You can make a fresh evergreen garland from Magnolia, pine, and cedar branches, and add some red berries. It’s not that hard! It is messy, but perfect for an outside mantel.
Watch the Video Below
Magnolia Branch Tips
Red Berries or Artificial Berry Picks
Green Paddle Wire
My Grandson Matt grabbed some clippers and snipped them for me. You just want the tips of the Magnolia branches. Put your branches in a bucket of water if you’re not using them right away.
We gathered cedar from the woods in the backyard and some pine branches. Other than the fresh branches, all you need is a rope base and some paddle wire. This is a cheap garland!
And while you are gathering fresh greens, keep in mind you might want extras for an arrangement here or there. Here’s a link to a simple Christmas centerpiece I did using artificial greenery, but fresh greenery would be so nice!
Use a sturdy rope for the fresh evergreen garland. It should support at least 4-5 pounds. I used a coconut husk rope from Lowes but you can use any kind. You can buy green paddle wire at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, or anywhere crafts and floral supplies are sold.
That’s it for supplies unless you want to add a bow or tiny lights! Work in an area that is easy to clean up because you will make a mess but the fresh evergreen garland will be worth it.
Putting It Together
Cut a rope the length of your garland. Add extra length if you want it to hang off the sides. We noticed a trend at the Dallas market where garlands were hanging way off on one side instead of being perfectly centered. Just a thought))
Start by layering your larger branches on top of the rope and then place smaller branches on top of the base branch. Alternate between Magnolia, cedar, and pine branches. They don’t have to be in any particular order, just try to keep the size somewhat symmetrical.
Wrap the paddle wire around the ends of the branches and the rope several times. Paddle wire helps you get a tight grip when you’re wrapping it around the branches and the rope, pull it tight. Don’t cut the wire when you finish a segment of branches, just make the next layer and keep going.
Start at the end of your rope and work backward sort of. I’m right-handed so I started at the right end of the rope and worked back to my left. Each time you lay the next branches down, position them over the stems of the previous branches and cover up those ends.
Continue layering branches and wrapping with the paddle wire until to get about a foot or so away from the end of your rope. Change the direction of the branches so that the end of your fresh garland will match the opposite end with the way the branches flow.
You can make this change of direction in the center of the garland also. This is helpful if you plan to add a bow in the center of the fresh evergreen garland.
David’s mom, Martha Martin, had some of her beautiful Nandina bushes loaded with red berries in her backyard. Thank you, Martha! These berries were so pretty, they looked like huge grape clusters.
Fresh berries will fall off, but that’s to be expected. You can use something like liquid Mop and Glow to coat the berries and give them shine. Just pour some into a spray bottle and mist the berries. I think it helps them to last longer too. Be sure to let them dry before inserting them into your fresh garland.
Tuck the clusters of Nandina berries into the garland here and there. You don’t have to secure them. You can use artificial red berries too!
We have tons of red berry picks at Trendy Tree. I have some that I’ve used year after year. I’ll give you some links below.
Don’t be afraid to mix fresh and artificial together! I saw Jay Swanke mix fresh flowers in a vase right along with artificial stems….who knew?
Red berry sprays are gorgeous all by themselves too! Take a look at this blue watering can that I filled with red berry sprays.
Here are some suggestions for red berry sprays that would look great with fresh evergreen garland.
XS9523 Wild Twig Berry Spray (used on my Christmas tree)
Wow….that’s a lot of berry picks to choose from and that’s not all of them! I didn’t realize we had so many varieties in stock until I started looking!
You can make a fresh evergreen garland with just one type of branch, or you can add in other greens. We live in the south so fir or spruce branches are not readily available to us, but they do make beautiful garlands!
Another way to create a thick evergreen garland is to start with a base of inexpensive plastic garland and just add in fresh branches. This is really a nice way to add fresh branches to an inside mantel. Secure the fresh branches to the garland using the twists of the plastic garland.
Have Fun with It!
Sit back and enjoy your handiwork, you’ll be so pleased! The length of time a fresh garland lasts will depend on your weather and climate. The colder the area, the longer it will last of course. But even in Mississippi in the winter, a fresh garland will last 2-3 weeks.
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