How to Make Christmas Garlands and Swags

Sometimes the most enjoyable part of the holidays is decorating your home each year. To make decorating even more special, why not make some of your own decorations? A great and easy way to start is by crafting Christmas garlands and swags to drape on mantels, along staircases, over doorways -- really wherever you need a splash of cheer.

Even better, once you've mastered the art of making these decorative items, you can vary them slightly (or not) and give them as gifts to friends and family. They'll appreciate the one-of-a-kind present that you took the time to make with your own two hands. In this article, we'll show you how to make a variety of Christmas garlands and swags, including:

Decorating Your Mantel

Whether your holiday decorating tastes run more toward using natural items like leaves and pinecones or toward incorporating traditional elements such as lace and holiday fabrics, you'll find plenty of excellent ideas here. Even better, take bits and pieces from each suggestion and come up with your own designs. We'll give you different decorating ideas for your mantel in this section.

Food-Themed Garlands and Swags

The holidays usually go hand and hand with food, so why not include food in some of your Christmas decorating? The food-themed garlands and swags on this page will add color to your home and just might make your mouth water. From a Gingerbread Garland to a Sweet Cinnamon Holiday Swag, the crafts featured are fun to make and use materials found at your local craft store.

Santa-Themed Swags

What says Christmas more than Santa Claus? Since it's so easy to find a place in your home for a swag, you'll find many ways to showcase Kris Kringle from the craft ideas on this page. Get crafting before Santa Claus comes to town. We'll show you how to make Santa-themed swags in this section.

Colorful Garlands and Swags

Brighten up your home around the holidays with these unique garlands and swags. There's even an adorable Christmas lights swag that would look great above a fireplace, over a door frame, or even centered on a wall. On the other end of the decorating spectrum, the Grizzly Bear Garland is sure to add some rustic charm to your abode.

Snowman Garland

Children and adults alike grin at the sight of a snowman, so why not include one -- or a whole assortment of them -- in your holiday decorating this year? The project detailed on this page will call on your crafting abilities, but the result is an adorable garland that is sure to take center stage in your home. We give you helpful step-by-step instructions and photos to get you crafting on your merry way.

Let's start with the basics and learn some useful tips on decorating your mantel for Christmas on the next page.

Decorating Your Mantel

Already the focal point in the room, the mantel is an excellent starting point for your holiday decorating. Treasured heirlooms, holiday cards, and stocking holders are a given when it comes to decorating the mantel. But why not spice it up a little this year? Here are some suggestions:

decorating your mantel
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
An assortment of beautiful candles
is always a festive way to decorate
your mantel.

  • Pretty up poinsettias by buying six terra-cotta pots and saucers and spray-painting them with metallic chrome paint. Pot poinsettias in each, and space evenly across your mantel. Fill in the gaps with bits of greenery.

  • Create a natural scene by bringing the outdoors inside. Gather sturdy sticks, pinecones, magnolia cones, and large leaves from your yard. Rub with gilding rub, wiping off excess as needed. Tack the leaves together to create a garland that is twice as long as your mantel.
    Arrange the items on top of the mantel, draping the leaf garland over and around so that it falls naturally off the mantel in places. For color, place candles in an assortment of sizes and shapes on pedestals throughout the arrangement and tuck pieces of thick-skin fruit such as lemons, limes, and oranges into the foliage.

  • For a more traditional look, purchase several small artificial Christmas trees and wrap the bases with colorful holiday fabric. Checked taffeta, a rich damask, delicate lace, even quilt batting can be used with success. Decorate the trees with tiny Christmas balls and ornaments or leave them bare and top with a single gold or silver star.

Food is one of life's simple pleasures, so it's only natural that wall hangings designed with food provide a pleasant look in any home. See the next page for a variety of food-themed garlands and swags.

