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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Making a Holiday Swag with Branches from My Yard

The elves have been busy in my neighborhood! 

I've been taking early morning walks this past week, enjoying all of the holiday decorations that my neighbors have put up. It seems that there are even more (and earlier) holiday decorations than previous years. Perhaps this is simply because so many folks are home during the week; but I also like to think that we're all doing what we can to provide cheer to one another through outdoor decorations.

This morning, one of my daughters came with me on our walk and we talked about what we could do to decorate our outdoor areas that are highly visible for passersby on the street. I mentioned that I have everything that would be needed to make a swag for the front of our garage: the evergreen and berry-laden branches in the yard, a 12-inch length of heavy wire (mine is green, but silver would've also worked as it would be hidden by the greenery and bow), and a weather-proof bow.

Once home, I grabbed my pruners and gardening gloves then clipped about 7 branches, mostly cedar but also a couple of branches of cotoneaster for their beautiful red berries. I piled the branches neatly on top of each other and used the length of wire to bind them all together about 6 inches from the top of the bundle, finishing on the back side. After adding the outdoor ribbon, my swag was ready to hang. I used our house's flag holding bracket between the two garage doors as my hanging spot, threading the long ends of the bundle's binding wire through the perforations of the bracket and twisting securely. 

I spent about 10 minutes making the swag and hanging it. This is so easy, yet it adds such a festive note to the front of our home.

I hope that my little effort brings a smile to someone passing by.


  1. That's my favorite kind of decoration. I love swags made from greenery. Your cranberry-colored ribbon is very pretty, too. I'm sure you are making your neighbors smile.

    We have put up our usual outdoor decorations. I had to buy a new strand of outdoor lights as mine finally bit the dust last year (I think I had it for 15 years or so--it was very long-lasting). I agree with you--people are trying to bring cheer to others (and themselves!) with holiday decorations. I think many families will drive around at night to look at the lights. My across-the-street neighbor has put up quite the display. I'm sure my efforts look measly by comparison, but any little bit seems festive.

    1. Thank you, Kris. I sometimes think my efforts must look paltry compared to the neighbors, too. But I also think that any little bit in the neighborhood helps the overall effect. Again, this morning on my walk, I admired other neighbors' efforts. We also had a pretty good frost overnight, so it almost looked like snow. Just lovely.

      Our old light strands (pre-LED) lasted for over a decade each, but the LEDs seem to fail quickly. We had to buy new light strands this year too. I'm not feeling confident that these new ones will last any longer than the last LED strands.

      Wishing you a beautiful day, Kris!

  2. I am seeing more and earlier decorations, also. We have our standard outdoor lights and wreath up, but you've inspired me to maybe make something more with greenery from our yard.

    BTW, Kris, we had to get some new lights this year, also, but they were only a couple of years old. I was annoyed. LED lights bulbs may last a long time but not if the wires and holders they're in are poorly made.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Count me in the group with dead LED light strands. Annoying is right, as these light strands are not cheap.

      I love all of these decoration so early in the season. I'm not an early morning person, but knowing I'll see some lovely holiday decor gets me out for a walk in the morning this time of year.

      Have a wonderful day, Live and Learn!


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