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How to Make a DIY Fresh Magnolia Leaf Wreath

This easy-to-make DIY fresh magnolia leaf wreath is perfect for the fall season, as well as the holidays. I’ll show you how I incorporated not only magnolia leaves from the tree in our yard but mixed branches of all kinds and dried oranges. A step-by-step tutorial is below.

fresh magnolia mixed branch wreath with fried oranges

I love making fresh wreaths for the holidays. It’s a simple way to decorate for fall both indoors and out.

Creating a DIY magnolia fall wreath is a great piece to use alongside my favorite vintage fall decor but you can absolutely use magnolia wreaths for Christmas too!

Living in the Pacific Northwest definitely has its benefits with an abundance of evergreen pine trees everywhere you look in Western Washington.

magnolia leaves on tree

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magnolia tree
Our magnolia tree

Our Magnolia Tree

What I didn’t realize at the time we moved into our home 11 years ago was how amazing it would be to have a magnolia tree on our property.

If I’m going to be completely honest, I didn’t much care for the tree at first. Don’t get me wrong, I love the actual magnolia flowers it produced, but the leaves and pods that drop in late spring and early summer were absolutely irritating.

But now I’ve learned to appreciate all that this beautiful magnolia tree has to offer. These gorgeous leaves are perfect for making DIY projects such as beautiful garlands and wreaths. The glossy leaves, and the velvety textured rich and rust-colored underside of the leaf, create an amazing contrast.  

Magnolia Leave Options if You Don’t Have a Tree

If you don’t have a magnolia tree or a neighbor who does, most floral nurseries have magnolia leaves in the bundles. A single stem has quite a few leaves on it, so it doesn’t take many. You can really use one branch, and then wire the bundle to the wreath.

Purchase artificial wreaths and garlands from a craft store or online. These can be easily decorated and customized for your personal style and theme.

Buy fresh greenery like pine, cedar, or holly branches at a local florist or garden center.

materials needed to make a fresh magnolia mixed branch wreath with fried oranges

Materials Needed for a Fresh DIY Magnolia Wreath

magnolia leaves

The Steps to Making a DIY Fresh Magnolia Leaf Wreath

You can choose to only use magnolia leaves for your wreath and will look beautiful. For this wreath, I’m adding a few natural elements to not only create interest but also to add contrast.

greenery for the fresh magnolia mixed branch wreath with fried oranges

Step 1: Bundle Magnolia Leaves and Clippings

Bundle about 3 to 4 branches of your tree clippings, and trim them so they are all the same height. Cut a long piece of floral wire and wrap it tightly around the base of the clippings to secure. Leave enough wire on both sides to tie to the wreath.

Note: I found that it works better to use one continuous piece of wire for the entire wreath because it’s more secure. It’s a personal preference.

If you choose to use this method, be sure to anchor the wire to the wreath frame by twisting it back around itself to secure it.

greenery being tied onto the wreath

Step 2: Wrap the Magnolia Leaves Around the Wreath

Wrap each bundle around the wreath form with floral wire, overlapping them so that the stems are covered by the leaves of the next bundle. Place slightly offset of the tree branches then secure to the wreath with wire.

magnolia leaves being tied to wreath

Step 3: Continue Wrapping to Complete the Wreath

Continue making the greenery sets, working around the wreath, and layering one set on top of the other as you work around the wreath.

greenery added to make fresh magnolia mixed branch wreath with fried oranges

Step 4: Make Sure Your Wreath is Secure

If you have decided not to use a continuous piece of wire to attach the branches, take the floral wire and wire wrap all the branches together to the wreath about every 3 inches until you complete the circle, to make the wreath more secure. 

dried oranges

Step 5: Add Dried Oranges (Optional)

*Use this step if you are going to use dried oranges on your wreath.

Using the floral wire, create dried orange bundles (each with three slices) by threading the wire through the orange slices. Gently twist the floral wire to secure each bundle. Leave enough wire on your bundles so you can attach them to the wreath. Attach the dried orange bundles throughout the wreath.

fresh magnolia mixed branch wreath with fried oranges

Step 6: Add Seasonal Decor

Add ribbon, bows, pinecones, raffia, or anything else to your magnolia wreath to create and personalize it and make it your very own.

Create magnolia wreaths for Christmas as well as for the fall season. They are a great seasonal decor piece for both inside and outdoors.

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Shop my favorite online holiday home decor items from Christmas trees and stockings to candles and pillows.