Food-Themed Garlands and Swags

The holidays are synonomous with good cheer and good food. You'll agree when you see these garlands and swags, featuring various delicious holiday food items like gingerbread, cinnamon, and more in their decorative elements.

Before you get started, be sure to read the information on using patterns below.

Using Patterns

When individual project instructions direct you to cut out a shape according to the pattern, begin by downloading the pattern as a PDF. All patterns are at actual size, unless otherwise noted. Print the pattern from your computer.

If the pattern has an arrow with the word "fold" next to a line, it is a half pattern. Fold the printed pattern at the line. Then cut along the line, going through both layers of paper. Open for the full pattern.

To attach a pattern to felt, roll two-inch lengths of masking tape into circles with the adhesive side out. Attach the tape to the back of the pattern in several places. Place the pattern onto the felt, and cut through both the paper and felt layers along the lines. If you are using a half pattern, open the pattern and similarly tape it to the felt before cutting.

Gingerbread Garland

This charming garland of gingerbread men, Christmas books, and candies is sure to inspire visions of sugarplums, along with all the other wonders of Christmas!

Gingerbread Garland
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Gingerbread Garland

Whether you hang it over a door, window, or mantelpiece, you're sure to get compliments and exclamations of surprise that you made it yourself. Only you need to know how simple this project was to create! A few paint colors, a few brushes, a glue gun -- and you have a delightful decoration.

You'll Need:

  • 6 feet garland
  • 7 gingerbread men, 23/4 inches each
  • 3 wood books, 21/8 inches each
  • 4 wood books, 11/2 inches each
  • 18 mushroom buttons, 3/4 inch each
  • 7 folk hearts, 1 inch each
  • Sponge brush
  • Acrylic paint: toffee brown, Christmas green, crimson, white
  • Liner brush
  • Black fine-tip permanent marker
  • Stylus
  • Glue gun, glue sticks
  • 1/4 yard clear cellophane wrapping paper

To Make the Gingerbread Garland:

  1. Paint gingerbread men toffee brown, big books Christmas green, small books crimson, mushroom buttons white, and hearts crimson with the sponge brush. Let dry.

    Gingerbread Garland
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Paint mushroom buttons white.

  2. Using the liner brush, paint 9 mushroom buttons with crimson stripes and 9 with Christmas green stripes. Write "Twas the night before Christmas..." on green books and write "Noel" on crimson books with fine-tip marker. Paint white squiggles on gingerbread men. Using stylus, dot buttons and eyes. Let dry.

    Gingerbread Garland
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Use stylus to make buttons and eyes.

  3. Glue a crimson heart to each gingerbread man. Cut eighteen 3x21/2-inch strips of clear cellophane. Wrap mushroom buttons like candy, twisting each end.

    Gingerbread Garland
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Wrap mushroom buttons in cellophane.

  4. Glue gingerbread men, books, and mushroom buttons in groups of 3 to garland using glue gun.

Gingerbread Garland
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Use glue gun to attach
gingerbread men to wreath.

This cinnamon holiday swag makes a great Christmas gift.
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Sweet Cinnamon Holiday Swag

Sweet Cinnamon Holiday Swag

Cozy, charming sage plaid ribbon, wonderfully fragrant cinnamon, and lush red apples make this swag a feast for both the eyes and nose. The vertical design shape is perfect for a door or for a nook in the kitchen.

You'll Need:

  • 10x3x2 inches green foam
  • 2 green chenille stems
  • Tape measure
  • Low-temperature glue gun, glue sticks
  • 28 inches evergreen garland or premade swag
  • Floral U pins
  • 4 yards sage plaid ribbon, 11/2 inches wide
  • Scissors
  • 4 large red apples
  • 14 cinnamon sticks, 6 inches each
  • 8 red crab apples
  • Wire cutters
  • Assorted evergreen sprigs
  • Assorted leaves, such as grape
  • 5 ivory berry clusters
  • Ivory hydrangea

To Make the Sweet Cinnamon Holiday Swag:

  1. Bend 1 chenille stem into loop, twist ends, and insert ends into foam about 2 inches from short side. Glue to secure.

  2. Hang foam while you work to help with placement. Lay evergreen garland across foam with about 9 inches extending over each end. Pin in place with floral U pins dabbed with glue.

