Cooking, Crafting, Creating, Living

Second Day of Christmas Crafts – Pine Swag December 10, 2010

Pine Swag

Here is a quick and easy project for the holidays.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just want a natural decoration to warm your spirit through the long winter months.

Whenever we get our Christmas tree we always end up trimming the lower branches off and I save them for other crafts.  If you don’t get a live tree you can trim branches out of the back yard, or go ask a local tree farm if they have trimmings lying around.  They usually do, and don’t charge anything to take them away.  (Make sure you get more than you need for one swag so you can pick the nicest branches, and have leftovers for a wreath* or other decor.)

What you’ll need:

Pine Trimmings    (Any type will do, but choose branches no more than 1/2″     thick and about 3 feet long.)

Hand saw or lopers

Needle nosed pliers



Floral Wire


Ideas for additional decorations – pine cones, holly, bittersweet, etc.

Begin by gathering your pine boughs.  Trim the ends with hand saw or lopers, and choose the prettiest ones for your swag.

Once you’ve selected the right ones for your swag, begin by wrapping the two largest boughs together with floral wire.

Now you can start to tie everything together with yarn.  Make sure to put to largest boughs toward the back.  You don’t have to line the ends of the branches up, these will all be trimmed at the end.  Move things around until you are happy with the way it looks and then tie.

Once your swag is the size you want then you need to decide how much of the stems you are going to wrap.  Tie a piece of bright color yarn to mark where the ribbon will begin.

Now you can cut small pieces of bough to fill in around the base of the swag.  This is optional.

Now tie on any additional decorations.  I used cut and dried rhododendron branches that I sprayed with gold metallic spray paint.

Finally you can start to wrap the stems with ribbon.  Use straight pins to hold ribbon in place.

Once the stems are wrapped use straight pins to hold the end of the ribbon.   Fold cut edge over so it doesn’t fray.

At this point you can use an aerosol hair spray to better hold the ribbon in place.

That’s it.  A simple way to make a beautiful decoration.

I prefer to decorate outdoors with natural pine decorations, they last all winter outside where as inside they tend to dry out and last only a month or two.

P.S.  Make sure you have a good hand scrub, or wear gloves because the pine pitch REALLY sticks.

* A sneak peek at the next project.