Magnolia Tree Fall Wreath

By Kate Riley September 2, 2010

Fall is one of those seasons that just happens for everyone at a certain moment.  For me, last year, it was just something in the air.  This year, it happened to be the turning of the calendar to my favorite month of September. 

I was playing in the park with my girl a few weeks ago, and noticed the beauty of the fallen leaves from a nearby magnolia tree.   It was instant inspiration!  Up close, I loved the shape and caramel color of the leaves so I thought they would make a perfect wreath for our front door.  

golden magnolia leaves


This year, my requirements for a fall wreath were this: cheap and easy !   Here’s this year’s front door wreath, and the best part is that it cost me less than $5 dollars. 

 cg front porch fall wreath

The outdoor rug I found last year at Pier One.


cg front door magnolia wreath


Some of the magnolia leaves have a bit of shimmer . . . I couldn’t resist enhancing many of them with a little metallic craft paint.  


color medley  

I simply painted some of the leaves with various craft paints from my stash.

metallic paint on leaf


Then I wiped off half the paint with a paper towel to highlight the leaf’s natural beauty.

wipe off with paper towel


A little hot glue on an 18 inch craft ring from Michaels . . .

hot glue leaves


90 minutes later: a shimmery caramel colored front door wreath, tied up with braided jute twine and secured to the door with a 3M adhesive hook.  


cg front door magnolia wreath


Easy, inexpensive, and oh-so-autumn! 

cg girl and wreath


Magnolia leaves hold their shape for several months, so this year’s version should (fingers crossed) last through the season.  

Are you finally ready for autumn too ?   What are your plans to bring fall into your home this year?  Do share !






  1. That’s beautiful, Kate! I love magnolia leaves (if you have time and would like to know about part of my fascination with them, you can read this post: ).

    Anyway, I’ve painted many a magnolia leaf in my time, but I never thought to take advantage of their fallish colors! You’ve intrigued me to look at one of my favorite trees in a new way.

    I’m very slowly gearing up for fall this year. I have a number of pumpkins I’ve collected over the past 25 years, but I’m not quite ready to get those out yet. Part of my foot-dragging is our weather: it’s supposed to be 99 degrees here tomorrow! But perhaps I need to ignore the thermometer and just declare Autumn in my home!

  2. What a great idea!! I love magnolia leaves. I had a tree in my yard when we lived in Texas and it was my fave. I use faux magnolia leaves a lot in my wreaths. Your wreath is beautiful! I am loving the simplicity of it and it is perfect for fall. :)

  3. What a beautiful idea!! I’ve got to get on the fall wagon – HAH!

    Also loving the rug!! Where did you find that bessie?

  4. I really like that! I was distracted though by your gorgeous rug! Care to share where you found that? :)

  5. Our neighbours have a Magnolia tree that hangs over our garden, and so, we get the leaves… I think I might try and make this wreath with the ones I collect this year and pop it on the kitchen door! Thanks for the tutorial. Lx

  6. Beautiful wreath. I wish I had a magnolia tree, I’d make one of these.

    I made a wreath for our lake place door yesterday and a little centerpiece for the harvest table. We are here about 50% of our time since J retired.

    At home, I began putting a few things out, last week. Fall is my favorite time of year.

  7. what a great idea, we used to have a magnolia tree in our yard in San Francisco, I remember Isabella sticking them into the openings in the fence and creating quite the fanciful fence. As a wreath they look gorgeous! I have no plans for fall decorating, except to finish my master bedroom. Still not ready for fall! Janell

  8. WOW! I love it! The metalic paint really enhances the leaves so beautifully. :-)

  9. Love.It. I am absolutely making this today. My front porch looks like a summer funeral. Flowers are dying, I’m getting lazy. This is exactly what I need to start the sprucing! I’ll have to be sure to steal my neighbor’s magnolias before she gets back from work though :)

  10. How lovely….and a cute little face to go along with it!
    I never thought of using magnolia leaves after they’ve turned, but this looks wonderful!


  11. As we are living with my husbands parents while we wait for our home to sell in our old city, I have been helping her decorate this year for fall. I miss bringing out all my own Autumn Decor. I think she will love this look. Great job! Off to find a magnolia tree. Thank you for the inspiration.

  12. I LOVE THIS IDEA! It’s inexpensive and easy enough for my 3 year-old to help with. I think I will use maple leaves..just have to see what kind we can find.

