8.70 feet |
|Total no. of columns of paper lanterns||5.7~6 columns|
Thus, the 16 inch paper lanterns are arranged as follows across the length of the room and with the following measurements:
Entrance wall - 5.30' – 1.33' Lantern - 8.69' – 1.33' Lantern – 8.70' – 1.33' Lantern – 8.67' – 1.33' Lantern – 8.67' – 1.33' Lantern – 8.69' - 1.33' Lantern
Summing up the figures together, that's 5.30' + 1.33' + 8.69'... + 1.33' yields 51.43 feet of the room's length is decorated with six (6) paper lanterns. We have proven the feasibility of using 6 columns of paper lanterns as out of the 59.53' length of the room needed to be covered, that leaves us an 8.1' space for another paper lantern, which is deemed short as compared to the average space in-between the paper lanterns, thus the quantity to use 6 paper lanterns per column.
To determine the number of rows of paper lanterns
As we want our paper lanterns to look evenly-spaced across the ceiling, so we use the same maximum allocated space of 8.70 feet as the ideal distance between the rows of paper lanterns. Starting from the lanterns that are hung 5.30 feet perpendicular to the edges of the door frame, based on our 2D perspective layout for the .4x.4 paper lantern, we vertically extend 8.69 feet to the north of one paper lantern and 8.69 feet to the south of the other paper lantern.
Now, to determine the number of rows of paper lanterns, we have:
|Width of the room ||48.10 feet |
| Less: Measurement of the entrance door frame* ||11.72 feet |
| Area to be covered with paper lanterns ||36.38 feet |
| Divide by maximum allocated space for each lantern || 8.70 feet|
| Estimated no. of rows of paper lanterns ||4.1~4 rows |
Thus, the 16-inch paper lanterns are spaced in the following manner between the two (2) walls of the room:
Wall 1 - 1.17' – (Lantern) – 8.69' – (Lantern) – 11.72' – (Lantern) – 8.69' – (Lantern) – 1.11' - Wall 2
Quick Measurement Guides on Decorating Paper Lanterns
The following figures give you the measurements used in our perspective layouts to hang 24 pieces each of 16, 20, 24, and 30 inch paper lanterns over a 64.83 feet long x 48.10 feet wide, or approximately 289 square meters, rectangular function hall.
Measurement of Space Between the Paper Lanterns and the Walls of a Room
|Paper Lantern Size|| Horizontal distance between the entrance wall to the lanterns in 1st column ||Vertical distance between lantern and Wall 1||Vertical distance between lantern and Wall 2|
|16 inches (.40 x .40 meters)||5.30 feet ||1.21 feet||1.11 feet |
|20 inches (.50 x .50 meters)||5.21 feet ||1.17 feet ||1.15 feet |
|24 inches (.60 x .60 meters)||5.11 feet ||1.17 feet ||1.16 feet |
|30 inches (.75 x .75 meters)||5.22 feet ||1.15 feet ||1.16 feet |
Horizontal Spacing and Arrangement of Paper Lanterns Across the Length of a Rectangular Room
|Paper Lantern Size||Sequence of Space Measurements and Paper Lanterns Across the Length of a Rectangular Room/Space|
|16 inches (.40 x .40 meters)||Entrance wall-5.30'Lantern-8.69'-Lantern–8.70'–Lantern–8.67'–Lantern–8.67'-Lantern–8.69'-Lantern|
|20 inches (.50 x .50 meters)||Entrance wall-5.21'-Lantern-8.34'-Lantern–8.34'–Lantern–8.34'–Lantern–8.35'-Lantern–8.35'-Lantern|
|24 inches (.60 x .60 meters)||Entrance wall-5.11'-Lantern–8.02'-Lantern–8.01'–Lantern–8.01'-Lantern–8.01'-Lantern–8.01'-Lantern|
|30 inches (.75 x .75 meters)||Entrance wall-5.22'-Lantern-7.44'-Lantern–7.44'–Lantern–7.44'-Lantern–7.44'-Lantern–7.44'-Lantern|
Vertical Spacing and Arrangement of Paper Lanterns Across the Width of a Rectangular Room
|Paper Lantern Size||Sequence of Space Measurements and Paper Lanterns Across the Width of a Rectangular Room/Space|
|16 inches (.40 x .40 meters)||Wall 1 - 1.17' – Lantern – 8.69' – Lantern – 11.72' – Lantern – 8.69' – Lantern – 1.11' - Wall 2|
|20 inches (.50 x .50 meters)|| Wall 1 - 1.17' – Lantern – 8.35' – Lantern – 10.99' – Lantern – 8.35' – Lantern – 1.15' - Wall 2|
|24 inches (.60 x .60 meters)||Wall 1 - 1.17' – Lantern – 8.01' – Lantern – 10.30' – Lantern – 8.01' – Lantern – 1.16' - Wall 2|
|30 inches (.75 x .75 meters)|| Wall 1 - 1.15' – Lantern – 7.44' – Lantern – 9.18' – Lantern – 7.44' – Lantern – 1.16' - Wall 2|
Quick Paper Lantern Conversion Guide in Feet and Meters
Do you already have a party venue in mind but realize how such vast space that looks so empty can come to life with the presence of paper lanterns, and you have no idea which sizes of paper lanterns to choose?
