Every December, my community has a tour of homes to raise money for worthy local charities. Always a very popular event, this year was no exception. Each of the six homes had something unique to showcase for the holiday season. What immediately caught my eye as I entered one of them, were the garlands adorned with magnolias. They looked real, but it was December. I was curious as to where they came from and was stunned when the homeowner explained that they were made of balloons on wire frames. They must have been admired by many visitors, because the talented crafter was invited and generously agreed to offer a workshop showing us how to make them. I signed up as soon as I got the notice and felt lucky as the class immediately filled up. Additional sessions are coming, but mine was today! It needs a little adjusting, but here is my first attempt!
In case you are wondering, the center of the flower is real. The crafter told us she waits a few weeks after the petals drop to pick the conelike carpel clusters and stamens off the tree. She then lets the pods air dry. They will shrink during this process, so they need to be about twice as large as needed when picked. The leaves are faux; a source for nice ones in my area is Carolina Pottery. We used 12 inch balloons for the petals.
If you are interested in making these, there are instructions and videos available online. Here is one site that should help you get started:
Here is a good video showing other types of flowers:
These flowers were made by our instructor, Jo Ann Crystal.