DIY Evergreen Bannister Swag

Are you hosting Christmas festivities this year?  If you're looking for some last minute ways to spruce up your home, look no further than your backyard.  I love collecting fresh greens and pinecones and adding touches of nature all over the house.  Little bits of whatever is still green in my garden make their way into our home this time of year and give it such a festive feel.  If you don't have a yard or anything green to clip, fresh loose greens are inexpensive to purchase at a garden center, or ask your friends if they might have some trees you could clip from.  The swag I made for our stair bannister is a collection of greens from both my yard and my mother's.

I love fresh garland on stairs, but over the years I have discovered that *certain people* in my house...

...feel the need to TOUCH the garland every single time they come down the stairs (yes, even in their advanced ages) and there are always needles scattered hither and nither.  I bought a fake garland a few years ago, but it just looked so…fake.

This year I made a fresh swag that hangs on the outside of the bannister so it doesn't interfere with holding onto the railing or invite munchkins to touch it.  So easy!  This took all of 10 minutes.  Here's how:

Clip greens to 1-2 feet.  Spread out like angel's wings on your work surface, layering different kinds of evergreens if you have them.

Wrap a pipe cleaner around the center, twisting tightly, to hold these two sides of the swag together.

Add a layer of greens between the angel's wings and again, use a pipe cleaner to faster this bunch to the first set, intertwining the pipe cleaner between the branches so it all holds together tightly.

Next, cut a piece of ribbon that is wide enough to cover the pipe cleaners.  The ribbon needs to be long enough to tie the swag to the railing.  (I am currently having an obsession with peacock blue, by the way!)

Add two more piece of ribbon to support the sides of the swag.  You can tie the ends in a bow or just a simple knot like this:
Doesn't this side look pretty coming down the stairs?  Is it distracting your eye from my hideous 80s foyer tile?  Okay good. :)

I layered three ribbons together and tied a simple bow, then attached it with a piece of a pipe cleaner to the center ribbon holding the swag to the railing.
That's it!  A little festive touch to welcome our holiday guests.

To keep cut greens that are kept indoors fresh through the whole holiday season, lightly mist them with a water bottle on occasion.  Also, fresh greens look so pretty and stay fresh for ages if you put them in a vase of water just like you would a floral arrangement.

Bruschi says: 
"We hope you'll stop by tomorrow for a little holiday house tour and a cup of Christmas cheer!"

Have a lovely day my dears!


Ange said...

So simple and elegant, perfect touch for the banister! The ribbon is really pretty, of course it's blue so I like it. :) I'm popping on for a few minutes while the kids play Mario kart. Hope you have a fabulous Christmas friend!

Privet and Holly said...

I love using fresh
greens in the house,
but they dry out so
quickly....any tips
to keep them nice
and pliable for more
than a day or so?

BTW, your kids are
gorgeous. For some
reason I think of yours
being so much younger
than mine; didn't know
you had teens!

Merry Christmas, sweet
Lisa, and many blessings
for you and yours in 2013!

xo Suzanne

Val said...

Very lovely. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.

Val said...

Very lovely. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

Very nice, Lisa! Your obsession with your tile cracks me up - I have the same lovely tile in my kitchen and I feel the same way every time I see it! Oh well, lemonade from lemons, right?


Kelly @ View Along the Way said...

It's SO pretty! But I'm a little concerned because I think you're telling me my kids aren't growing out of that must-touch-decorations stage any time soon. Not good. I want to squeeze your dog!

Dana Frieling said...

Perfect solution. Pretty without the mess!

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

looks so full and pretty and i love the blue ribbon!

Calypso In The Country said...

I love that look on the banister. It would never survive in my house with my crazy boys though! Adorable doggie!

pam {simple details} said...

Fresh, free greens ~ my favorite holiday decor! Yours looks beautiful, I wish I had a banister to decorate, just stairs to the basement! :( Btw, how tall is your 14 year old? Give Bruschi a hug for me!

Mandi@TidbitsfromtheTremaynes said...

fabulous idea!! I still love those stairs!

My Crafty Home Life said...

I love the smell of fresh greens. I also love walking around your yard and using that. The pipe cleaners idea is brilliant. It won't scratch anything or anyone. What do you feed that horse?

elizabeth@themustardceilingblog.com said...

Merry Christmas Lisa! I love to decorate with fresh greens. It is so simple and elegant.