How To: Make A Silvery Swag

Apartment Therapy Tutorials

I claimed I was content just ogling my neighbors' pretty holiday decorations, but as the winter has progressed, I've longed for some wintry festooning of my own. A bit of swag, if you will…

Materials:
• two Silvertree branches
• floral wire
• rope

Instructions:

  • First, acquire two branches Leucadendron argenteum, also known as Silvertree. So pretty and velvety and silvery! Most importantly, it's very wintry without being holiday-y.
  • Wire the two pieces together using floral wire, or any thin wire you happen to have around the house. I used dark green, but silver would blend in nicely. As you wrap the wire, you'll see that it's possible to tuck it under the leaves. This allows you to both hide the wire, and wrap well down the length of the branches without crushing the leaves.
  • Survey your handiwork. Wear slippers: the floor is cold.
  • Wrap again, this time using rope. I used a nice old-fashioned jute rope, thick enough to have a presence but thin enough to manipulate easily. Ideally the rope will follow the path of the wire, but don't worry yourself if a tiny bit of wire shows.
  • Okay, this is the tricky part. Once you've wrapped the rope so it's both aesthetically pleasing and structurally sturdy, you'll need to find the middle balance point. Pinch the rope together just above the branches to see how it hangs, and adjust to the right or left as needed. Once you find the sweet spot, tie a double knot. Wrap another piece of wire around the knot and fashion a (crude) hook. As you can see, mine is a bit of a mess. I knew the swag's infrastructure would be hidden once it was hung or I would have taken a bit more care. Or asked someone to do this part for me. Trim the ends of the rope and wire.
  • Hang above the door with pride! Oh, wait: hammer a nail into the top of your doorframe. It's just a tiny nail, and the hole won't show. Now hang your swag!

(Images: Tess Wilson)