paper lanterns

Top the cabinets with paper lanterns! This décor idea adds a splash of happy to your kitchen

An arrangement of paper lanterns is a fun way to fill the space on top of your kitchen cabinets.

You’re not the only one who wonders how to decorate in that high space above the kitchen cabinets. That’s why we think you’ll like one solution that adds a fun factor to that empty space.

Lettering artist Melanie Kropf dialed in to Studio 5 to share how she uses paper lanterns to decorate above the kitchen cabinets.

Find more ideas from Melanie at, or on Instagram, @handcraftedbrunette.


How to Decorate With Paper Lanterns

Notes from Melanie Kropf

“When we moved into our new house three summers ago, I noticed the empty space between our tall ceilings and the top of my kitchen cabinets. I sought inspiration for how to decorate up there and what to use, but I didn’t quite like any options I came across. Finally, our first big holiday in this new house came up, Halloween! I grabbed all of our bins full of Halloween décor and noticed the paper lanterns I had on hand. In our previous house I would hang them with fishing line from the ceiling.

I then had the idea to use them, but to place them on top of my kitchen cabinets to fill that unused space. It automatically added a quick pop of color and became a fun statement piece in our holiday décor! It’s my favorite because the paper lanterns not only fill unused space, but it’s fun to swap out the colors for every holiday or special occasion. Plus, a big bonus, storing these takes up practically zero space! I love that I can quickly disassemble the lanterns and press them flat to store, which means that I have more space in my storage bins for other decorations. It’s a no brainer in my book!

Since that very first time, I’ve collected paper lanterns in various sizes and colors and from several places including online boutiques, craft stores, and party stores.

To plan for a holiday, I first decide on a color palette I’d like to use. For Valentine’s Day, I’ve chosen: white, light pink, bright pink, purple, mint and red. Next, I gather my paper lanterns in those shades and simply assemble them. Lastly, I strategically place the paper lanterns in varying heights and stack some on top of others to fill the space I have between the ceiling and the top of the cabinets. When the holiday is through, I just take the paper lanterns down, disassemble them and store them with my other stash until the next time I plan on using them.

I’ve gotten lots of reactions from friends and family that visit my home. Several comment on how this is such a simple and practical décor idea. Others have even mentioned how it’s nice that I’m not stuck on using only certain traditional colors for holidays, but have the freedom to use non-traditional colors if I choose. An example of this would be comparing my first Halloween kitchen décor with this year. I’ve added pink into the mix, a non-traditional Halloween color, because it fits my personality better than the traditional Halloween colors.”

Melanie Kropf meanders through motherhood while juggling life with three children and running her own website selling hand lettered signs. Melanie loves good food, fun outdoor activities, sunshine and her family of five. She finds joy in making memories magical for her children. 

Melanie’s artwork can be found at and you can follow her behind-the-scenes life on Instagram @handcraftedbrunette.

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