  3. Cut 14-inch length of ribbon, and set aside. About 14 inches from one end of remaining ribbon, form bow with 6 loops (three 4-inch loops on each side). Twist chenille stem around middle of loops to secure bow. Glue bow to middle of evergreen swag. Weave ribbon streamers into evergreens, trim ends into V shape, and glue in place. Glue 14-inch length of ribbon above bow. Trim ends into V shape, weave into evergreens, and glue in place.

    Sweet Cinnamon Swag
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Weave ribbon streamers into evergreens.

  4. Glue 2 large red apples on right side of swag, nested beside and above bow. Glue 1 large apple to upper left part of swag. Glue last large apple to bottom left of swag, just below bow.

  5. Glue cluster of 4 cinnamon sticks on a diagonal across center of bow. Glue 2 cinnamon sticks diagonally from right edge of swag. Repeat slightly below bow on left side. Glue 3 cinnamon sticks at bottom center and top center of swag. Add other cinnamon sticks as desired.

  6. Cut stems on crab apples to 1 inch, and glue crab apples into swag as shown. Use wire cutters to cut evergreen sprigs into short lengths, and glue them into swag for added texture. Glue in leaves.

    Sweet Cinnamon Swag
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Use glue gun to attach crab apples to swag.

  7. Separate berry clusters into small clumps, and glue into swag as desired. Separate hydrangea into small clusters; glue in swag.
Ho, ho, ho -- here comes Santa Claus! See the next section for how to make a cheerful array of santa-themed swags for your home.

Santa-Themed Swags

Nothing can bring holiday cheer to a home like Santa Claus decorations. These Santa-themed swags are fun and easy to make -- you may even want to make a few to give as holiday gifts.

Santa Hangs It Up

This easy-to-make swag will not only become a conversation piece but will also bring smiles to all your visitors.

Santa Hangs It Up Christmas garland.
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Santa Hangs It Up

You'll Need:

  • 11x18 stiffened felt squares: red, black, white
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • White faux fur
  • Hot glue gun, glue sticks
  • Gloss green acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Several small white buttons
  • Small white pom-pom
  • Small clothespins
  • Silver glitter glue
  • 4 feet holiday beaded trim
  • 4 feet gold cord
  • 2 to 4 small red cardinals
To Make a Santa Hangs It Up Swag:
  1. Use patterns to trace and cut out jacket, pants, and hat from red felt. Cut 2 boots from black felt. Download all Santa patterns here. Cut fur in 1-inch strips. Cut fur pieces to match length of end of arms, collar, bottom of jacket, top and bottom of pants, bottom of hat, and boot tops. Glue on fur.

    Santa Hangs It Up
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Glue fur to bottom of jacket.

  2. Cut long underwear from white felt. Paint horizontal stripes with green paint.

    Santa Hangs It Up
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Use green paint to add stripes
    to long underwear.

  3. Cut belt from black felt, and glue it to middle of coat. Glue buttons down middle of coat. Glue pom-pom to tip of hat.

    Santa Hangs It Up
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Use glue gun to attach
    buttons to coat.

  4. Paint clothespins green. Paint lightly around clamps so they close properly. Let dry.

  5. Accent clothes with silver glitter glue. Let dry.

  6. Match end of beaded trim with end of cord, and knot together. Loosely twist beaded trim around cord, then knot other end. Use clothespins to hang Santa's clothes, spacing items evenly along cord. Glue on cardinals

    Santa Hangs It Up
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Hang Santa's clothes
    with clothespins.

Holiday Hint
To make this unique decoration more functional, add a few more feet of gold cording, and hang your Christmas cards on it with extra clothespins.

