Monday, December 8, 2014

Decorating with Magnolia Wreaths

Magnolia trees are about as Southern as it gets, and one of the great things about these trees is that you can find them in abundance in our area (just drive down Western Blvd by NC State's campus if you need some verification).  Another perk: they stay a lovely green year round.  Decorating for Christmas with magnolia gives your traditional pine or evergreen a marked enhancement -- the leaves are broad and multidimensional in color ranging from a deep green to a golden hue as the leaves dry out.  And if you are driven, you can make your own magnolia decorations by trimming a tree in your backyard or finding a nice selection of community trees (like State's that could use a good trimming anyway) and then incorporating your cuttings into wreaths or garlands.

Magnolia wreath with eucalyptus via

Magnolia garland via

Traditional magnolia wreath showing the range of color you can get from fresh cuttings! via
Magnolia and evergreen combination via

Three years ago I bought a fresh magnolia wreath for our front door when it was on a big clearance from The Magnolia Company.  It was the most beautiful wreath -- really similar to the third image above.  But now the wreath has fully dried out, and my husband commented when I hung it on the door that he thought that was a "fall" wreath and where was our Christmas wreath?  Oi.  Luckily evergreen clippings are a great quick fix, so I ran around the wooded areas of our neigborhood clipping evergreen trees (I stuck with the cypress family since I'm not crazy about having pine needles all over our front porch).  I'm not saying that it is as nice looking as the above wreaths, but it's a fast and free quick fix if you have a dried wreath that needs a little life.  

Before Ok he had a point, it does like a dead leaf fall wreath:

After #1:  I started with adding some evergreen clippings from the leyland cypress trees that are abundant in between most of our neighborhood's yards.  These will stay green and don't shed pine needles!  But it felt a little incomplete when I took a step back.

After #2: I accumulated some holly bush clippings from the backyard and incorporated them to add a different leaf texture.  These have the added bonus of being short and fat, so you can put a lot of smaller cuttings into the wreath to "fill it out" if you will.  Much better.

And  then if you have some leftover clippings you can always put them in a little vase inside to decorate a mantle or table top in a more "natural" way.

 The great thing about live clippings is that they are so easy to come by just walking around any public space even if you don't have a yard of your own, and plants always add instant life to your home.  This entire project took just a few minutes to complete, and will keep me being able to use my magnolia wreath for years and years to come since I can always incorporate new fresh clippings every year, and maybe even some pine cones or red berries next time.


  1. Wow it's so beautiful! Thanks for sharing this! =)


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  2. oh these are beautiful, magnolias are my favorite flower!