I’ve always wanted a magnolia leaf garland for my mantle. But first, we actually had to have a mantle. We finally have a lovely mantle in our living room, thanks to my handy husband! Here’s how I made my Paper Magnolia Leaf Garland.
- Green printer-weight paper, about 16 sheets 8.5×11 inch paper
- Gold/golden brown shimmery and/or matte scrapbook paper, about 6 sheets 12×12 inch paper
- White cardstock, about 5 sheets 8.5×11 inch paper
- Xyron 9-inch Creative Station (though any size Xyron sticker maker will work)
- Xyron 3/8 inch High Tack Glue Dots
- Leaf Template (see below)
- Cricut Explore (optional)
- Jute Twine
- 1/4-inch hole punch
- 2-inch round hole punch
- Tapestry needle
Directions Save the leaf template below to your computer and you can either use it as a template to cut the leaves out by hand, or upload the image into your Cricut Design Space and cut them out in your Cricut Explore. The leaf is one I found on Picmonkey.com, and it really looked like a magnolia leaf. But you can also just fold some paper and cut a classic leaf shape with your scissors. I’ve noted the number of sheets of paper you’ll need per color (using the noted sizes of paper that I used) in the supply list above. Using my Cricut Explore, I was able to cut six leaves from a 8.5×11 inch piece of paper, and 8 leaves from a 12×12 inch piece of paper. My leaves are 5.25 inches long by about 2.25 inches long. Here’s my Cricut Canvas for cutting out 6 leaves from a 8.5×11 inch piece of paper. But if you are cutting out the leaves by hand, you will need about 100 green leaves and 50 gold leaves, plus 15 leaves per magnolia flower. Again, you don’t have to use the template to cut them out by hand. You can fold you paper like an accordion and cut two half leaf shapes on the folds and cut out a bunch at once. And you don’t have to cut out all 150 leaves at once! Depending on the length you want, you can cut as you go. Once you have all your leaves cut out, fold all of the green leaves in half lengthwise. Fold about 2/3 of the gold leaves lengthwise. Cut the remaining 1/3 of the gold leaves in half lengthwise. Add adhesive to the halves. I’m using my Xyron 9-inch Creative Station, but you can use any size Xyron sticker maker for the size of these half leaves, which are less than 1.5 inches wide. And stick the gold half-leaves on some of the green leaves. Next, assemble the leaves in trios. Put a gold leaf, a green leaf, and a half gold/green leaf together in a fan formation. As you make your trios, alternate the order and which is layered on top to give your final product some depth an variation. Punch two holes at the bottom. Thread some twine through the holes and tie a knot in the back. Tie it tight but not too tight, to help keep the leaves in a fan. I also made some trios of just green leaves, to act as filler for the garland. Just like with fillers that you use with real flowers, the green paper was the least expensive as it was just printer weight paper. Now to make the magnolia flowers. Cut out 15 of the same leaves but in white cardstock. Then, roll side edges in with a pencil, as well as the top, to make them look like curly petals. Then take six petals and adhere them together in a flower formation, using Xyron Glue Dots. Then take six more petals and adhere them to the back of the first set of petals, in between those petals. Position the 2nd set of petals so they stick out a little bit more than the first set. Ugh, sorry this picture is so overexposed! To make the small petals in the front, take three petals and cut them in half in an oval. Cut off the leaf stem. No need to cut them in perfect ovals, in fact, keep them a bit rough to make them look more natural. You might need to re-curl the edges of the small petals. Form another flower with six of the small petals, adhering them to the center front of the first set of petals with the glue dots. Punch two 2-inch circles from the gold paper and use scissors to snip them all around about 1/2 an inch in. Then, scrunch the snipped edge upward. Repeat with the other circle except don’t scrunch it as much. Place a glue dot on the back of each one, stack them up, and adhere them to the middle of the flower. Repeat to make another flower! Now to assemble the garland. Thread some twine onto a tapestry needle and thread it through the twine you tied on the leaf trios. The top of the leaf should layer over the bottom of the leaf to hide the holes/twine that tied them together. Try to mix up the trios you put together, i.e. if the gold leaf is in the middle for one trio, pick another trio where you put the gold leaf on the left, etc. Put a trio of green leaves here and there as filler. The total length of my garland was about 80 inches, but I made it in 3 sections. The two sections that hang vertically are 20 inches each. I strung 10 or 11 leaf trios together, and I put some glue dots on the back of one of the magnolia flowers and stuck it to the top leaf trio. Then I tied knots at both ends of the twine to secure the garland, and formed a loop at the top end with the magnolia flower. I hung the loop on a hook on the mantle. Hello photobombing pig. Then I strung enough trios together to make a 40 inch garland. I knotted two loops on the ends and hung them on hooks. I added a 3rd hook in the middle to hang up the middle. Make one more 20-inch garland with the other flower and hang it on the other side. All done.
I’m so looking forward to decorating the rest of our new mantle this Christmas!
This project is part of Xyron’s 30 days of Holidays! Be sure to follow Xyron on Facebook to see all of the projects as they are posted on all of the Xyron Design Team members’ blogs!