Thursday, December 17, 2009

Quick N Easy Holiday Swag

Holiday visitors are coming, but my front door is still sporting my end of summer flower wreath.  Oh shoot!  What should I do? 

Here's a quick and easy project to spruce up your front door with holiday greenery that you may have growing nearby or even in your own yard.

What you will need:

* Gardening gloves
* Pretty holiday Ribbon (about 2 feet)
* Wire
* Wire Cutters
* Pruners
* Scissors

Gather together your materials and find a flat workspace preferably outdoors to save time on cleanup.  Then don your gay apparel.  In this case that means your garden gloves.  Now grab your pruners and head to your nearest cedar tree with low branches.

If you don't have a Western Red Cedar growing near your home, no problem, just substitute your favorite local evergreen.  Avoid Hemlocks because they drop their needles really quickly once they've been cut.

Prune off some nice boughs about 2 1/2 -3 feet long.  You'll need a good size stack.  Don't worry if they're not all perfectly proportioned for your swag, we'll trim them to shape as we go.

Start with 3 of your larger cedar boughs.  Lay these on top of each other to form the base layer of your sway.  You should stack them so that the leaves of each layer fall in the gaps of the previous layer. 

Once you have them nicely stacked, cut about 2 feet of your wire and wrap around the crook on the branch where the first row of leaves start. Wrap the wire fairly tightly and wrap around the branches 3 times.  You'll have a long tail of wire left for the next layer.

Now using your pruners, cut the top of the swag so that all 3 of your branches are even.

Next you'll want to add some more layers of cedar branches for fullness.  Go through your boughs and choose the branches that look the most beautiful.  Layer them onto your swag,  trimming them to length.  Now wire those in as you did the first layer. Wrap wire tightly, tie off and snip off any excess wire. Reserve any parts that you removed for the next step.

Next we'll make the accent with our trimmings.  The great thing about this cedar is the 2 tone color of the leaves.  The backside of the leaves has a brighter tone than the front, so for the accent piece we'll use the back of the leaves. 

Snip off 3 boughs at about 8 inches.  Layer these together much like you did for the swag above.  Now trim individual leaves from the remaining branch and add these for fullness. 

Cut a 6 inch length of wire and wire this tightly together and then add it to the large swag for accent and to cover any of the wires showing through the first layer.

Next we'll add an accent bow.  Click here for instructions to make your florist bow.  Using your pretty ribbon, create your bow and wire it onto your swag to cover any wires that are showing.

Now you can add any other embellishments you like.  I added a silk poinsetta and a cluster of ball ornaments to match my ribbon.  Other ideas I've done in the past:  Rose hips, pine cones, more bows, and baby's breath.

Viola!  Your holiday visitors will be greeted by some beautiful greenery when they come to your door.  And since this project only takes about 15-20 minutes, you still have time to set out the hors de vors! 

*** I used my left overs to make a mini-swag for my bathroom door too!

1 comment:

  1. I love the one with the red decorations! Lovely. :) I also love using nature's "waste" in crafts when i can - i decorated a candle with pruned twigs one time, i loved it!
    It's here if you want to see it:


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