Has anyone else noticed that Christmas posts seem to be popping up earlier and earlier this year?? We did! It felt like good time to share our first holiday DIY: Modern Door Swag! The coolest part about swag is that it is truly customizable. You can make it as simple as a pretty evergreen branch that you dress up a little with a ribbon… or it can be layers and layers of beautiful greens and flowers! Because this holiday season we want to be a bit ‘extra,’ we combined different types of greenery and foliage for a modern take on traditional door swag. It’s the perfect way to welcome guests next week for Thanksgiving (and pretty easy, too).
What is swag?
Before we start our tutorial, let’s clarify what swag actually is! Traditionally, this type of holiday decoration refers to a suspended wreath, garland, or drapery that is fastened up at or near each end and hanging down in the middle. In lay man’s terms, that means that it’s a gathering of holiday-themed foliage and greenery that is bundled together then hung upside down. You can hang it on your door, on a wall, over an archway, or really anywhere!
Modern Door Swag DIY
- Dusty Miller
- Magnolia Leaves
- Dried Yellow Roses
- Dried Bracken Fern
- Eucalyptus Pods
Start with a solid, shapely piece of greenery for a base. Dusty miller works well because the stem is sturdy and long, while the leaves are full and going in all the right directions. It’s important to have a nice, strong stem that you can work with to begin attaching things to so that you have a strong base. Next, add a few pieces of bracken fern, using floral wire to attach it to the dusty miller. Then, hot glue together the magnolia leaves. For variation in color, we placed the brown side of the leaves up (technically the underside of the leaf), but you can also mix and match them. Hot glue is so helpful in making swag, especially when pieces don’t have long stems and are more difficult to attach. Once several leaves are glued together, attach the group to the dusty miller with floral wire.
Continue layering your pieces of foliage and greenery, adding in eucalyptus pods and dried roses as you go. Whiling building, keep in mind the length and fullness of the swag. You can attach new stems in with wire to create more length, as well.
When you’re finished adding foliage, secure the end with floral wire. While you wrap the wire, create a loop with the wire so that you can hang it. Then, wrap the end of the swag with floral tape (leaving the loop exposed), then finish with by wrapping a beautiful natural colored linen ribbon around the entire bundle.
We suggest using a ribbon with wire so that you can arrange the ribbon ends however you’d like. Typically wired ribbon is best for bows on wreaths and other holiday decor because it is easily manipulated into whatever shape you want. After you’ve tied the ribbon, trim the ends so they are all even. Lastly, hang on your front door to get in the holiday spirit and welcome guests!
While making your own holiday swag, you can use whatever greenery, flowers, and foliage you have on hand. Everything we used for ours was either dried already or will dry as it hangs on Joanns’s front door. The best part about swag is that even if you use fresh foliage, it will dry and continue to look beautiful for weeks to come!
I just love how this is more of a modern take on a traditional wreath… and how it is very easy to make! You could host a swag-making party at home (with lots of wine) or even create a few to give as hostess gifts throughout the holiday season.
PS — Tag @jojotastic and @thestemmery on Instagram so we can see how our DIYs turn out for you! Joanna will be sharing them in her Instagram Stories, too.
Looking for even more holiday DIY ideas? Try these:
- A Golden-Hued Thanksgiving Floral Centerpiece
- Eggnog Soy Wax Candle DIY
- Wrapped Crystal Ornaments
- Hanging Eucalyptus Wreath Centerpiece
- Festive Pom Pom Garland