How to make a beautiful DIY magnolia leaf garland to hang in your home for the Christmas holiday.
Are you ready for Christmas yet? I have to confess that all of my decor is up and my first handmade Christmas decor is complete. I made a fresh magnolia leaf garland for our big kitchen window.
This window is one of the reasons why I love our little cottage so much. It lets so much light in and the view of the woods next to the house is beautiful. There's nothing like it.
I think we appreciate it so much because we had 2 small windows in our Illinois kitchen. Not only did they face North but they also looked out onto our neighbors back door, that was about 25 feet from our house. They were nice enough neighbors but they could sit on their deck and see everything we were doing. Needless to say we always had the windows covered.
Anyway, last year I wanted to do something special to decorate our big kitchen window and bought a beautiful live garland. I loved it but it was expensive and, of course, it didn't last long. (you can check out last year's holiday kitchen, here).
This year I wanted window garland again but I wanted to try using fresh magnolia leaves. I've used them in my decor before and they always dry beautifully so you can keep them a bit longer.
I looked online and the prices for a magnolia garland were way more than I was willing to spend. Our window is 8 foot long so we need something that's about 13 feet in length.
Eeek...that equals a lot of money.
Not giving up on my plan (because those words aren't in my vocabulary), I started looking into making my own. I don't have a magnolia tree in my yard but I do have plenty of neighbors that have them and they were very generous.
Even if you don't have a generous neighbor with a magnolia tree, you can find them online. Yup, you can even buy a box of fresh magnolia leaves on the internet. You can get a box of around 350 for right around $50 (I checked).
I've never done this kind of craft before but figured out a plan and, as soon as they were picked, the hubs and I set to work wrapping the magnolia leaves.
Supplies to make a DIY Magnolia Leaf Garland
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This was really easy to do but it did take some time. We ended up spending about 2 hours, over the course of 2 evenings, to make our leaf garland.
We started out by wrapping 3 leaves together using floral wire.
How to string a magnolia leaf garland
Once we got a good pile going, hubs continued wrapping while I started attaching each trio to the covered craft wire.
There was no measuring involved. I just started attaching them so that the stems all faced one way, about 1 ½" apart.
The goal was to hide the stems and wire. You'll notice that this is a flat garland, meaning that there is only one pretty side. I would have loved to do both sides but it would have been difficult to hang it in the window (and the hubs would have killed me 😉 ).
I didn't wear gloves to do this but I recommend them, if you can. The floral wire really did a number on my fingers.
A little tip about the natural covered craft wire I used. Hubs wanted me to use cotton string we already had but, with that big expanse and the weight of the leaves, it probably would have stretched and drooped. I thought it would be wiser to use the covered wire and I was really glad that we did. It was really easy to use and there's no worry about it drooping.
And, because I love decorating with magnolia leaves so much, I crafted my own magnolia leaf wreath for our front door (and there's a video).