Common Questions About Making DIY Fresh Magnolia Leaf Wreaths

How Long Will a Fresh Magnolia Wreath Last?

The longevity of a fresh magnolia wreath depends on various factors, including the environmental conditions, how it’s cared for, and the freshness of the magnolia leaves when the wreath is made.

On average, a well-maintained fresh magnolia wreath can last anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks or even longer under the right conditions.

Keep the wreath cool and spritz with water every few days. Refresh the wreath if you notice some leaves are browning or becoming brittle by removing them and replacing them with fresh magnolia leaves.

How Do You Make Cut Magnolia Leaves Last Longer?

Magnolia leaves are known for their beautiful glossy green appearance, but they can start to wilt and brown relatively quickly once cut. To make cut magnolia leaves last longer and maintain their freshness, you can follow these steps:

  • Harvest at the Right Time: Choose mature magnolia leaves that are free from blemishes or damage
  • Cut at an Angle: Use sharp pruning shears or scissors and make clean, angled cuts.
  • Remove Extra Foliage: Strip any leaves or branches from the lower portion of the stem that will be submerged in water.
  • Prepare a Vase: Use a clean vase or container filled with lukewarm water and make sure it’s tall enough to accommodate the length of the magnolia stems.
  • Add Flower Preservative: Flower preservatives contain nutrients and antimicrobial agents that can help extend the life of cut foliage.
  • Keep Cool and Avoid Direct Sunlight: Place the vase in a cool area away from direct sunlight, drafts, and heat sources.
  • Mist the Leaves: Lightly mist the leaves with water daily to increase humidity and keep them hydrated.
  • Trim the Stems: Trim a small amount off the bottom of the magnolia stems every few days.
  • Prune Wilting Leaves: Carefully remove wilted or brown leaves from the stems to prevent them from affecting the rest of the foliage.

The leaves will become more brittle as the wreath ages, so wipe it gently with a soft cloth to clean it without breaking the leaves.

What Can You Spray on Magnolia Leaves to Preserve Them?

Spraying magnolia leaves with a preserving solution can help maintain their color and prevent them from drying out too quickly.

Clear acrylic spray sealer, hairspray, pressed flower and leaf sealant, or a solution of one part glycerin to two parts water are all options to help preserve the magnolia leaves.


Test any preserving solution on a small, inconspicuous section of a magnolia leaf first to ensure that it doesn’t cause any unwanted discoloration or damage.

Keep in mind that preserved magnolia leaves may still change color slightly over time, but these preservation methods should help them retain their shape and texture for an extended period.

What Season is a Magnolia Wreath for?

Because of their versatility, a magnolia wreath can be used for various seasons, including fall and winter.

fresh magnolia mixed branch wreath with fried oranges

Can you believe how easy it is to make a DIY fresh magnolia leaf wreath? I hope you’re inspired to make your own wreath for the fall season or for the Christmas holiday season.

If you have any questions or additional suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments below. And be sure to share this blog post link with anyone who may want to make their own magnolia wreath for the fall and winter seasons.

Until next time,

Happy Wreath Making!

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Fresh magnolia wreath

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  1. Beautiful! My magnolia has spots all over the leaves and wouldn’t be very pretty! Will see what else I can get to use! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh I so hope that you do get a chance to make one with your tree Cindy. And thank you. Merry Christmas my friend.

  2. Beautiful, Kim! We have a magnolia tree … although she’s a little stressed after our house and landscape renovation. Hoping the winter rains revive her. I’m pinning and saving this project for next Christmas. Absolutely love the dried oranges. xo

    1. I’m sure your sweet tree will make it Juliet. I’m so excited that you will be trying to make one next year.Thank you!

  3. Love this so much, Kim! I have clients that is planning for next year so I’m putting this on her board and sending her this link right now. She’s going to be so excited. Thanks for the easy step by step. Big hugs, CoCo

  4. It looks beautiful Kim! You are so lucky to have that gorgeous Magnolia tree to cut from! I love seeing how you made it. I want to make one now! xoxo

    1. I can’t believe I waited this long before using the magnolia leaves. See what Instagram and blogs do to you? So much inspiration. Glad I tried it.

  5. I’ve made wreaths with salal leaves for yrs. Its wild here in the PNW as you know….I live in gig harbor….Do you think thats a good alternative?

    1. I think salal leaves would be beautiful in a wreath. I don’t have any of it around here or I would use it.

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