  13. Beautiful. We don’t have magnolia trees in our area. We’re not quite ready for fall up here in Canada yet – the weather is still in the 30’s (90’s in the US). I don’t love fall because it means winter is near, but I do LOVE FALL. I love the smell of it and the freshness of the air. I love fall colours and walking in the beautiful coloured leaves. Reading your post made me look forward to the upcoming season.

  14. What a great idea! We have a magnolia tree, but it hasn’t started losing any leaves yet. Of course, fall is still a long way off for us here in Houston. I desperately want to start decorating for fall, but I can’t bring myself to do it when the temp is still in the mid-90s. :-(

    By the way, I loved the link party you had this week. It was so fun getting to see everyone else’s spaces!

  15. kate! I was just picking up some magnolia leaves off the ground and loving the texture and thinking of how lovely they would be in a wreath. of course, you actually did something with them, while they are still a pretty thought in my head :)
    happy thursday~

  16. I bought a magnolia leaf wreath 4 years ago and it has held up well. It was originally green and tan but all of the leaves have turned this caramel color. It is one of my favorite fall decorations!


  17. I absolutely LOVE the wreath and what you did with the metallic paint. Your creativity is astounding! Thanks for the great project idea/inspiration…

    Have a nice Thursday! :)

  18. That looks fantastic! I love that you used real leaves. So simple, yet so beautiful! I really need to get moving on the Fall decor! Yikes. It’s creeping in quickly. (Hard to believe when it’s still 95 degrees out! Ick.)

  19. I keep seeing fall items everywhere, but I am not ready for fall…until now! That wreath is beautiful. Makes me want to start thinking about getting out those fall decorations. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  20. Gorgeous! Makes me wish my hubby could pack some of the magnolia trees from our flip house and bring them back home with him this weekend. Unfortuantely, they’d probably all get crushed in his luggage and I’d end up with a mess to vacuum instead of beautiful leaves to turn into a wreath!

  21. It’s so pretty Kate! Our house is surrounded with these trees. Wonderful idea! The leaves are starting to drop now but we still have our summer weather. My fall wreath is looking pretty sad I can’t remember if I threw it out or kept it. We will see in a few weeks when I head up to the attic:)
    Take care

  22. GORGEOUS! So I take it, it’s ok to start taking out my Autumn decor? LOL I’ve been waiting for that crisp-cool day to do so but it’s been in the high 90’s here and I am just not feeling it! I can’t wait to start decorating for Autumn!!

  23. I’ve never had a wreathe of my own, and I REALLY like how simple this one is so now I want one! I ought to find some magnolia leaves… Holly might work, but there isn’t much around here of that. Most of it is deciduous plants and lots and lots of pine trees (ahhh, the PWN)

    Anyway, I want to try this :)

  24. hahah oh, I guess it would make sense if I wrote PNW correctly (pacific north west). silly me… I Just woke up, my brain is still scrambled eggs :P

  25. Great idea, I love it! I’m also a HUGE fall lover and cannot wait to plant my mums and winter pansies. My flowers are looking tired and dull so I’m looking forward to the warm fall colors.

  26. How pretty! I hope they last for the whole season for you! I’m with Meredith, pumpkin spice lattes definitely say Fall to me. No real plans so far, I feel so behind this year I am treading water to stay on top of things this week — my 2 boys started kindergarten and preschool and after school I feel like *I* need a nap!

  27. I love Fall. It’s my most favorite season and always makes me happy. Your wreath is beautiful! I may try a version of my own. :)

  28. What a great wreath! I love magnolia leaves and flowers. They do seem like Mother Nature colored them for fall once the leaves have fallen.


  29. Ooooh! Pretty idea for a fall wreath. I’m in VA and that will definitely be easy to do here.

  30. Oh girl! That is just gorgeous! I love magnolia leaves and what a great idea for fall. You come up with the best projects. I have no idea what I’m doing for Fall yet, got to get busy and come up with something.

  31. Love this wreath! Makes me wish I had a magnolia tree:( Keep the fall ideas coming…I’ve got my inside stuff out, but I’m stumped on my outside! Thanks for the sweet comment on my office area too..I appreciated it very much:)

  32. Your wreath is the epitome of Autumn – looks sensational! It’s spring here so we are decorating with daffodils, daisies and pretty flowers everywhere.
    Enjoy your cooler months!

