Magnolia trees are a staple down here in the south, but there are so many varieties around the country that many of us are blessed with the vibrant evergreen (for some varieties) color of glossy magnolia leaves. And what better way to put those beautiful leaves to use than with a magnolia wreath you can make at home?
With just a grapevine wreath, some magnolia leaves, and hot glue, you can have a lovely magnolia wreath gracing your front door. Magnolia wreaths are perfect for the holidays, adorned with a red ribbon, but they really can be used all year long!
Why Use Magnolia Leaves?
Magnolia leaves are notorious for their bright green color, even in the seemingly dismal months of winter. So it’s no wonder they are a top pick for any wreath maker, especially around the holidays. The big glossy leaves are easy to work with and even the under side of the leaves is a beautiful velvety brown that is equally stunning.
Magnolia leaves are also typically free from pests (and pest damage), so they’re consistent and healthy. And since magnolia trees can grow to be enormously tall, if you have one in your yard (or in a friend’s yard) then you have a plethora of leaves to work with!
I am a firm believer in working with what you have, especially around the holidays! (See my Tomato Cage Christmas Tree tutorial that uses a tomato cage, tree limbs, and a planter!) So, head out to your yard (or your neighbor’s if you have permission) and see what you can find to create!
Different Types of Magnolias
You may be surprised to learn that there are hundreds of varieties of magnolias around the country, and each has unique qualities. Did you know not all are evergreen? The leaves from most of these magnolia trees may be used for your DIY magnolia wreath, and this will give some variety to the looks of the wreaths.
- Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)- These popular trees can grow 50 to 80 feet (average) and have glossy leaves that are 5-10 inches long. They do have the dark brown underside on the leaves and produce large, cream-colored fragrant flowers in the summer. This the type of magnolia we have in our yard, and it is more than 50 feet tall, so plenty of leaves!
- Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia ×soulangiana)- The saucer magnolia is a deciduous variety, so the leaves won’t be available for a wreath in the winter. However, this particular magnolia is a spring stunner with impressive pink and white blooms and a smaller stature than the southern magnolia.
- Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata)– The star magnolia is another deciduous variety that tops out at 20 feet. The white blooms on these smaller trees resemble stars, hence the name Star Magnolia.
- Teddy Bear Magnolia– This cultivar of the Southern Magnolia is smaller than its plant cousin and will only get to about 20 feet tall and 6 feet wide. It has the rich green leaves year round with a furry brown underside (hence the teddy bear name) and is a good fit for tighter spaces.
- Fairy Magnolia– If you happen to live in zone 9 or warmer, then the fairy magnolia may be an option for you. Its blooms come in a variety of colors such as pink and white, and it is reported to have the most fragrant blooms of all magnolias!
Materials for DIY Magnolia Wreath
Let’s get down to the supplies you’ll need to create your own magnolia wreath. As with all projects, try to use what you have. For example, if you don’t have a grapevine wreath, but you have a different type, try that and see how it works! Now, onto the supplies.
- 1 Grapevine wreath (any size you choose, but larger magnolia leaves look better on a larger wreath)
- Magnolia leaves (snagged from a nearby tree or purchased)
- Hot Glue Gun (low temp)
- Hot Glue sticks
- Ribbon (optional)
How to make a magnolia wreath
- Gather supplies and set them out on a clean work surface.
- Begin placing the leaves starting in the middle of the right side. Wedge the stem of the magnolia leaf into the grapevines, then glue the top of the leaf down. Place leaves in groups of 2 or 3, depending on the size of your leaves. Then layer the next group of leaves over the stems of the first group. Repeat.
- As your wreath begins to take form, don’t worry about any of the hot glue “strings” that you see. These can be pulled away later. Once your leaves have gone all the way around the grapevine wreath, go back and see if there are any gaps. If so, place some hot glue on a magnolia stem and slide it into place, securing the top of the leaf with more glue.
- Once your wreath is complete, use a pipe cleaner or florist wire on the back to create a loop for hanging. Use a nail in your door or a wreath hanger to show your DIY Magnolia wreath off for all to see! Optional: You can also add a bright red or red plaid bow to contrast with the glossy green leaves. This will certainly bring up the level of holiday spirit on your front door!
How long with a magnolia wreath last?
Fresh magnolia leaves should last for several months before their color begins to change. Wreaths that are exposed to direct sunlight will obviously not hold up as long as though that are used indoors. Some companies that sell fresh magnolia wreaths claim that the wreaths can last for years if cared for properly. Proper care includes using them in places with indirect light and storing them away in a cool, dry container when not in use.
If you follow these use and care instructions, then your wreath may also last for several Christmas seasons, making this craft well worth the effort!
Looking for more DIY Christmas Decor?
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