Colorful Garlands and Swags

No matter what type of theme you choose for your holiday decorating, chances are you'll want to incorporate color in some way to brighten up your home. The following crafts will help you accomplish that and more.

Well-Lit Welcome

Colorful lights are a part of holiday decorating that expresses our joy and merriment in the season. This swag of painted wooden lights extends a warm welcome to all your visitors!

Well-Lit Welcome
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Well-Lit Welcome

You'll Need:

  • 7 bulbs cut from pine stock
  • Scroll or band saw
  • Power drill
  • Sandpaper or sanding pads
  • Acrylic paints: bright red, liberty blue*, Christmas green, pumpkin, white, black, luscious lemon, metallic gold
  • 3/4-inch flat brush
  • 10/0 detail brush
  • Satin sealer
  • 6 inches rattail cord

*For photographic reason, we substituted a second pumpkin bulb for the liberty blue.

To Make a Well-Lit Welcome Swag:

  1. Cut 7 bulbs from pine stock with scroll saw or band saw. Download Christmas light template here. Drill a 1/8-inch hole in top of each bulb. Lightly sand all bulbs.

    Well-Lit Welcome
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Lightly sand bulb cutouts.

  2. Using 3/4-inch flat brush, paint 2 bulbs bright red, 2 luscious lemon, 1 Christmas green, 1 pumpkin, and 1 liberty blue. Paint tops of each bulb metallic gold. Let dry.

    Well-Lit Welcome
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Paint bulb tops gold.

  3. Use 10/0 detail brush to add detail lines to each bulb, including letters. Use white paint to make a comma stroke in upper left of each bulb. Brush on satin sealer. Let dry.

    Well-Lit Welcome
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Paint white comma stroke on each bulb.

  4. String rattail cord through W bulb and tie a knot at top of bulb; leave a few inches of tail to left. Repeat with each bulb, leaving about 2 inches of cord between bulbs.

    Well-Lit Welcome
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Leave about 2 inches between each bulb.

Grizzly Bear Garland

Add a rustic look to your holiday decor with this charming garland.

You'll Need:

  • 9 wood bear cutouts
  • Black acrylic paint
  • 1/2-inch flat paintbrush
  • Crimson raffia
  • Tape measure
  • Clear tape
  • Scissors
  • 32 dark red wood beads
  • 16 small pinecones
  • Hot glue gun, glue sticks
  • 2 yards burgundy gingham wire-edge ribbon, 1/2 inch wide
  • Craft glue
  • Crystal glitter

Grizzly Bear Garland
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Grizzly Bear Garland

To Make a Grizzly Bear Garland:

  1. Paint wood bears black, but leave snout unpainted. Paint tip of nose black. Let dry. Turn bears over, and repeat painting instructions for other side.

  2. Make half of garland at a time. Take an end of 5 to 6 long strands of raffia, each approximately 5 feet long, and tape ends together tightly. Snip end of taped raffia to create a point. At other end of raffia, tie a loose overhand knot. String 16 beads on raffia.

    Grizzly Bear Garland
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Snip ends of taped raffia to make a point.

  3. Lay raffia down along a flat surface. Place beads along length in 4 groups of 4 beads. Starting at taped end of raffia, evenly space 4 bears, beads, and 8 pinecones along raffia; also make room for ribbons to be placed later. Hot glue bears and pinecones in place on raffia.

    Grizzly Bear Garland
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Evenly space pinecones, beads,
    and bears along raffia.

  4. Cut ribbon into 8- to 9-inch pieces. Tie ribbons in place on raffia.

  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for other half of garland. Bring an end from each garland half together, and tie. Glue remaining bear over knot.

  6. Spread craft glue over pinecone tops with your finger, and sprinkle cones with glitter. Let dry 8 hours.

  7. Tie extra raffia to ends of garland to create bows for hanging garland.

    Grizzly Bear Garland
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Tie bows at ends of garland.

Christmas Mantel Topper

Add elegance and charm to your fireplace mantel with this luxurious topper. There's nothing like a touch of gold to make a room sparkle!

Christmas Mantel Topper
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Christmas Mantel Topper

You'll Need:

  • 4 plastic oranges
  • 3 plastic peaches
  • 2 plastic bananas
  • 4 plastic grape clusters
  • 10 pinecones
  • Gold spray paint
  • 4 to 6 pieces mixed Christmas greens
  • Hot glue gun, glue sticks
  • Pinecones
  • 4 gold mixed holly/berry sprays
  • 10 plastic gold ornaments
  • 3 yards gold ribbon, 11/2 inches wide
  • 25 feet gold-star garland

To Make a Christmas Mantel Topper:

  1. Spray fruit and pinecones gold. While paint is drying, place greens on mantel to assemble. You will be making 2 sections, one for each side of the mantel. If greens are artificial, connect by twisting stems together. If greens are real, use spool wire. One side of mantelpiece should hang long, with the other side shorter but thicker.

  2. Once you have both sides assembled, take the greens back to your craft table to finish. Mound the gold fruit and glue pieces to the greens. Glue pinecones, berry sprays, and gold ornaments to add different shapes and textures into your design.

    Christmas Mantel Topper
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Glue pinecones to greens.

  3. Entwine ribbon among greens. Unwind gold-star garland and loosely attach to greens.

    Christmas Mantel Topper
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Attach gold-star garland to wreath.

Christmas Arch

Christmas Arch
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Christmas Arch

Add a touch of red and green to a foyer or doorway with this elegant floral arch. Pine is used as a background, while a glittering tapestry bow, branches of red berries, and stems of cinnamon sticks add the finishing touches.

You'll Need:

  • 30-inch artificial Christmas wreath
  • 3 yards ribbon (3 inches wide)
  • Stem floral wire, 22 gauge
  • 8 berry sprays
  • Brown floral tape
  • Hot glue gun, glue sticks
  • 14 to 16 cinnamon sticks
  • 18 small to medium pinecones
  • Wire cutters

To Make a Christmas Arch:

  1. Bend wreath in half.

    Christmas Arch
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Bend wreath.

  2. Combine 2 halves to make arch by twisting pieces of wired greens together. Make 2-loop bow by measuring desired tail length from end of ribbon and making a loop on each side of your thumb. Twist stem wire around center of bow to hold shape; bring wire to back.

    Christmas Arch
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Twist pieces of greens together.

  3. Fluff branches of arch. Use wires to attach bow to center of arch. If berry sprays are not long enough, wrap floral tape around end of spray and attach length of stem wire. Glue cinnamon sticks, berry sprays, and pinecones jutting out from each side of bow.

    Christmas Arch
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Glue cinnamon sticks next to bow.

  4. Taper ends of arch by snipping off sprigs with wire cutters. To attach hanger, cover stem wire with brown floral tape. Twist wire around middle of heavy wire of wreath in the back and twist to make a loop.

Celebrate the beauty of snow by bringing the outdoors in with a snowman garland. See the next page for ideas.