  33. I’m working on it…hopefully, by the end of the weekend things will look a little different around here. I love the wreath…love magnolia leaves green or brown.

  34. love it.
    absolutely love it.

    mine is very similar but it’s the fake leaves that look as real as can be…all wrapped around a grapevine wreath…cheap and easy and screaming FALL.

    I’ll show it next week…..

  35. Even though it is Spring here I always add touches of Autumn to my Christmas decorating so thank you for this beautiful idea.

    Best wishes,

  36. I love this and echo the sentiment, “GOOD RIDDANCE SUMMER OF 2010!” I’ve always lived in apartments that had outdoor entrances (breezeways) and this is my first fall with strictly indoor entrances… somehow, I feel like my decorations lose something :(

  37. This is beautiful! I’ve always wanted to make a fall wreath. Sounds so simple I hope to make one this year.

  38. Your wreath is so pretty! You are right – the colors are wonderful. I love the extra shimmer you added.

    I hope you don’t mind. I linked your post to my Porch and Garden Party at

  39. Love it! A little bit sophisticated, which is nice. I did something very similar last year, and blogged about it: (with maple leaves from my yard) but I love the shimmer you put on the magnolia leaves. Maybe I’ll have to hunt some down and try it for this year’s wreath!

  40. I LOVE magnolias! A couple of years ago i started clipping bunches of leaves, spraying them metalic silver or pewter and putting them in my Christmas tree. They fill it in beautifully and add great texture.

  41. Kate I LOVE this!! – Stumbled and Tumblr for you too! lol
    Hey did Cathe tell you I’ll be visiting Napa Valley in Oct……we are hoping to meet up while I’m there!

  42. Girl, ok I have to laugh because at our old house we had tons of magnolia leaves everywhere. Never thought to use them in a wreath! Brilliant and lovely. Much prettier than all over the ground!!

    Thanks for coming to the fall nesting party!! And thanks for the encouraging words too! xoxo

  43. I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I linked to this post today from the new Home & Garden channel at Craft Gossip. :) My hope is to share many of the fabulous projects I see everyday with the vast CG audience. I hope you will not only stop by and subscribe to CG, but will tell your friends about the new category! Hope you see some traffic from it!

    Your feature will appear in the main Craft Gossip RSS feed, on the main home page and can be found directly here

    If you would like a “featured by” button, you can grab one here!

  44. Bellissime le tue cose, molto delicate e nuove! Certo tu non butti via niente, brava!!!Torno a trovarti se ti fa piacere. deny

  45. It’s beautiful! We do have a magnolia tree so this is on my DIY list. Thank you for the inspiration! I’m going to include your wreath in my highlights this week. :) Have a great weekend!

  46. I love your wreath! Never thought of painting leaves! How clever of you!

    I restyled my tired old fall wreath in 10 minutes. Would you take a look and tell me what you think? You can leave a comment on my post!
    Glad to find your blog. I am going to subscribe!



  47. This is just stunning! Love the shimmer. I have been wanting a more natural wreath for our fall door…not too orange halloweenish. I also must tell you I loved your spooky halloween bottle covers…I saw some at a recent craft fair and I thought…Oh, I can soo make these now thanks to you!

    And another random thought…I was joking with my husband about blogging and told him I could refer to him as Mr. Domestic Fashionista or even just Mr. Fashionista…needless to say, he did not think it was funny as I did. I said, there is this girl and she calls her husband Mr. Centsational. but apparently Mr. Centsational is a much more fantastic name than Mr. Fashionista. Oh well, should have thought of a different blog name!

    Love your blog!

  48. Great idea for fall decor! Your wreath looks awesome (and I love your rug too!). Thanks so much for linking up at our blog hop. I really appreciate that you were able to participate, and I hope to see you back next month :)

  49. Thanks for the inspiration! I just finished mine and I really love it! Also REALLY love your blog :)

  50. help ! We picked some Magnolia leaves 3 days ago, and they have curled and dried up…just like old maple leaves ! What can we do to get them to last ?

    • Hi Mary Anne, not sure what happened to yours, mine stayed flat and lasted for months, not sure of your variety. A tip though, pick the brown leaves that have fallen that are relatively new, the older ones are definitely crispier.

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