Easy & Free DIY Magnolia Wreath

How to make an easy DIY magnolia wreath with fresh leaves. Beautiful modern farmhouse, boho, wedding, Thanksgiving, Christmas decorations!

We love our DIY fresh magnolia wreath! Can you believe it is so easy to make, and it is basically free? This DIY magnolia wreath happened in a totally spontaneous way: I was taking a walk and saw a tree-trimming guy putting some magnolia branches on the curb.

Two minutes later, I walked by a cardboard box by the recycle bin. And a light bulb came on: maybe I will try to make a wreath using the magnolia leaves and the cardboard ?!?

Easy tutorial & video on how to make a beautiful magnolia wreath for free! It is long-lasting & looks amazing for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or year round!

So, what do you think? Doesn’t this magnolia wreath look elegant and stylish on the front door, especially considering it is free, and unplanned? 🙂

The other thing I like about it is that this beautiful wreath would be lovely not only for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but also for any time of the year!

*Some resources in article are affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

Check out the easy video and or skip to written tutorial below!

Step 1: Gather some fresh magnolia leaves.

Fresh magnolia leaves or dried leaves are both great. I painted some of the magnolia leaves gold and some silver, using Decoart 24K Gold Americana Decor Metallics paint  and Decoart Stesilver Americana Decor Metallics paint, I love these paints! Thank you Decoart for the gifts!

I made a big magnolia wreath, which measures 24″ across. For a wreath this size you will need about 100 magnolia leaves. It sounds like a lot, but it is very easy to collect this many under a big tree!

Some of you might be wondering “How long does a magnolia leaves wreath stay green?” If they are out of direct sun, magnolia leaves will age to a gorgeous light olive green, then turning to brown a couple of months later.

You can preserve magnolia leaves by soaking them in a solution of 1 part vegetable glycerin and 2 parts water for 3-5 days, then let dry in shade before use.

Step 2: Cut cardboard form for your magnolia wreath

make magnolia wreath backing with cardboard

Our front door is protected from the rain. If your magnolia door wreath is exposed to the rain, use a grapevine wreath form, or foam wreath form instead of the cardboard to make this wreath more weatherproof.

Make beautiful wreaths easily from foraged materials using a simple hack! See how to make a Honeysuckle or Grapevine wreath, plus gorgeous variations. - A Piece Of Rainbow

You can also make a grapevine or honeysuckle wreath form easily as shown in this tutorial!

Draw two concentric circles on the cardboard. Overlap the cardboard if it’s not big enough.

upcycled cardboard to make diy wreath

I used an 18″ bowl for the outer circle, and a 12″ bowl for the inner circle. You don’t have to use these dimensions, the key is that the cardboard section should be about 2-3″ wide.

cut cardboard ring for diy wreath

Cut out the cardboard ring shape. Make sections of the ring and glue them together if your cardboard piece is not big enough.

Make 2-3 cardboard rings. Overlap and glue them together for extra strength.

glue together 2 cardboard rings to form a wreath shape

UPDATE: we like the cardboard ring idea so much that we made some easy and beautiful kitchen cabinet wreaths for Christmas too! Tutorial here!

Step 3: Glue magnolia leaves onto the cardboard wreath form

Take a hot glue gun and use hot glue to attach the stem of the magnolia leaves to the cardboard wreath form.

make magnolia wreath by gluing magnolia leaves onto the cardboard form

Arrange the leaves in a fan shape. Alternate the green leaves with the painted leaves, and make them dense enough to cover the glued stems and cardboard.

finish DIY magnolia wreath with magnolia leaves

When you reach the end of the circle, carefully glue the last few leaves so they are tucked under the first ones.

modern farmhouse decor DIY magnolia wreath for free!

This magnolia leaf wreath would look beautiful hanging on a panel of reclaimed wood or any colored front door or interior doors! All you need is a door wreath hanger like this one, and some strings tied to the cardboard at the back.

boho style DIY fresh magnolia wreath great for weddings, Christmas, and everyday decorations

Now we have a fresh magnolia leaf wreath to decorate our door for Christmas and Thanksgiving! This wreath lasted for quite a few week in the cool weather outside.

beautiful DIY fresh magnolia leaf wreath on deep blue door

I really like the painted silver and gold magnolia leaves. They look modern and glam on a magnolia Christmas wreath, they are also beautiful among fall and Thanksgiving decor with golden colors. Next time I will make a magnolia garland like this!

We have some more beautiful decorating ideas using magnolia leaves in our Thanksgiving table decor ideas here!

