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Make a Christmas mailbox swag

Who doesn’t enjoy seeing Christmas decorations adorning a home’s exterior windows, doors and porch? Let us not forget the mailbox when decorating. Swags are easy to make and add a festive touch.

1. Supplies needed to make a sway include gloves, pruners, wire cutters, floral wire, scissors and zip ties. Additional items of choice might include ribbon, baubles and greenery. Evergreens such as holly, cedar, pine, juniper, magnolia and rosemary make wonderful swags. Holly and nandina can also be gathered for their berries.

2. You will need several branches of your greenery of choice, approximately 2-3 feet in length. Depending on your mailbox size and shape, more or less might be needed. Mixing foliage sizes and types will add depth to your swag.

3. Form the swag by collecting various sizes of greenery. Place the larger branches toward the back and “stack” on top. Here, you can intermix the layers. For example, magnolia could be the base, and pine and cedar could be strategically manipulated to fit between the magnolia leaves. This step is easiest done wearing gloves and holding the stems’ base. If a branch is not as full as you would like, bind two together using floral wire or zip ties.

5. The final swag should be bound together by tying wire a few inches above the stem bases.

6. Next we make the bow! Don’t be intimidated. Several tutorials on YouTube can assist. Wired ribbon is easiest to manipulate into place.

7. Bauble of choice is limited only by your imagination. Pinecones spray-painted gold are one choice. Instead of wiring each pinecone individually to the swag, we connected the cones together using the floral wire. Cut wire long enough to wrap around the item, leaving a tail long enough to secure to the swag.

8. Now head out to the mailbox with your two swags, bow, pinecones or bauble of choice and zip ties. Someone to lend a helping hand will make the next few steps easier.

9. Place the swags as you like them, then take a step back to see how it looks. This is where the friend comes in handy; they can assist in making sure the swag is symmetrical.

10. Once you have it positioned, you can either wire or zip tie the swag in place. For traditional mailboxes, you will want to secure the swag completely around the box. Make sure it is secure and will not slip out of place. Mail carriers frown upon the swag interfering with opening and closing the door.

11. Attach the baubles using the tail of wire left from earlier. Wire provides some give yet enough structure to arrange the pinecones/baubles down the sides.

12. Last, top your swag with the bow. It truly is multi-purpose. Bows hide the wiring, give balance and add a pop of color.

Be inspired to create your own swag, whether it be for a door, railing or mailbox! Share photos of your creation with the Extension on Facebook at Franklin County Extension Office-Alabama Cooperative Extension System. As always, contact the Franklin County Extension Office with any questions regarding home horticulture at 256-332-8880.

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