Y'all, I saw a magnolia garland last year and it was so gorgeous. It was about a foot thick and over the top beautiful. I knew no matter how many trips I visited Hubby's grandfather's magnolia tree, I didn't see myself getting enough leaves to make a 12 inch thick garland...so here's the simple version which I think turned out pretty darn cute. (And a big thank you to my sis-in-law for figuring out how to do it!)
First, gather your leaves. Find a cutie patootie niece like the one below to help you. She helped my sis-in-law and I gather as many as we could stuff in her car since we were going to use them for three or four houses. (Hey, when the word gets out that you can decorate with free magnolia, people notice and you become an instant magnolia magnet). I'm totally estimating here but I'd say that the garland took about 200 leaves to make.
Second, take three leaves of similar size and staple them near the stems into the shape of a fan.
Take a small rope the length of the garland you would like (I used what I had on hand, which was 18 ft of piping, and that worked out perfectly for around the front door) and starting at one end, wrap the stems around the rope with thin floral wire.
Keep repeating this process by layering the next set of leaves to hide the wire from the previous set until the entire rope is covered. Watch The Crown on Netflix while wiring, it makes it more fun.
My magnolia garland is hanging on top of a 'background garland' to give it fuller look. A faux garland here will work perfectly, I admit I couldn't find mine that I usually use, (imagine me being unorganized! Shocker!) so I made one using fir limbs.
I took limbs that were about two feet or so and wired them together every few feet toward the cut end of each branch, making the lengths that would hang down each side of the door first. Then I created what would hang over the arch by hanging a limb over the top of the door and wiring branches to it to fill in the gaps from there. (Lowe's and other places that sell live Christmas trees will have bundles of extra pieces for sale if you don't have any evergreen trees to trim).
Both garlands are hung by wrapping wire from the greenery onto 8 screws that Hubby put into the brick above the door's arch. (He used a 1/4 masonry drill bit). I put lights on the fir garland, then layered the magnolia garland on top. When you hang your magnolia garland, note the direction it's going. I ended up hanging mine up the left side of the door and then over the door's arch. I cut the rope at that point and hung the remaining piece of garland down the right side so that the leaves were pointing downward. I wired the two garlands together once on each side about midpoint, just to keep the magnolia garland from flipping backwards in the wind. Once that was hung, I wired in a few of the extra greenery pieces to the top at the center to give it a little more depth and then added a wired bow.
As most of you know, I like my projects to be quick and simple. This one took a little time but wasn't too difficult, and I love how it turned out! Last year I decorated with magnolia and fir and it lasted outside close to a month without withering. The magnolia doesn't always last as long as the fir, but even if it turns a little, it's still looks a pretty, velvety color.
Please comment if you have any questions or if I wasn't clear on any detail. And I'd love to post your pics if you make your own garland!
So glad you came by! Next up is how to make an arrangement in a dough bowl (or any bowl!) with real greenery. See you then!