Learn how to make a magnolia garland for your holiday decor! Magnolia leaves make the most spectacular holiday accessory and they dry beautifully in this handmade magnolia leaf garland.

Creating a simple, lightweight magnolia garland is so much simpler than you might think! Learn how to make this gorgeous holiday garland with a simple template, glue, and pretty magnolia leaves.

A white fireplace with a handmade magnolia garland hanging from the mantel.
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Creating your own holiday decor from items in your backyard (or your in-laws) is cost effective and provides a classic, custom look for your home. This magnolia garland project only took a half hour!

When I created this magnolia leaf garland, I knew I needed it to be fast, simple, and lightweight. Many of the online tutorials I found for garland involved florists’ wire, heavy stems, and a big investment of time and energy.

This method makes it so easy! I was really impressed with how quickly it came together and how sturdy it was. If I can do it, anybody can- I promise!

I love creating affordable, fast and realistic simple holiday decor. I’m something of a minimalist, and I don’t like storing bins all year long- which means I’m an expert at all things fresh and floral!

Magnolia Leaves

I love magnolia leaves for their versatility, vibrant green color, and shape.

They are a shiny deep green on one side, and often you’ll find a velvety caramel brown color on the reverse. The leaves are large and flat, with a rounded oblong shape.

They dry beautifully too, meaning this garland looks lovely whether it’s fresh or dried! For a glimpse at how the magnolia leaves look dried, check out these dried flower arrangements.

If you choose, you can also make this magnolia garland out of faux magnolia leaves. Then you can use it from year to year, although your investment will be significantly more up front!

A magnolia garland hanging on a white fireplace mantel.

How to Make a Magnolia Garland

  1. To start, print and cut this template on card stock.
  2. Staple the pieces together 1-2 times, but leaving a small gap between them. This allows for movement.
  3. Next, using cut magnolia leaves, working from the bottom up, glue the leaves to the card stock three at a time.  I glued one face down and 2 face up for some texture and added color.  Add each set an inch to two inches above the previous set.  


Use a ribbon (rather than card stock) for pieces that hang down, proceeding in the same manner with your glue.

How to Hang Garland

Hang with 3M command strips on mantles or use pipe cleaners to safely hand on a banister.

Looking inside a house decorated for Christmas with a mom and dad holding a toddler.

Where to Hang Magnolia Garland

This type of fresh holiday garland can work far beyond your mantel this year!

  • Porch Pillars
  • Over a Doorway
  • Down a Dining Room Table or Buffet
  • On Mailbox
  • Stair Banister
  • Mantel

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does magnolia garland last?

Fresh magnolia will last in its fresh state for 2-3 days without water. It will dry beautifully, though, and can last as a dried leaf for up to three months. For longer lasting fresh holiday greens, try a wilt stop product to extend freshness.

Where can I buy magnolia leaves?

I had great luck nabbing magnolia leaves from my in-laws’ back yard, but if you need to order some, call your local florist or order online from a reputable site like Fifty Flowers.

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  1. I’m sorry, I didn’t save it, but do share a lot of free printables on my blog, so make sure to check them out! I enlarged the Martha templates (link above) and it was so easy!!! Enjoy!

  2. Hi there! You were found on Pinterest! Love this garland. You mentioned in your blog that you went ahead and created the right size template. Is there a link for it? Thank you!!:)

  3. Are these fresh-cut magnolia leaves? Or are they preserved? I have a southern magnolia tree in my back yard and have been wanting to create something like this!