Beachwood Place
Beachwood Place
  • Hometalker
  • Virginia Beach, VA

How to Preserve Magnolia Leaves & DIY Magnolia Wreath

I have been preserving my magnolia leaves for about a week now. It's super easy!

All you need is:

  • Magnolia leaves/branches
  • Glycerin Water
  • Containers
  • Hammer
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In a bowl or container, add 1 part glycerin, two parts water. Stir the mixture, then place leaves in the mixture making sure not to overlap. You will need to lay another container or plate on top of the leaves to keep then submerged into the mixture. Leave for about 3-4 days, then pat dry with paper towels. You can use the same technique for preserving your branches with the leaves still on them.Cut the ends of the branches, then lightly hammer each end of the stem to reveal the veins. Arrange the branches in the glycerin solution for about a month. Make sure you keep them out of direct sunlight.

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I'm excited to share how easy and inexpensive it is to make your own magnolia wreath! Visit Beachwood Place to see how. Also on this post, a 10 minute diy Fall vase for only $12!

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Beachwood Place

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

16 questions
  • Marinell
    on Dec 6, 2015

    Can I put all the leaves I need for a wreath in a bucket with glycerin and water? What happens if I don't preserve the leaves?

  • Alisha
    on Dec 20, 2015

    How long will these last when preserved? I want to make 60 foot garlands for a fall wedding bug I still want green not all brown in the garland.

  • Diane Rich
    on Jul 17, 2016

    This link for the magnolia wreath is not working. Please post the link again. wreath

  • Jennifer
    on Sep 16, 2016

    On one person's question, you wrote that they can put all the leaves in one bucket, but wouldnt that mean the leaves would overlap (you said don't overlap in article)? I'm not really sure how you can prevent overlapping though with the amount of leaves we would be using. Can you explain further? Thanks.

    • Mickie
      on Sep 24, 2016

      I put all my leaves together in a shallow sweeter type storage box. As long as they are all submerged and you pound the end of the stems with a hammer (so that the glycerin/water can enter) they should turn out fine! I'm in Dallas Texas and got a gallon of glycerin for 14.00. 😉 I used it all as I have 300 leaves soaking.

    • Mickie
      on Sep 24, 2016

      Also* for greener leaves add green food coloring, and when you mix your water and glycerin use hot water so that you can stir well to ensure the glycerin incorporated into the water!

    • Laura Lee Meyers
      on Nov 15, 2016

      How long will they last green? Will this mean they don't turn at all? I want to make a wreath but I don't want to make it and then they turn brown after a couple of weeks.

  • Lisa Thompson
    on Oct 27, 2016

    I have preserved magnolia leaves using the solution in your post. I pounded the stems and placed them in a glass vase. I left them out of sunlight for 5 days. When I took them out they were green. Within a few days they started to turn brown. What did I do wrong?

  • NLN
    on Nov 8, 2016

    Where did you purchase the glycerin?

    • Becky
      on Nov 10, 2016

      It can be found at Hobby Lobby in the soap making aisle.

    • John
      on Nov 12, 2016

      I looked all over the place--pharmacies, supermarkets, etc. then found some at Michael's (Craft store) but it was 3.15 for 2 oz! (It was in the cooking section?) Then a guy at the GNC in my town recommended a local food store and I got 16 oz for $8.99. It's also available online for purchase. The stuff I got is a brand called NOW. It has worked really well on the hydrangeas, holly, and magnolia that I am prepping as Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts and decorations.

    • Beachwood Place
      on Nov 14, 2016


  • Nun16565707
    on Mar 7, 2017

    I found glycerin at Walmart?( In the Health and beauty section) Is it the same as Hobby Lobby.

  • Danielle Gurgiolo
    on Apr 16, 2017

    What happends when you over lap the leaves while in the glycerine ?
  • Dawn
    on Jun 1, 2017

    Can I use glycerin soap or does it have to be straight glycerin to preserve the leaves
  • Malorie
    on Jul 14, 2017

    I followed this process. It's been 3 days and I just took the leaves out of the solution and dried them but many have splotches of brown... what did I do wrong?
  • Terri
    on Aug 7, 2017

    Can you use a soap with glycerin or does it need to be pure glycerin
  • Betsy Thompson Crump
    on Oct 6, 2017

    How long will they last once they are preserved?
  • Ove30029293
    on Oct 12, 2017

    How long do the leaves last after they are preserved?
  • Marsha Wafford Spence
    on Nov 19, 2017

    My magnolia leaves got black spots on them after a few days in solution What caused this?
    • David Womack
      on Apr 2, 2018

      my experience is they absorb the glycerine and darken. But they remain flexible. You can then keep the arrangements with out leaves shattering.

  • Sherry Brown
    on Dec 6, 2017

    Do you mix up a new glycerin solution for the second soak for a month it use the previous solution?
  • Suzy Dixon Fuller
    on Sep 13, 2018

    Will this work for hydrangea leaves also?

Join the conversation

2 of 23 comments
  • Tanie York
    on Nov 29, 2016

    I'm trying this. I'm staying with my mom in GA as she is ill. It is 11/29 and I want to make a swag and wreath for her as a surprise. I was inspired by the Giant Magnolia tree in a neighboring lot and asked the neighbor today if I could have leaves. He said take as many as you would like. I am going to photo the process including collecting the leaves in the rain in the morning. It is our project. :-)

  • Bar21094213
    on Oct 11, 2017

    Just found this info, my leaves have been air drying in the stem for about 3 days. I was told to purchase dried flower preservative from Hobby Lobby. After I cut the leaves off the stems I found I had to do this outside. Its night time and raining so I had to wait till this morning now they are more dried and curling. Can I still do this with glycerin or is it too late
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