I’ve got tons of ‘swag’

Happy 2018! One of my resolutions this year is take a little more “me” time so that I can “just be.” In order for me to do this a few things need to happen. (1) I have to be okay with putting myself first and (2) I have to become comfortable with letting my house get a little messy. Today I experimented with this concept and decided to hide away in a corner of my basement and make a swag for above our entryway.

Recently my family and I took a trip to Williamsburg, VA and saw a swag that the ‘ye ole thyme’ employees had created. It was really pretty, but was $130! Upon inspecting the swag (and talking to an employee- who highly recommended using a glue gun even though they weren’t used in the 18th century) I knew I could create my own magnolia masterpiece. I purchased four pheasant feathers while there and the rest of the materials I already had at home. This entire swag was going to cost me $8!

Here are the items that I used:

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Trimmers, dried oranges, dried apples, hot glue gun and glue, magnolia leaves, reed, and pheasant feathers. Not pictured: floral wire and a measuring tape.

A few days ago I sliced an orange and an apple and placed them in my dehydrator. If you don’t have a dehydrator I believe you could also dry out fruit in your oven (set at a low temperature.) The results were amazing. I was shocked at the vibrant colors and can’t wait to find more projects to create with the fruit.

I then pulled a bunch of leaves from our magnolia trees, picked up a reed that my son had drug into our back yard and gathered the remaining “ingredients.” If you don’t have access to any reeds (and honestly I have no idea where my son got these ones) you could use a wire hanger squeezed into a tight oval (cut off the hanger part) or a stick.

I started by measuring the reed and using the trimmer to cut it to my desired size. This swag is going to be 25″ long.  At the center I took some floral wire and wrapped it around making a loop. This way I knew how far to go with my leaves, to the center, and would have a way to hang the swag up when I was done.

I then used the hot glue gun to glue magnolia leaves onto the reed in various directions.

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A few of the leaves seemed a little wobbly so I reinforced them with more glue on the back (keep in mind that no one will see the back, so it’s okay if it’s not pretty.)

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When I was satisfied with the sturdiness of the first side I glued leaves onto the second side. Once both sides were complete I glued the oranges, apples, and feathers onto the wreath and tried to make it look a little random. I then filled in with additional leaves around the center of the swag.

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The entire project took me 30 minutes and only twice did someone come into the room looking for mommy. I feel like that was a success!

Have any ideas for items to use while a swag? I would love to hear them in the comment section below!

Enjoy the moment (and New Year!)
Stephanie

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