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A Christmas swag is similar to a wreath, but in a teardrop shape rather than a circle.

KAELYN CASSIDY - Wilsonville garden club member Victoria Von Tegan holds a picture of a holiday swag.

For the first time in more than two years, the Wilsonville Garden Club is holding its annual Christmas "Swag Sale" from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Wilsonville Library.

A swag is similar to a wreath, but in a teardrop shape rather than a circle.

About 25 members of the garden club gathered at the Charbonneau Country Club Nov. 3 to make the Christmas decorations, and it all starts with a foam block. The kind used for floral arrangements works best.

KAELYN CASSIDY - Members of the Wilsonville Garden Club craft Christmas swags.

Wire is threaded through the block and secured to make a hook on the back for the swag to hang from. It doesn't have to look pretty; this will all be covered up later.

Next is the bow. This part can be a little tricky, but the garden club members have a few tips. First, try using wired ribbon; it'll make things easier. If the ribbon begins to wrinkle, just exhale onto it, and it'll straighten out. Finally, remember that, with enough primping and preening, any bow can look professional.

From there, evergreen tree branches are inserted into the block. By cutting the ends of the branches at a diagonal, a sharp point is formed. This makes them easier to insert. Don't try to pull them out and stick them back in the same hole if you mess up the placement — the foam won't hold onto the branch properly and it'll fall out.

The branches are layered onto one another, creating a lush, cascading arrangement that can then be adorned with the bow and any other decorations before being hung on a door. The club members recommend choosing decorations that will withstand the outdoors and avoiding glass ornaments that can fall off and break.

If that all seems like a bit much, the garden club will have swags for sale along with table centerpieces and other Christmas decor.


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