Monday, December 30, 2013

Ornament Swags: A Tutorial

The last few years,
we seem to get asked a lot of questions about our Christmas tree
and how we are able to create such a "full" look.
This tutorial is to show the step-by-step process we use to create ornament swags.
We start with a garland we use as a starter chain.
You can use any multitude of store bought garlands, but the longer and thicker, the better.
Our garland is about four feet long.
You will also need about 30 ornaments and small clear zip ties {ours are from Lowe's}
Start by zipping the very top of your garland right under the hook.
This is to make it strong enough to carry the weight of thirty ornaments.
Then, add another zip tie onto the first one to use as a "hanger" so you can work free handed
and allow the garland to hang. Hanging it while you work helps you to see the form. 

We like ornaments of different sizes and textures: glossy and matte work well paired together.
After Christmas sales usually have the smaller ornaments marked down upwards of 70% or more.
And most people pass over these small ones- but buy them up!
After they're swagged together, they make one big beautiful ornament!

Start at the top and zip a small sized ornament at the very top under your initial zip tie.
Thread the zip tie through the actual hook on the ornament.

Begin by adding additional ornaments on the opposite side of the garland.

You will see the zip ties going down the garland in a row.

Use wire cutters to snip the extra zip ties off after you have pulled them tight.

We like to spread our ornament selection out where we can see all we have to work with.

Alternate sizes and colors and work down both sides of the garland,
keeping the ornaments pulled tight and close!

Letting the garland free hang as you work really helps you to see the form
and helps you decide what color or pattern to use next.

When you pull the zip ties tight and keep the ornaments snug, they will pop out on the sides.

We clip the excess ties right at the clasp.

Keep at it until it begins to look nice and full.

Enlist helpers if you have them!
: )

We like to have our swag be over half way full before we call it quits.
your goal is to use mainly swags when you put your tree up
{if you're going for this "full" look}
and not have to spend three hours putting on single ornaments.
: )

And with only a few ornaments remaining, David calls it good!

This is the final product!
When you're done, simply snip the zip tie you used as the hanger,
but make sure not to snip the first one you used to add strength to your strand.
They are so easy and so beautiful.
Imagine nesting a full one on a mantle in a fresh bed of holly.
Or outside over top of a doorway.
The possibilities are endless.
: )

We first add deco mesh to our tree and then add our swags.
We have six of them.

To give you a bit of perspective, our tree is nine foot tall
and a single swag fills a good portion of it.
Now, imagine having five or six of them.
Tree decorating is quick and fast and clean up is easy!
Simply remove six swags and that's it!

Because our tree is large and our ceilings in this room are 20 feet tall,
these long full swags make a great impact in filling the space.
And again, you create them with the cheaper, smaller ornaments
 most people brush over at the after Christmas sales.
: )

We store all six of them in large clear tubs with tissue paper between each one.

And there you have it!
Some deco mesh, six swags, and a few large orbs..
and you're done!

Let me know if you give it a try next year!

Happy "after Christmas day ornament" sale shopping!
: )
{I'll add this post under the "Tutorials" tab at the top}
 photo signature_zpsf4b92bae.jpg

1 comment: