When it comes to seasonal decor, I’m a bit of a minimalist. I like it when my home feels a little festive but don’t want to store a bunch of stuff that’s only displayed for a few weeks out of the year (with the exception of Christmas stockings, of course!). So DIYing something that brings a little seasonal spirit inside and magically works all fall and winter is more my style, and this laurel garland fits the bill! Its leaves and color make it just right for early autumn into Thanksgiving time, and the metallic definitely feels right for winter without being too overtly Christmas-y. You can make a longer garland like this one if you want to hang it on a wall or mantel, or make a semicircle wreath to spruce up a door or window, and it’s a surprisingly quick project to put together.
-a few dozen laurel leaves, stems attached (or another thick, glossy leaf that won’t crumble when dry)
–thick floral wire (approx 12 gauge)
–thin floral wire (approx 22 gauge)
-a hot glue gun
-wire cutting pliers
-gold spray paint (I ended up using a couple cans)
Step One: Make sure your leaves are dry and free of debris and spray paint according to the direction on the can. Allow to dry completely. Meanwhile, cut a piece of the thick floral wire twice as long as you want your finished garland to be. Fold it in half and twist the ends together a couple times to secure (like a wire hanger). Shape the wire into a wreath or garland shape, making sure it lies pretty flat and that the two sides are roughly parallel and a 1/2 inch apart. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but make sure it’s roughly in the right shape—it’s way easier to fix now than once the leaves are attached!
Step Two: Create several bundles of 2-3 leaves and secure them with 4-inch pieces of the thin floral wire. Wrap the wire around the stems as tightly as you can and leave the ends of the wire sticking out.
Step Three: Starting from the middle of your garland frame, attach a bundle of leaves by wrapping the wire around either side of the frame. Continue attaching leaves until you reach the end of the frame, then repeat on the other half of the frame, leaving a 1-inch gap between the two sides.
I think the leaves look best when they overlap so that the leaf bundle in front covers 1/3 to 1/2 of the leaf bundle behind it.
Step 4: Cover the gap in the middle of the garland by wrapping a leaf around the frame and securing it with some hot glue. Trim off the rest of the leaf. Now is a good time to add a little hot glue to leaves that aren’t laying the way you want them to. If you’re putting the garland outside, turn the whole thing over and add much more glue to reinforce the thin wire. I also touched up the paint a little at this point. Now it’s ready to hang up! I just put up a couple nails and hooked the frame onto them.
I love how the garland adds warmth to my living room, and a festive feel that’s holiday neutral (that’s a phrase I just made up), so I can leave it up for the rest of the year! Of course a pile of mudcloth patterned pillows and a cutie cat help add to the cozy feel as well. I’ll probably move the garland to my mantel once that’s painted, and I’m tempted to make a wreath version for my front door next. If you make one too, don’t forget to tag #ABMCrafty so I can see it! xo Kayleigh