Monday, August 22, 2016

Creating a Magnolia Wreath

Living in Texas
we enjoy gorgeous Southern Magnolia trees.
A few blogging friends have asked 
how to create a magnolia wreath.

With the holidays upon us, or for anytime decorating,
I thought I would share another post on how to make a wreath
using fresh or dried leaves.

This beauty stands in our front yard and is nearly 40 feet tall.

I love to decorate with the trimmings
and here is an example for creating a
Magnolia Wreath.

You will find, it really is fairly easy to do.


To begin, I lay out all the branches usually cut from a needed trimming and gather the size of leaves I'll need for the wreath.

I use a simple green Styrofoam round  wreath
from the Dollar Store.
This one is about 14" round.

Next, I begin to cut the leaves and stems
and hot glue them on the wreath.

Going in one direction, I hot glue the leaves
to the top, front of the wreath
 and around the sides and inside area.
Keep in mind, these are fresh leaves.
The wreath will dry over a few weeks and become fragile.
You can still enjoy the wreath, but the vibrant green will have dulled and faded.
Some like that look too.

Moving the leaves up and down for interest and a natural flow
till all the Styrofoam ring is covered top and sides.

Once completely covered, it looks something like this.
The bottom leaves are placed in a cluster of three, 
where I planed to place a simple silk ribbon.

This is the backside.
No need to glue leaves to the back.
Just place enough around so you do not see the Styrofoam wreath.
The hot glue works great with
these strong thick leaves.
That's the beauty of using magnolia leaves, they are strong and easy to work with.

Once complete and the ribbon in place,
I hung it over a picture in our family/library room
using an over the door hanging hook.

While the wreath is fresh, it will last several weeks. 
Once it dries, it becomes more fragile,
but can still be displayed with care.

To design magnolia garlands I simply wire branches
together in the size needed for
topping a hutch like the ones I share below.
The garland below was very fresh in this photo.
The leaves lay down a bit over time giving a 
more relaxed and pleasing look.

In our dining room,
one Christmas I added  single leaf stems to evergreen for another garland style.
Little lights added to the garland make for a cozy evening glow.

Recently, I created another wreath
 and this time used
dried leaves.
I gathered the leaves and dried them over time laying flat
on a work table.

The leaves turned a faded green to brown.
To make the wreath,
I proceeded the same way as for the fresh cut wreath.

You have to be careful at this point since the leaves 
are fragile and can break.
I find them still to be easy to work with
if you just handle them with care.

After the wreath was complete,
I brushed a light coat of evergreen acrylic paint
over each leaf to make it look fresh again.

Lastly I brushed each leaf with a gloss finish varnish 
to give the wreath a bit of shine similar to  fresh leaves.

As you can see, this wreath was larger in size
and I simply added a jute ribbon.
You can see the leaves aren't as plump as fresh,
but can work.

The paint and gloss varnish brought the wreath back to looking fresher and hopefully with care, it will last throughout the season.

From the side you can see, the leaves are glued in place
to cover the Styrofoam.
For Fall I can add a pretty Autumn ribbon or bow.
For Christmas, Holiday ribbon will be perfect.

So that's it, easy isn't it?!?
Hope you try a wreath if you have a tree
maybe using faux leaves if you can find them at a craft shop.

Remember, these wreaths are made with real Magnolia leaves
and will not work with the Saucer Magnolia leaves
from that type of real tree.
Those leaves are just not sturdy enough.

Thanks for stopping by for a little crafting fun.
See you next week.

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