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25+ Ways to Decorate with Magnolia Leaves

Magnolia leaves are beautiful for home and seasonal decor. From everyday, to Thanksgiving & Christmas, here are 25 ways to decorate with magnolia leaves.

Hosting a party… celebrating the holidays… need a new wreath? Decorate with magnolia leaves for any of these occasions (and any time of year). The Magnolia is an evergreen tree and a classic choice for natural decor.

We have a gorgeous, massive, Magnolia tree in our backyard. During the holidays it is free seasonal decor, right out our back steps. I may never buy faux garland again. Magnolia trees are speckled throughout our tiny town and are an iconic natural beauty in the south.

If you have access to a magnolia tree, you’ll have plenty of magnolia leaves to decorate for the holidays – for free!

25 Ways to decorate with Magnolia Leaves and Blossoms

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What is a Magnolia Tree?

While there are many varieties of magnolia, the most well-known is the Southern Magnolia. These trees can grow over 60 feet tall and over 30 feet wide. They are big trees with plenty of limbs for decorating projects.

The Southern Magnolia is an evergreen tree with large, glossy, dark-green leaves. During the summer it will blossom, creating large, white flowers.

table with branches of magnolia leaves as a centerpiece

In addition to the whites and greens of a magnolia, the leaf also has a warm brown tone on the underside – offering even more for your decorating palette!

Why decorate with Magnolia leaves?

Magnolia is great for decorating during the holidays or for events (weddings, showers, special birthdays).

Large and relatively rigid, the leaves hold their shape on table settings, in wreaths, and in floral arrangements. Like the magnolia leaf, the stem is also sturdy, making it ideal for craft projects.

table setting with magnolia leaf napkin ring, glitter tipped magnolia leaf

You don’t have to be gentle with these leaves. Wrap floral wire around the stems and arrange them as you like: in a swag, on a wreath, or in a centerpiece.

magnolia leaf swag on a mantel for christmas

The surface of the magnolia leaf is a glossy, waxy finish that is not only stunning; but lends itself to other uses. For example, writing on a magnolia leaf is one of my favorite ways to use this pretty plant. Adorn gifts, create place cards, or label party favors with a magnolia leaf.

magnolia leaf gift tags, magnolia leaf gift wrap ideas
Elegant Christmas Table Setting with black, gold and a magnolia leaf place card

Plus, the underside of the leaf offers an additional color to mix in to wreaths and floral arrangements.

How to Decorate with Magnolia Leaves and Blossoms

With garden clippers, select low branches and limbs that can use pruning. Clip individual leaves or sections of branches, depending on your project.

Magnolia leaves dry beautifully, so they don’t have to be placed in water. Be aware that there will be some curling to the leaves as they dry. So, if you want them to be flatter, pick the leaf fresh prior to when it will be used.

A simple fall centerpiece with pumpkins, magnolia leaves and succulents. #Thanksgiving #Tablescape

Rather than simply letting the leaves dry, you can also preserve magnolia leaves for holiday decorating.

Magnolia blossoms can be clipped, too; but they will need to be placed into water.

25+ Ways to Decorate with Magnolia Leaves & Blossoms

These rich, evergreen leaves can work for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and more. Here are over 25 ideas to get you inspired to go clip some Magnolia branches.

Note: yes, a few of these aren’t magnolia, but they still inspire me to go clip beautiful magnolia leaves from our tree.

25+ Ways to Decorate with Magnolia

Magnolia Leaves are beautiful for home and seasonal decor. From everyday, to Thanksgiving & Christmas, here are over 25 ways to decorate with Magnolia Leaves.

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25 Ways to decorate with Magnolia Leaves and Blossoms

Patricia C. Staples

Wednesday 18th of November 2020

Preserve the leaves by painting the leaves( including the stem and outer edges) with Mod Podge

Lora Green

Thursday 19th of November 2020

I love this idea, Patricia! Thanks for sharing <3!


Wednesday 20th of November 2019

What is the best way to keep them fresh when putting in a wreath, swag or mantel. I live in Florida and use them all over my house year round. Would like to know if there is a way to keep them greener longer? Thank you for you help.

Lora Green

Saturday 30th of November 2019

That's a great question! I've only left them up for short periods, and haven't done anything to preserve them. There are some tutorials for "preserving magnolia" online, but they generally required more work/products than I wanted to buy for the short time we had our branches out. Sorry that I'm not more help! If you find out, I'd love to hear what you learn :)

Petrin Diaz

Wednesday 17th of January 2018

Oh!l. I love every project shown! Have an idea to hang a garland on a dry manzanita tree! Can you send to Puerto Rico? Or where i can buy these! I prefer dry ones! Thanks for your time!

Lora Green

Wednesday 17th of January 2018

I don't sell them, but search for dry magnolia wreaths or dry magnolia garlands - thanks!


Saturday 21st of November 2015

I love magnolia trees! Definitely going to need to do a few of these, thank you!

Saturday 21st of November 2015

You're welcome! Aren't there some beautiful ideas? How to pick? :)


Saturday 7th of November 2015

I am loving this! I grew up with a huge magnolia tree in my front yard and it was the first thing we planted when we moved into our home. Very beautiful ideas!

Sunday 8th of November 2015

Yes, they are such beautiful trees! I was so happy to have one when we bought this home.