By Gene and Katie Hamilton
A swag covered with fruit and greenery that fans below a window or adorns the top of a door is a lovely way to decorate your home. You can make these natural house ornaments or buy them at a lawn and garden center, where they cost about $65 each. Swags aren’t too expensive if you’re only buying one for a door, but they add up when you count the number of windows in most homes. A couple of swags can set you back $150. To make one yourself, you’ll spend about $25 on the material, a noticeable price difference. However, it’s a onetime investment because you can reuse the backing board for years to come.
To make the swag, you need basic carpentry skills and tools. Begin by cutting out a backing board made of thin plywood and paint it green. To determine the size, measure the width of your door or windows and use that as the widest dimension for the backing board. Cut it in the shape of a half-moon crescent.
Drive 2 1/2-inch drywall screws into the back of the board so they protrude from the front to hold the fruit in place. Cover the board with magnolia leaves, holly branches or evergreens fastened with a stapler. Then push colorful red apples and lemons onto the screws to hold them in place.
Use eye hooks and pads to mount the swag board onto the siding above the door or window. Fasten two screw eye hooks on either end of the board, and install screw eye pads on the siding. After the holidays, carefully remove the fruit and greenery, but save the board for next year.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.