DIY Magnolia Leaf Garland: This one you can use year after year

I love the fullness of a magnolia garland but they are REALLY expensive. If you’ve ever looked at faux magnolia leaves and they don’t look very real.

I found a gorgeous Magnolia tree in my neighborhood that could use a trim. I do have a magnolia tree in my front yard, but its leaves are not very pretty. If you decide to borrow stems from a neighbor, it’s nice to ask their permission first. I didn’t, but the trees I trimmed are so large that they block the sidewalk.

magnolia tree

Supplies to make the garland:

  1. Floral wire (the smaller spool because it’s easier to wind around)
  2. Wire cutters
  3. Mod Podge
  4. Foam brush
  5. Clippers/pruners for tree
  6. Fresh magnolia branches
garland supplies

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Step By Step Instructions

I saw a lot of tutorials for magnolia wreaths and garlands that required you to clip the fresh magnolia leaves in 2 or 3 leaf clusters and then string them together. This is a great way to do it, but I really wanted a really full garland for my living room fireplace.

  • Clip branches that have approximately 10-20 leaf sections.
  • Wash the leaves with a damp cloth to remove any dust.
  • Trim off any magnolia flowers or dead leaves
  • Once dry, apply mod podge to the leaves. Be sure to od the underside of the leaves too.
  • Starting with the bottom end of the first branch wrap the floral wire around several times as a base. Wind wire up through the branch up to the top. Hold the second stem at the top and rewrap the base of that stem. You are stringing together the stems with floral wire.
  • I don’t add anything to the wired garland because you can use it for any season. I like to tuck things in that aren’t attached. You can put this out in the summer and add white blossoms and oranges, in the fall and mini pumpkins, in the winter pomegranates and berries, etc. Adding something colorful is a good way to get a really full look.

I added berries and pomegranates and one of the pomegranates fell, landing on my reindeer antler. 😄

If you want to hang the garland over the front door or down your stair banister, use more floral wire and a command hook under each section will help to hold up the heavier sections.

I added the Greeting Card Christmas Tree that I made last year in July.

How to Store Your Garland

This garland will last for years to come since you have treated the leaves with Mod Podge. If you don’t have the time to paint each lea ( truth be told I didn’t finish mine) you can use acrylic spray or hairspray to preserve the leaves. Or you can clip new branches next year. It only takes a few minutes and you can compost your garland each year.

If you did preserve ALL the leaves you can store in an airtight container.

The Quick and Dirty Method

If this sounds like too much work here’s an easier hack. Just clip the branches off your tree and set them on the mantel of table. You can’t keep it for next year, but the clippings last for weeks.

This has been my go-to option most years.

Christmas in July Blog Hop

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  1. Such a pretty idea and we actually do have magnolia trees here! I need to try this! Thanks for the idea!

  2. Oh how I love natural elements for Christmas and your magnolia garland is just lovely!

    I also love your wood mirror~ It would perfectly match all the dark woodwork in my home and I have been looking for something a little different for my mantel or dinging room. Do you happen to have a source?

    Beautiful inspo! Happy Christmas in July!

  3. Such a beautiful way to display a magnolia garland on your mantel, Andrea. My parents have a huge tree in their front yard so I’m excited to pass this idea along to them. They’ll be tickled pink. Hope your summer season has been filled with all good things, CoCo

  4. Andrea,
    I love this idea and definitely need to try this. Thanks for sharing your talents with us today.

  5. Andrea, I have ALWAYS wanted to make one of these. I am still laughing over you trimming the tree in your neighborhood. When you come out in November, maybe we can do the same…but I will try and ask my neighbor first. Also never thought to Modge Lodge the leaves…just brilliant. You are right, faux magnolia leaves don’t look great. Last year I invested in one and was pretty disappointed. Thanks for much for sharing and so happy to be hopping with you!

  6. What a pretty idea! I love the DIY garland. Since we moved, we have two small magnolias so this one is on my to do list! Thank you for the inspiration! Merry Christmas in July!

  7. Hi Andrea!

    Your magnolia garland is amazing! I had no idea you could mod podge the leaves to preserve it. Genius! I pinned it to my holiday board to share. Happy Christmas in July!


  8. I love the idea of using natural elements!! Plus it’s free!!! Thanks for the idea!

  9. Ok I am obsessed with this garland! I wish we had magnolia trees here in Colorado so I could make one too. Yours is tunning and so pretty on your mantel!

  10. Oh my goodness! This is amazing. I love a magnolia garland. So classic. It was so much fun hopping with you.

  11. I love the look of magnolia trees. We don’t have many this far north in Nebraska, but I bet I could recreate this look with some faux stems. I may just have to try it! Thanks for sharing!

  12. I love real Magnolia and wish I was abnle to have a tree in NJ. I’m a huge fan of using nature as much as possible,for the colder months! Pinned

  13. So gorgeous, I’ve always admired magnolia wreaths and garlands, and yours is truly amazing with the pomegranates. Such a traditional southern and east coast look. Not many magnolia trees around here, but I love the look and need to try to find a faux look. just beautiful on your mantel with that round mirror!

  14. Well, we have a magnolia tree in the back yard, so guess what I’m going to try to do this year?! So happy to know your secret, and I think your mantel look so pretty!

  15. Your garland is so pretty! It looks beautiful on your mantel!

  16. This is so pretty Andrea! I love using magnolia leaves for Christmas decor. I made a wreath last year and bought the Mod Podge but never put it on the leaves. Thanks for inspiring me to make the garland as well.

  17. I fell in love with magnolias when I visited Waco! We don’t have them up here so I have to settle with buying bunches at my Trader Joe’s!

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