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:

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.


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.)


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.


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!)