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How To Preserve Magnolia Leaves For Holiday Decorating

See how easy it is to preserve fresh magnolia leaves and use them in your Holiday Decorating.

close up of magnolia leaf wreath diy


Last week was the start of the Deck the Home DIY Challenges and it was all about Door Decor.  You can see the little red truck wreath I made here.

This week the challenge is 2-Hour Holiday Decor Projects. Be sure to read all the way to the end of this post and click the link so you can check out the rest of the amazing holiday projects. 

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I’m thrilled to be sharing this gorgeous magnolia leaf wall hanging. I’ve been crafting for way longer than I care to admit and this may totally be one of my favorite crafts ever!

preserved magnolia leaves with sugared fruit

The funny thing is, this project totally happened by accident. Don’t you love when that happens? I was at Trader Joe’s checking out the flowers for my Thanksgiving Tablescape when I spotted these gorgeous fresh magnolia leaves:

magnolia leaves Trader Joe's

Aren’t they beautiful? They are huge and a large bunch was only $4.99. I scooped up two bunches without even knowing what I was going to do with them.

My mind was scrambling with ideas, but I knew I wanted to preserve them so they could be enjoyed for more than one Holiday season.

Let me show you the easy way to preserve magnolia leaves.

How To Preserve Magnolia Leaves


Step 1.

Use the gardening shears to snip all the leaves off the stems.

magnolia leaves being cut

Step 2.

Use the foam brush to apply mod podge to each magnolia leave. 

mod podge

You do need to add the Mod Podge to both the front and back of the leaves. This is time consuming, but so worth it for the end result!


magnolia leaves with mod podge

Step 3.

Allow the leaves to dry overnight.

Step 4.

Spray the entire wreath, front and book with 2 coats of Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer.

Allow to dry and you are ready to use them in your holiday decorating.

mod podge on magnolia leaves

Now I will show you how to make an oversized holiday wall hanging.

How To Make A Holiday Wall Hanging With Magnolia Leaves


sugared fruit

You can usually find open frames at the thrift store for just a few dollars. This is the frame I started with:

thrift store frame

Step 1.

If you have pine trees available, snip some stems and hot glue them to the frame. If not, you can leave them out. I just felt it gave extra texture and more of that holiday feel.

These are not preserved, but can be removed after the holidays.

pine stems on thrift store frame

Step 2.

Begin hot gluing the magnolia leaves to the frame. I started in each corner with 4-5 leaves.

magnolia leaves on frame

Continue adding leaves until the wreath is full. I used two full bunches which is about 60 leaves.

magnolia leaves on frame base

Step 4.

Hot glue three sugared fruits to each corner of the wreath. I opted to paint the red fruits with silver metallic paint, as it goes with my holiday color scheme.

silver paint on sugared fruit

fruit on wreath

I love to use sugared fruit in holiday decorating. You may also want to check out the sugared fruit wreath I made last year.

close up of sugared fruit


This is such an inexpensive project, especially if you are lucky enough to have a magnolia leaf tree. Another option for preserving the leaves is to use glycerin.

This wall hanging is such a statement piece and can be used in so many different ways. Here I show it on an old window:

magnolia leaves wall hanging on window


I hope you enjoyed this post. If so, please PIN the below image:

magnolia leaf wall hanging


Below is the link to this month’s 2-Hour Decor Challenge projects.


See More Holiday 2-Hour Decor Projects

Follow me on social media below:

Traditional Thanksgiving Tablescape
Simple Thanksgiving Tablescape With Thrift Store Finds
buffalo check holiday gift guide
It's A Very Merry Buffalo Check Christmas Gift Guide

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Wednesday 18th of November 2020

Will mod podge work on the leaves if you leave them on the stems?


Wednesday 18th of November 2020

I have never tried them with the stems on, so I don't want to answer. I would test one and give it a few days to see how it looks. I would imagine it would work. Definitely give the leaves a few good coats front and back.


Friday 23rd of October 2020

I just spend a small fortune on the most beautiful bunches of magnolia leaves I want to preserve for holiday decorating. How long did the Mod Podge leaves hold up? I've tried glycerin before and it didn't work well for me.


Saturday 26th of September 2020

Thanks for sharing. How long will the magnolia leaves last?

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