Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Christmas Entry TableChristmas is over for another year, and it always looks so bare around the house when the decorations are taken down, doesn’t it?  We get so used to it all over the month or more that we have our houses all gussied-up.  And it’s really bad when there are some bare spots in your decor even when the holiday decorations are up.  That’s where I found myself before Christmas, even though we’d been living here since February.  Still a lot of bare spots that needed a little decor.

While I was decorating, I decided to take care of one of those spaces that looked bland and bare, so I decided to make a swag.  We have an entry table with a picture over it, and I have always thought it looked like it needed…something.  Ever since the Fall decorating had begun I had wondered what to do with it, and finally decided to put a swag there.

Our entry table is a modern one that has been purposely distressed, so a rustic type swag was what I was looking for.  Several shopping trips later, I still hadn’t found anything that screamed “Take me!  I’m the perfect swag!”   Finally, after the Christmas decorations were all up, I decided to make one.

Back to shopping I went, looking for materials.  Being frugal (cheap), I just couldn’t bring myself to pay a huge price for each component of a long swag.  Finally, I remembered my Fall foraging trip that City Boy had taken me on, the one where I gathered all the Fall foliage.  At one point, we had gone into an open field and I had cut a big bunch of overgrown field grass.  Most of it had gone to seed, but I managed to clip most of it without the seed head.  It was above the knee, less than waste high.

Once home, I hung the whole bunch upside down in the garage, and then forgot about it.  And so, once I remembered the grass again, the swag in this picture is what I ended up with.  

If you are not into rustic, collecting grass in the Fall is probably not something it would be of benefit for you to do.  Dried grass is always going to look rustic.  Well, maybe if you spray-painted it silver or gold it would look more updated — I’ll have to try that and see.  I’ll try anything once.  Almost anything.

Here are the things I used to create this rustic grass swag:

Scissors, twine, long dried grass.

This is another weed that I had drying at the same time the grass was -- I didn't have a full-length picture of the grass.

This is another weed that I had drying at the same time the grass was — I didn’t have a full-length picture of the grass.

Gather the overgrown grass in any field that hasn’t been mowed in awhile.    I used scissors to cut it off as close to the ground as possible.  Gather a huge bunch — remember that it will seem like much more when it is in its live state than when it is dry, so gather more than you think you will need.

Method for HangingTie the bottom of the bunch of grass with some twine, leaving long ends so you can tie it around something to hang it upside down.  Let it dry for at least several days; longer is even better.

When ready to make the swag, separate the grass into small bunches that are about the density you want your swag to be.  Lay them out on a flat surface so you can work with them.  I laid mine out on the floor.

Use the twine to tie the bunches together, overlapping the end of one bunch with the beginning of another.  Leave stray blades of grass loose from the twine to give the swag a more natural, full look.  Continue this process until the swag is the desired length.

Shape the swag to suit what you are using it for.  I did some bending and shaping before I put the swag up, and then did some touch-up shaping after I had it in place above the picture over the entry table.  For the purpose in the picture, the swag is resting on the picture with nothing else holding it up, but for other purposes it would probably need to be tacked here and there to the wall.  

I have not tried seeing how this would look on a mantle or a table, but if I make another one or move this one I will have to try that and see how it looks.  

Here are a few pictures I took while in the process of making the swag:

Grass spread out on the floor made it easier to work with

Grass spread out on the floor made it easier to work with

Beginning of the swag -- two bunches tied together

Beginning of the swag — two bunches tied together

Close-up

Close-up

Third bunch ready to be added on

Third bunch ready to be added on

Third bunch added on, tied off, twine cut -- I think I used seven or so bunches altogether for this swag

Third bunch added on, tied off, twine cut — I think I used seven or so bunches altogether for this swag

The finished product

The finished product.  I did fluff this swag up some after I took this picture because I had it too squared-off.  This swag can be made shorter or longer — as long as there is overgrown grass available, a swag can be made.

 One of these days I might do something rustic with the other weeds that are still hanging out in the garage (unless City Boy has thrown them out thinking I was not going to use them).

Rustic isn’t for everybody, just like ultra modern isn’t for everybody, but I enjoy it any time natural things are used in home decor.  The materials are all around us, we don’t have to spend a lot of money making things from them, and best of all, nothing gets wasted.

If you get a chance, go on a nature walk and get some ideas for things you can use to make your atmosphere pleasant.  There are so many things, especially this time of year, that are laying out there dormant or dead that can be brought back to life by your creativity.   So let your creative juices flow out of every pore, and have a blessed day!