Then, this AsianIdeas.com section is for you. As planning is key to decorating and size is critical to using the paper lanterns, here we give you another quick guide that shows the equivalent measurement of the paper lanterns in meters and feet, which also reflect how much of the ceiling’s space these paper lanterns will cover, so that whether you want to use a single size or a mix of sizes at one occasion, you can confidently do so and better determine which sizes your decorating space will need and how many paper lanterns of a particular size will be needed to come up with your lantern decorating idea.
| AsianIdeas.com Paper Lantern Size || in Meters || in Feet |
|4 inches||.10 x .10 meters ||.33 x .33 feet |
|8 inches ||.20 x 20 meters ||.67 x .67 feet|
|10 inches||.25 x .25 meters ||.83 x .83 feet |
|12 inches ||.30 x .30 meters ||1.0 x 1.0 feet |
|14 inches||.35 x .35 meters ||1.17 x 1.17 feet |
|16 inches||.40 x .40 meters ||1.33 x 1.33 feet |
|18 inches||.45 x .45 meters ||1.5 x 1.5 feet|
|20 inches||.50 x .50 meters ||1.67 x 1.67 feet|
|24 inches||.60 x .60 meters ||2.0 x 2.0 feet |
|30 inches||.75 x .75 meters ||2.5 x 2.5 feet |
|36 inches||.91 x .91 meters ||3.0 x 3.0 feet |
|42 inches||1.0 x 1.0 meters ||3.5 x 3.5 feet |
|48 inches||1.2 x 1.2 meters ||4.0 x 4.0 feet |
|60 inches||1.5 x 1.5 meters ||5.0 x 5.0 feet |
Tips on decorating using a mix colors, designs, and sizes of paper lanterns.
Putting together different colors, designs, and sizes of paper lanterns gives a beautiful array of colors and adds more fun and variety to the look of your wedding venue and function hall.
Notice from our sample 2D perspective layouts how using the different colors and sizes of round paper lanterns has significantly turned our function hall into a party mood that is more fun, alive, and vibrant.
You too, can recreate this paper lantern decorating idea using:20-inch (1.64' x 1.64') pink paper lanterns (5 pieces24-inch (1.96' x 1.96') yellow paper lanterns (6 pieces30-inch (2.46' x 2.46') red paper lanterns (7 pieces)48-inch (3.93' x 3.93') orange paper lanterns (7 pieces)36-inch (2.95' x 2.95') yellow paper lanterns (7 pieces)24-inch (1.96' x 1.96') pink paper lanterns (7 pieces)16-inch (1.31' x 1.31') red paper lanterns (6 pieces)
To achieve this party lantern look, you can simply:
1. Cut 7 pieces of string (or fishing line) to the room's width (in this case, 48.10 feet) plus some inches allowance.
2. Secure the string on each side of the wall with tape tightly against the ceiling, or an inch or two below it in the following manner:Four (4) strings parallel to the entrance wallThree (3) strings diagonal in between the four (4) parallel strings
3. On each string, hang the lantern hooks that are designed to hold the following paper lanterns on this string at the following approximate intervals (in the same order as the perspective layout):
| Point 1 (P1):||4.5 feet from P2 to hold the 20-inch (1.64' x 1.64') pink paper lantern |
| Point 2 (P2): ||5.1 feet from P3 to hold the 24-inch (1.96' x 1.96') yellow paper lantern |
| Point 3 (P3):||6.5 feet from the center to hold the 30-inch (2.46' x 2.46') red paper lantern |
|Point 4 (center):||24.05 feet to hold the 48-inch (3.93' x 3.93') orange paper lantern |
|Point 5 (P5):||7.0 feet from P4 to hold the 36-inch (2.95' x 2.95') yellow paper lantern |
|Point 6 (P6):||5.5 feet from P5 to hold the 24-inch (1.96' x 1.96') pink paper lantern |
|Point 7 (P7):||4.5 feet from P6 to hold the 16-inch (1.31'x 1.31') red paper lantern |
Paper lantern color trends we love for 2012:
We know that paper lanterns are a great way to color the sky of your wedding day or special occasion with your color motif, so here are our suggested color combinations for your wedding or special occasion this 2012:Silver, gold, and purpleTurquoise, red, and creamSky blue and whiteBrown and crushed VelvetGreen, brown, and cafePeach, black, and graySilver, white, and redPurple and grayRed and pinkFuchsia and cafeOcean blue, black, and silverYellow and graySilver and ocean blueRed and lavenderPink, cream, and old
To view more design inspirations and other decorating tips, please check out our Lantern FAQ page.