Santas in a Row Mantel Swag

Santa will be happy to fill your stocking with goodies when he sees his jolly likeness hanging from your mantel!

You'll Need:

Santas in a Row Mantel Swag
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Santas in a Row Mantel Swag

  • White paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Light iron-on adhesive
  • Fabric scraps (for Santas): beige, red, red-and-white print, yellow, white, light gray, pink
  • Iron, ironing board
  • 3 pieces heavy brown paper, 5x12 inches each
  • 3 pieces cream or white heavy felt, 5x6 inches each
  • Sewing machine
  • Tan thread
  • Powder blush
  • Fine-tip black pen
  • 24 inches jute or hemp string
  • Hot glue gun, glue sticks
  • 30 to 35 strips assorted Christmas fabric scraps (for ties), 137 inches each: prints, plaids, checks

To Make a Santas in a Row Mantel Swag:

  1. Copy and cut out patterns. Download the Santa patterns here. Trace patterns onto white paper, and cut them out. Then trace 3 of each pattern onto paper side of iron-on adhesive. Group all the same patterns together (i.e., stars with stars, hats with hats), leaving a little room around each traced pattern.

    Santas in a Row Mantel Swag
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Trace all the patterns onto
    white paper to begin.

  2. Cut around each group of patterns on the adhesive, leaving a border around each. Using fabrics for Santas, place patterns glue side down on wrong sides as follows: faces on beige fabric, hats on red fabric, hat trims on red-and-white fabric, stars on yellow fabric, beards on white fabric, mustaches on light gray fabric, and noses on pink fabric. Iron pieces using medium heat and no steam. When cool, peel off paper backing.

  3. Fold each piece of brown paper in half lengthwise, and insert a piece of cream or white felt in each. Cut out each of the Santa pieces, and position them onto center of brown paper. Press in place. Repeat for all Santas.

    Santas in a Row Mantel Swag
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Center Santa pieces
    onto brown paper.

  4. With sewing machine and thread, straight stitch around Santa face, following outline. Use a large straight stitch and a very sharp needle to prevent tearing. Repeat for all Santas.

    Santas in a Row Mantel Swag
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Use sewing machine to straight
    stitch around Santa face.

  5. Trim 1/8 inch outside stitching for all Santas. Don't cut too close to stitching.

    Santas in a Row Mantel Swag
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Carefully cut out Santas.

  6. Add blush to cheeks with finger, and draw on eyes with fine-tip black pen. Add stitching lines to beard and hat trim. Repeat for all Santas.

  7. Tie loops on both ends of jute for hanging. Hot glue jute to backs of Santas, placing Santas evenly along length. Leave about 2 to 3 inches between each Santa and between Santas and hanging loops.

    Santas in a Row Mantel Swag
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Use glue gun to affix Santas to jute.

  8. Tie 6 to 8 Christmas fabric strips between each Santa and on each end. If needed, add more ties to fill up space.

    Santas in a Row Mantel Swag
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Tie strips of fabric between each Santa.

Every home needs a little color, especially around the holidays. See the next page to learn how to make some cool colorful garlands and swags.

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.

Snowman Garland

Who doesn't smile at the sight of a snowman? The following project will allow you to stay cozy and warm inside while creating a craft masterpiece that represents the outdoors.

A Lovely Assortment of Snow People Garland

These happy snow people will bring a smile to your face every time you catch a glimpse of them!