If you love DIY wreaths, you would love this hack on how to make wreaths using a dry cleaner’s hanger!

How to make a stunning $344 flower wreath for $15! The easiest and most fun way to make a beautiful wreath with surprising materials! - A Piece Of Rainbow Blog

A couple more favorite ideas on decorating with nature’s elements: 24 Stunning pots for winter and Christmas decorations! No plants? Use cuttings!

How to create colorful winter outdoor planters and beautiful Christmas planters with plant cuttings and decorative elements that last for a long time! - A Piece of Rainbow

Make a beautiful and long-lasting centerpiece in 10 minutes!

Happy creating! See you next week!


  1. I made several wreaths last year, recuperating from foot surgery. I made the leaves and painted with acrylic paints. Most of friends and family cannot believe they are not real leaves. Didn’t have to buy a thing, as had some old wreaths and embroidery hoops plus the cardboard..Think and do is my middle name.
    Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of Magnolia leaves here in East Texas…HAPPY NEW YEAR 2024 to all and let’s pray for Peace and Tranquility…

  2. Gorgeous! Need your help: somewhere along the line I missed the part telling me what to do with the smaller inner circle-could you review? Thank you for bringing us all of your delightfulness!

    • hi Barb! sorry the comment got lost somehow! you would glue the inner circle of leaves to cover the inner edge of the cardboard ring. hope that helps! 🙂

  3. Putting this wreath together is an easy project for my seniors. I’m going to do several projets with them. Hanging of two wreaths was ingenious and so much nicer than the hanging bar. Thank you all for your comments.

    • Made this today and it took about 3 hours, start to finish. I found that I had to hold the stem in the glue until it was mostly dry or the lead would bend out of the wet glue. I didn’t paint of the leaves because I didn’t have any and didn’t care enough to go get some. We have a command strip with hook on our door already so I was able to hang it up immediately! Thanks for sharing this fantastic and free diy!!

  4. Love this wreath. I’d like to share a little tip if I may. Some people don’t like to use those hangers over the door as they sometimes leave a dent, so I usually make 2 wreaths and join them with a longer piece of string so that one wreath hangs on the outside and one hangs on the inside. They balance each other and the string leaves no mark even on Upvc doors.

  5. I made this wreath out of leaves from the dwarf magnolia tree in our yard. We soaked the branches in a solution of glycerin and water for a couple of days and the leaves have stayed beautiful for a month now. Your tutorial and written instructions were fabulous. This was a fun project for an evening and will be our winter wreath this year. Thank you so much!

  6. This magnolia wreath is beautiful. I saw this post last year and admired it so this year I will actually try it. Can this wreath be preserved for next year if I treat the leaves as you suggest?

    • hi kathleen, i found that magnolia leaves hold their shape even without preserving. you could save it for next year as it dries, i would tuck in some fresh green leaves because they do turn brown. 🙂

  7. Hi! I’m preserving leaves and making these as Christmas gifts this year. Do you have any idea how many leaves you painted per wreath? Also, have you tried preserving them yourself? Curious how long they will last

  8. Gorgeous wreath..and other wreaths on your site…and everything else I’ve looked at today. The pine cones, the packing tape labels, the newspaper wreath…just gorgeous way of doing things with all these things that usually get thrown away or are simply from nature. I seriously can’t decide which of these is my favorite today. They are all just perfect! So many ideas coming to mind as I’ve browsed through the last 3-4 hours..lol!

  9. It looks great! How long have the leaves lasted after only soaking them for 3-5 days? I had heard longer soaking would be necessary but if I can get away with 3-5 days I would be thrilled!

  10. ananda – this magnolia wreath was an accidental and happy find and it has left me DIY inspired! So beautiful and resourceful, thank you. I live in Colorado and have so much natural beauty to draw from – I’m going to hunt for materials today, I may not have a magnolia, but I’m going to make a wreath using the bounty from our other beautiful trees on our property. Thank you, again.
    Great blog! Glad I found you, (I originally searched for paper art and shadow boxes) I’ll be back for more art and craft inspiration!

  11. Your magnolia wreath is gorgeous – doesn’t need another thing added to make it “fancy.” The leaves speak for themselves and the little gold and silver you added just makes it sparkle! I just make a boxwood wreath from freah, preserved boxwood. Hope it holds up well.

  12. This is a genius idea, and I especially love the different colors, and the metallic is a great touch. I love natural decor, but never get around to doing much of my own. I’ve been inspired – sometimes, the best things to use are those unnoticed and cast-off things. Way to turn trash into an absolute treasure.

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