Saturday, January 23, 2016

Refreshing Your Dried Magnolia Wreath

Like most Southerners, I love a good magnolia wreath for the holidays (and throughout winter, let's be honest).  But within a year or two of buying a live wreath, you'll notice a change from this lovely state:
What my Weston Farms wreath looked like at initial purhcase via
...to something a little less colorful as it dries.  When my husband asked me why I was hanging a Halloween wreath up at Christmas I knew I was in trouble:


For the past few years I've been sprucing up my dried magnolia wreath with yard clippings, but the truth is this requires a lot of maintenance.  The clippings will dry out within a month or so, and then you have to go in and replace all of those.  And it's winter and cold outside and the last thing I want to do on my precious days off in January is to traipse around my yard cutting off bushes in 30 degree temperatures.  I needed a new solution.

My original solution -- add yard clippings with the wreath to give it more color.  But these clippings will dry out with time, and are only a temporary solution.  You can read more on this post about how I got this effect.
If you read this blog regularly, you're probably sick to death of me talking about High Point Furniture Market, but this is where I got the idea for my wreath solution.  While talking to a helpful lady (sorry I didn't get her name!) at the Weston Farms booth, she mentioned that she had repurposed her dried magnolia wreath by spray painting it gold.  Suddenly the obvious was right in front of me -- I could paint my wreath and bring back those beautiful green tones that makes a magnolia wreath so lovely.

What You Need:
I bought 2 different colors of green paint: DecoArt Americana Black Forest Green and DecoArt Americana Light Avocado.  You could probably go with a slightly darker shade than Light Avocado -- by itself it was really light and I mostly just ended up mixing it with the Black Forest Green to create different shades of green. You could use just the dark green paint only, but I think having varied hues makes the wreath look more realistic. I tried both a foam brush and a bristle brush and found the bristle to be much easier to use just because of the contour of the leaves.  



This is the part of the project I questioned my decision.  A lot.  You'll need 2 coats of paint for sure.

Paint some of the leaves on the underside too -- they'll come out significantly darker which makes for a great contrast.  And the underside of the leaf holds paint much better than the top which has a waxy surface that is harder to adhere to.

After the first coat.

The second coat is when you'll know you made the 100% absolute right decision.  You can really see here how light the "light avocado" paint color comes out by itself.  I decided I liked it for dimension though.


The End Result: It's almost like I bought a fresh, new wreath!  I'll keep you updated if there are any cons  that come up from painting the leaves, but as of right now, this is the best crafting project I've done to date.  Easy, and definitely the desired result.




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