Christmas just isn't Christmas without a wreath on the front door, am I right? Okay, maybe that's a little rigid, but wreaths are just so dang festive - so perfect for the holidays - and when they're fresh, they smell so nice and piney. I love when they're just simple - fresh and green - with one beautiful wide silk swath of ribbon suspending them in a window or on a door.
See, I have nothing against wreaths.
Except that I don't really know how to make them. I'm sure it's not too terribly difficult, but I've got too many other things going on this year - and it's just far, far down on the list.
And because I don't know how to make them, I need to buy one if I want one. But I have an extremely difficult time forking out $25 - $40 or more for one of these (admittedly beautiful) numbers. Because, you know, I could make it myself for less then five bucks, or for free. If I'd just sit down and learn how.
Vicious circle. (Pun intended.)
But Christmas just isn't Christmas without some kind of greenery on the front door, am I right? (I'm very good at this justification and changing-the-story-for-convenience's-sake thing.)
Enter: The swag! Also known as the bough, we're talking about an equally festive gathering of evergreen branches tied together, turned upside down, and topped with a bow. Pretty!
I made this one with $4 worth of varied greenery from Wight's Nursery in Lynnwood, Washington (oh, what a wonderful place, especially at Christmastime).
Better yet, I could have raided a few trees around here (I live in Seattle after all) for a few branches, but I was okay with forking out a couple of bucks instead.
I also supplemented with a branch recovered from this year's Christmas tree (you know how you've got to cut off a few of those bottom branches? Ta-da! Instant swag!) I added a bow and a sparkly ornament and ended up with a festive door decoration that I love just as much, if not more, than any ol' wreath.
How to Make a Fresh Christmas Swag
Cast of Characters:
- 4 - 5 evergreen tree branches (a variety is best)
- Floral wire (or, when you're in a pinch, black wire ties or green twisty ties can work)
- Ribbon for a bow
- Optional ornament
- Start with a nice flat branch that is about the size you want your overall swag to be.
- Add more branches atop the first, layering different varieties and sizes for interest, and shifting them as necessary for at least a bit of symmetry.
- Attach the branches together at the base - just slip the wire or tie around each branch at least once, and fasten tightly at the back. Include a loop for hanging. In the photo below, look very closely under the bow, and you may see the black wire tie. I hope.
- If you're hanging an ornament in the middle, either attach with wire so it's hanging at the level you want, or just hang from one of the branch ends.
- Tie a bow - a simple one or a loopy one, whatever you prefer - and attach the bow with more floral wire.
- And hang!
Serious swag for less green. Gotta love it.
Unrelated: I love this snowman ornament. Not only is he adorable with wide-set eyes and his little smile, but he's sparkly. He makes me smile. I hope he makes you smile, too.