Garland Making 101

Tater Daddy gave his magnolia garland tutorial yesterday afternoon, and you know what?  Once you get the first couple of pieces latched together, it’s not as difficult as you might think.  

For several years before Tater Tot came along I bought pine garland at one of the nurseries in town and draped the doorway with it.  Little did I know, my husband took it apart one year to see how it had been made.  Either he had this magnolia thing in the back of his mind, or he was horrified at how much I was spending on something he was pretty sure he could figure out how to make.  Perhaps it was a combination of both.  At any rate, that’s the man I’m married to.  He’ll figure out how to do something and then give it a try.  It usually turns out pretty well.

I did the best I could with the pictures and all.  Tater Tot was with us, and our hostess has a cat, Simba.  Tater Tot has never been around a cat, so this was a big day.  They loved each other.  Until our little man tried to love Simba way too much, and then the cat disappeared.  You KNOW I’m going to post those pictures.  I can’t help myself, and I’ll get those out of the way.



Okay, so here we go.  To make the garland, you need magnolia, florist wire, and a good pair of clippers.

Clip the magnolia off the branches, leaving enough stem for wiring.


Then you start latching the pieces together.  You’ll need to wire the pieces together at the top and bottom of every new piece and probably several places in-between.  Otherwise, it’s going to flop all over the place!


You also need to keep the leaves going in the same direction.  It’s easy to get them all switched around, and then you’ve got a great big mess.  One thing that helps is to stretch it out on the ground and work that way.


If the garland looks a little bare in one spot, just wire in a piece until it looks like you want it to.

When you’re finished, you’ll have a beautiful magnolia garland that will definitely be different from any other house in the neighborhood.  And it will last several weeks, too.

Here’s what ours looked like a couple of years ago.


We may get really crazy this year and add some little white lights.

If you decide to try it, I hope these tips help.  If you have questions, feel free to leave me a comment and ask!  And let me know if you make one. I’d love to see pictures.

Merry Christmas!


30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Angelena@Little Mountain House
    Dec 06, 2008 @ 15:00:31



  2. Tatersmama
    Dec 06, 2008 @ 16:35:44

    Yee Haw ! Now I feel all inspired and I’m itching to get started !!
    I may or may not put up a Christmas tree this year, but I am definitely doing a garland or 2 !


  3. Heather
    Dec 06, 2008 @ 16:54:43

    Looks marvelous, simply marvelous! Whoever invented green florist wire was an absolute genius! Genius I tell ya ;).


  4. Kelley
    Dec 06, 2008 @ 20:06:47

    LOVELY!! Just lovely.

    And thanks for the congrats! Actually, my colors will be “pink & pink.”

    hee hee hee! : )


  5. Calista
    Dec 07, 2008 @ 00:02:56

    great!! I think I will try this with cedar, should work the same way, and I can actually get that without stealing it…………hee


  6. Jenny
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 21:29:01

    That is gorgeous!


  7. Becky E.
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 21:58:42

    Love it!


  8. Michelle
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 22:04:11

    WOW!! That’s beautiful!


  9. Amber
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 22:56:41

    I love that! I may try that next year. Looks beautiful.


  10. Laura Ingalls Gunn
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 23:16:18

    Oh your garland is so lush and lovely!


  11. Karin
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 23:56:31

    Oh wow that is one amazing garland. Love it death! Just so beautiful.


  12. Lamp Tramp
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 07:50:30

    Wow, that garland is to die for. That’s a lot of work, as long as your garland is. You must have an endless supply of magnolia leaves. I’m so envious. Your home looks beautiful, where do you live?


  13. Vicky
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 09:17:50

    Beautiful! Love what you did with the magnolia leaves! Merry Christmas!


  14. Ceekay
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 13:22:15

    Now that is yummy! I love it.


  15. Erika
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 14:00:31

    Wowie! It’s awesome!!


  16. Kathy
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 17:18:04

    OMG! Your garland is STUNNING! I absolutely LOVE it!


    Dec 11, 2008 @ 21:00:28

    Wonderful job with the garland and great instructions! You made it look so easy! Your home looks beautiful and ready for Christmas!


  18. Sugar Mommy
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 22:40:33

    Now THAT’S a garland! I think you’ve outdone the neighbors!!!


  19. chickadee
    Dec 12, 2008 @ 00:13:28

    i love that! wish i had some magnolia leaves.


    Dec 13, 2008 @ 13:27:57

    Your garland is beautiful! We had a magnolia tree at our old house and I truely miss it. Merry Christmas!
    -Cheers, Amy


  21. Justine
    Dec 04, 2009 @ 16:19:58

    Thank you for the tips! I refuse to by $40 strings of garland at the store and wouldn’t you know I’ve got a magnolia tree in the back yard with loads of leaves! Woot woot!

    Justine 😮 )

    Btw… found you through a google search.


  22. Trackback: Handmade Holiday
  23. Leslie Provost
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 13:30:58

    I tried the garland this year and it turned out great. I connected my magnolia leaves to just regular Christmas garland and it worked great. I did have to use wire in some places to


  24. Leslie Provost
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 13:31:27

    I tried the garland this year and it turned out great. I connected my magnolia leaves to just regular Christmas garland and it worked great. I did have to use wire in some places to keep it together. I have had lots of compliments. Really great idea.


  25. Caroline
    Dec 19, 2010 @ 15:51:30

    Thanks so much for the inspiration! We just finished ours: three hours in the making…we have double doors so didn’t go all the way down, but we did wreaths so hopefully that makes up for it 🙂 I’m originally from the north, so I’m used to boxwood clippings but these make so much more of an impact! Might post a pic later


    • Tater Mama
      Dec 19, 2010 @ 16:19:28

      Wow! Thanks for writing. I am so glad the post was helpful, and I’ll just bet that your front door looks beautiful, especially since you have double doors.

      Merry Christmas! Marian


  26. De Jenkins
    Sep 14, 2012 @ 08:35:40

    Thank you so much for sharing your tips and photos. Wish me luck. It is for a friend’s wedding.


  27. Rhonda Robertson
    Nov 18, 2012 @ 10:22:02

    Thanks for the tips! Looks like I’ll be playing in my huge magnolia tree today! 🙂


  28. Jen
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 15:19:06

    Looks great!….just curious, how long does it typically last for?


  29. Lindsay Dankworth
    Nov 15, 2016 @ 23:07:30

    Hello! I love your garland. About how many branches or bunches of Magnolia did you need? I’m trying to make one for my friend’s store for Christmas!

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    -Lindsay Dankworth


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