Bring Yule cheer with evergreen swag

Making an evergreen swag is simple to make and requires very little crafting ability. It like a wreath can be placed on or by a door welcoming visitors with the fresh scent of evergreens.

Making an evergreen swag is simple to make and requires very little crafting ability.

It like a wreath can be placed on or by a door welcoming visitors with the fresh scent of evergreens.

Fresh evergreens will last for over a month without moisture if placed in a cold location away from direct sunlight. Warm weather or direct sunlight increases the branches’ rate of transpiration resulting in dry branches and loss of needles.

Gather approximately eight branches of evergreens of varying sizes. These can, be the discarded bottom branches from your Christmas tree, branches left from recently pruned material or bought from a florist shop. To get a contrast of greens and shapes, use more than one variety.

You will also need one metre of ribbon that is at least one inch (three cm) wide and a couple of similar coloured small Christmas decorations. A yard (metre) of thin wire will insure that the branches are held together.

Start by taking three branches approximately the same size and variety.

Choose branches that have many small side branches to create a good background. Place the stem ends together, laying the foliage out like a fan. Branches are rarely flat and it is best to place them so they curve upwards. Bind the ends together tightly with the wire.

Next, add one or two shorter branches of another variety. The stem ends should by lying on top of the original ends with their greenery inside the bottom layer. Once again wire the ends to the original group making sure that they are tight and can not move.

Add a small branch or two of the original variety. Once again these branches need to be shorter than the pervious layer and all stem ends must be together.

The project should look like a broom shaped pile of evergreens. If large holes are visible, move or add branches to eliminate them. Make sure that all varieties of evergreen are visible.

Continue to wrap the wire around the ends securing all the branches together.

Lift up the swag and check to see if branches have shifted positions. If they have moved, reposition them and tighten the wire.

Continue to wrap the branches with wire until they are secure. Make a loop in the wire to use as a hanger.

Tie a long ribbon around the ends of all the branches making sure to cover the wire. Make the ribbon into a bow a bow allowing the long ends to trail down the evergreens. Cut the ribbon to the desired length at a 45 degree angle.

Position the ornaments on the swag, moving them around until a balance between the ornaments, ribbon and the shape of the swag is achieved.

Glue gun the ornaments in place. Then hang the swag.

A similar swag can be made with artificial greenery. When choosing the artificial plant material look, the ones that contain wire can be bent to the desired position.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturist and educator living in Rocky Mountain House. You can contact her at your_garden@hotmail.com

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