A Lovely Assortment of Snow People Garland
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
A Lovely Assortment of Snow People Garland

You'll Need:

  • Tracing paper
  • Pencil
  • Temporary spray adhesive
  • 5-inch length of wood (such as poplar or basswood), 8 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/8-inch drill bit, 5 inches in length
  • #2 reverse tooth scroll saw blades
  • Scroll saw
  • Medium- and fine-grade sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Acrylic paints: buttercream, Prussian blue, white, fiesta pink, bittersweet orange, crocus yellow, tangerine, burnt umber, black, heritage green, mallard green, chamomile, light Victorian teal, pthalo green, mocha brown, rhythm 'n' blue, touch o' pink, Bahama purple, royal fuchsia, sweetheart blush, purple, pale lilac, drizzle grey, napthol crimson, tompte red, periwinkle blue, coastline blue, pthalo blue, pink quartz, pink silk, ocean reef blue, sparkle glaze
  • Paintbrushes: various sizes of flat, angled-shaders, liners; stippler
  • Stylus
  • Interior/exterior varnish
  • 16 round wood beads, 1/2 inch each
  • 28 round wood beads, 3/8 inch each
  • Two 1/8-inch dowel rods, approximately 12 inches long each
  • 2 yards hemp cord

To Make A Lovely Assortment of Snow People Garland:

  1. Copy and cut out patterns. Download snow people patterns here. Apply temporary spray adhesive to backs of patterns, and apply them to wood in direction of the grain. Rough cut pieces apart into blocks, being sure that side edges are perpendicular to dotted lines.

    A Lovely Assortment of Snow People Garland
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Apply patterns to wood.

  2. With the 1/8-inch drill bit, carefully drill through where dotted line indicates. (You may want to practice on wood scraps to get the feel of going through wood without breaking sides.) Be sure to stay in center of each piece so bit doesn't "blow out" sides. Don't force bit through the wood; let bit do the work.

    A Lovely Assortment of Snow People Garland
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Drill through area marked
    with dotted line.

  3. After drilling all holes, cut around perimeter of all pieces with #2 reverse tooth blade of scroll saw. Lightly sand pieces, and use tack cloth to remove dust.

  4. General painting instructions for all snow people: When painting base colors, continue painting around sides of all pieces. Base coat bodies, heads, and faces with buttercream. Paint all clothing, hats, and carried items according to individual instructions. (Specific painting instructions for each snow person follow.) Float shade around all buttercream areas (including sides) with Prussian blue.

  5. Use stippler brush to stipple over body and head with white. Keep stippling light and airy, and allow floated shades to show through. Stipple sides of snow people in same manner.

    A Lovely Assortment of Snow People Garland
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Stipple snow people
    bodies white.

  6. Dry-brush cheeks with a very light hint of fiesta pink, building color. Basecoat nose with bittersweet orange. Float a line of crocus yellow on top third of nose. Float a shade on underside of nose with tangerine. With liner brush, make a tiny line of burnt umber on underside of nose.

  7. With small side of stylus and black paint, dot eyes. Line mouth and eyebrows with black. With stylus and white paint, add a highlight in each eye.

  8. Snowman with star: Basecoat star with crocus yellow. Basecoat mittens, hat band, and pompom with heritage green. Base coat scarf and hat with mallard green.

  9. Dry-brush center area of star with chamomile. Dry-brush green areas very lightly with light Victorian teal to highlight.

  10. Paint stripes on scarf with heritage green. Float shade on all green areas with pthalo green. Float shade on star with mocha brown.

  11. Snowwoman with baby: Basecoat hat, cape, and mittens with rhythm 'n' blue. Basecoat baby blanket, hatband, and bow with touch o' pink. Dry brush center areas of cape with Bahama purple.

    A Lovely Assortment of Snow People Garland
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Basecoat cape on snowwoman
    with baby rhythm 'n' blue.


  12. Float shade on blanket, hatband, and bow with royal fuchsia. Refloat blanket, hatband, and bow with sweetheart blush to strengthen. Float shade on hat, cape, and mittens with purple. Dry-brush purple areas with pale lilac.

  13. Basecoat hat flower with crocus yellow. Float shade with mocha brown. Dot center of flower with crocus yellow.

    A Lovely Assortment of Snow People Garland
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Use crocus yellow on hat.

