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this is a DIY fall leaf garland for the mantel in my great room.  It's situated under my husband's favorite big screen television.
At he bottom you can see a gorgeous fall arrangement of sunflowers and orange berries.

In this post...

How to Make a DIY Fall leaf garland

In this post, I will show you how I made a DIY fall leaf garland which I plan to use for years, in some iteration or another.

If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you know I love to decorate for just about any holiday (see my posts: My Fall Home Decor, Fall Window Boxes). The other day I decided that the mantel in my great room was too bare.

Mr. G.Q. LOVES a BIG SCREEN TV! So whatever decorations I choose, need to not obscure the television. So I decided to make a DIY fall leaf garland with lights. Here’s how I did it:

In the above image, you see these very colorful silk leaves glued to a strand of bright, white leaves. They came four to a box and Mr. G.Q. was in charge of loading three batteries into each strand. For this garland, I used two strands of lights. I will use the other strands on my Thanksgiving table (this is a safe idea since the little grandkids will definitely touch them!).

I also used a magnolia leaf garland because I love that the leaves are such a glossy green, with the reverse side a deep rich brown. This is really a worthwhile garland to purchase because it will be useful in this fall garland as well as on my Christmas mantel. (I will mix it with white lights, an artificial evergreen garland, and some fresh branches, so stay tuned for that!) The magnolia garland will add interesting variety and texture to my holiday trimming.

The last component of the DIY fall garland for my mantel is a collection of two silk maple leaf garlands. These are made with the traditional fall-colored leaves and their vibrant hues pair beautifully with the deep green and brown magnolia tones.

A photo of the leaf lights which are a strand of battery-operated white lights with silk leaves glues to the lights.  In the image, there is a beautiful autumnal paisley throw pillow on a neutral chenille sofa.
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The next photo shows the autumn garland with lights once dusk is approaching and the other indoor lights are out. There’s a gentle glow to the whole mantel that I feel looks nice and cozy.

Steps to make the EASY DIY fall leaf garland (hint: there’s a video below…)

The first step is to open the lights from the earlier photo and install the batteries.

The second step is to stretch out the two strands of light, being careful to turn each light so that the leaf is covering the bulb a bit. This is because the lights are very bright. By folding the silk around or over the bulb, the lights look softer, especially at eye level. (I’m 5’4″ and the mantel is right at my eye level.)

Now I cut the Magnolia leaf garland into three parts so I could spread it out over the whole mantel, Above, I put one branch of the magnolia garland on top of the maple leaf lights. I twisted the branch so I could see some of the leaves on their green side and some on their brown side.

Then I put the other two branches across the mantel.

In the photo above, I arranged the first (of two) silk fall leaf garlands on top of the leaf lights and the magnolia branches.

In the above photos, I arranged the second silk faux leaf garland over the left of the mantel,

In the above photos, I arranged the second (of two) silk maple leaf garlands. Stretch them out over the lights and magnolia leaves (see video).

The sixth step is to turn on the light strands and then rearrange the garland components until everything looks pretty even.

The last step is to ENJOY this fall garland with lights from Labor Day until Black Friday!!! Why should we have until December to wait to light up our mantel? Stretch out the cozy times, don’t you agree?

Video of the DIY Fall Leaf Garland with Lights

Can You Make a Garland Out of Real Leaves?

Yes, of course, you could make a garland out of real fall leaves. That would be pretty but typically short-lived as the leaves would dry up and lose their gorgeous autumnal hues. I love using silk garlands and branches as shown above because I enjoy extending my fall mantel decor for several months. When I switch out the decorations for Christmas branches, I pop the fall stuff in a box that I clearly label for next year!

Conclusion to the DIY Fall Leaf Garland

This very easy-to-make DIY Fall Leaf garland is something I plan to use each year. To make the magnolia swag more cost-effective, I plan to also use it on my mantel for Christmas (after removing the autumn leaves and the leaf lights, of course!). This same fall leaf garland could also easily be used as a centerpiece on your Thanksgiving table by the way!


Dr. Julie

PS Here are a few more October ideas, recipes, and DIY projects, I posted for you to check out:

Delicious Italian Wedding Soup!,

Spooky Mummy Cupcakes for Halloween,

Fall Fashion Tips and Tricks

Five Plaid Blazer Outfits for Fall

Delicious S’mores Bars for Your End of Summer Bash!

Easiest Appetizer Ever

A Recipe for Shakshuka

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