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How to Make a Magnolia-Leaf Garland

Follow these simple instructions to build a holiday garland made of magnolia leaves and juniper

Photo by John Gruen

In this video, Cal Crary, executive director of FlowerSchool New York, shows how to build a holiday garland made of magnolia leaves and juniper. Follow these steps to create your own cheerful swag. Expect to pay $75 or $80 for magnolia and $10 to $30 for juniper or cedar if you order from a florist.

1. Prepare the branches. Create a binding point on each foliage-dense magnolia and evergreen branch by pruning away leaves until 3 to 5 inches of the stem is bare, pulling off any leaves that are damaged or dead.
2. Start the swag. Tie a knot at the top of your nylon twine and then tie it around the base of your first magnolia branch. Then, wrap the paddle wire around the stem and twine to join them.
3. Bind the branches. Add a second magnolia branch and wrap the wire around again. Keep adding three new magnolia branches for every two pieces of evergreen to the base, wrapping the wire continuously without ever cutting it and always covering the previous binding point.
4. Finish the swag. To finish the base of the garland, wire a final arrangement of magnolia and evergreen to the end, and hide the string and wire mechanics with a pinecone.
5. Add decorative elements. Use the floral stem wire to attach pinecones and dried fruit to the garland, filling bare spots and hiding visible wire and string mechanics.


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