  14. Snowman with broom: Basecoat hat with drizzle grey. Basecoat scarf and mittens with napthol crimson. Basecoat hatband and broom with crocus yellow. Basecoat broom handle with mocha brown.

  15. Float shade on hatband with napthol crimson. Float shade on broom with mocha brown. Float shade on bristles and broom handle with burnt umber.

  16. Dry-brush mittens and center area of scarf with bittersweet orange. Paint lines on scarf with crocus yellow. Float shade on scarf and mittens with tompte red. Float shade on hat with black. Dry-brush top and sides of hat with black.

  17. Snowman with shovel: Basecoat hatband, pompom, and scarf with crocus yellow. Basecoat hat and mittens with bittersweet orange. Basecoat shovel with drizzle grey. Basecoat shovel handle with mocha brown.

  18. Float shade on hat, scarf, and mittens with tangerine. Strengthen floats with mocha brown. Float shade on shovel with black. Float shade on shovel handle with burnt umber.

  19. Snowman with birdhouse: Basecoat hat and scarf with periwinkle blue. Basecoat hatband, pompom, and mittens with coastline blue. Basecoat birdhouse with chamomile. Basecoat roof and birdhouse pole with mocha brown.

  20. Float shade on hat and scarf with pthalo blue. Float shade on birdhouse with mocha brown. Float shade on roof and birdhouse pole with burnt umber. Use large end of stylus and black paint to dot hole on birdhouse.

  21. Snowwoman with basket: Basecoat hat, hat bow, mittens, apron, and apron bow with pink quartz. Base coat ruffles on hat and apron with touch o' pink. Basecoat basket with crocus yellow.

  22. Dry-brush top of hat, center of mittens, and apron with pink silk. Dry-brush hat and apron ruffles lightly in center with white.

  23. Float shade on hat, mittens, apron, and bows with royal fuchsia. Float shade on basket with mocha brown. Strengthen floats on hat, apron, and mittens with sweetheart blush. Float shade on inside of basket with burnt umber. Lightly strengthen floats on basket and do line work with burnt umber.

  24. Snowflakes: Basecoat snowflakes with buttercream. Stipple (including sides) with white, allowing buttercream to show through. Float shade with ocean reef blue. Stipple sides of snowflakes lightly with ocean reef blue. Lightly paint, including sides, with sparkle glaze.

    A Lovely Assortment of Snow People Garland
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Stipple sides of snowflakes white.

  25. After each piece is finished, apply several coats of varnish. Let dry between coats.

  26. Garland beads: After stringing small beads on a dowel, paint them white. After stringing larger beads on other dowel, paint them ocean reef blue. When dry, apply several coats of varnish while beads are still on dowels. Remove when varnish is dry.

  27. Finishing: Tie a blue bead to the end of the hemp cord. First string on a white bead, then a blue bead, a white bead, a snowflake, a white bead, a blue bead, a white bead, and a snow person. Repeat process, stringing on remaining beads, snowflakes, and snow people. Finish by tying on remaining blue bead to end of hemp. The finished garland will be about 32 inches long.

Whether you're decorating a mantel, doorway, or staircase, nothing quite says the holidays like a homemade swag. The crafty gems detailed here will brighten up any home with tons of holiday cheer.

©Publications International, Ltd.

About the Craft Designers:

Williamsburg-Inspired Christmas Swag: Sylvia Montroy

Gingerbread Garland: Trena Hegdahl

Sweet Cinnamon Holiday Swag: Ed Smith, AIFD

Santa Hangs It Up: Diane Hardy

Santas in a Row Mantel Swag: Alesha Whitney

Well-Lit Welcome: Delores Ruzicka

Grizzly Bear Garland: Sharon Miller Cindrich

Christmas Mantel Topper: Allan Howze

Christmas Arch: Allan Howze

A Lovely Assortment of Snow People Garland: Sheila A. Bergner

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