DIY Holiday Day Swag from Old World Wisconsin | Wisconsin Historical Society

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DIY Holiday Door Swag from Old World Wisconsin

DIY Holiday Day Swag from Old World Wisconsin | Wisconsin Historical Society


EnlargeDIY Door Swag

DIY Door Swag


This holiday season, if you are looking to create your own classic holiday door swag, the team at Old World Wisconsin has you covered!  One of our favorite things about the holidays at Old World Wisconsin is how inspired we become by the natural beauty of the greenery around us.  We love to use this creativeness to DIY our own holiday décor for our annual event: An Old World Christmas.  This DIY technique is similar to what Wisconsin immigrants would have done in the late 19th century.  They would have used materials from around their home and in the woods to make their holiday decorations.

It is so simple to create a fresh wreath that can be displayed throughout the holiday season (in just 15 minutes)!  All you have to do is follow the steps below!  You can also find a step by step video of this tutorial on our Facebook page:

After you’ve finished this tutorial, be sure to check out our other ideas on Pinterest (@wisconsinhistoricalsociety). 

Time to DIY!






  • Floral Wire
  • Wire cutter
  • Clippers
  • Greenery (of your choice)
  • Natural floral products


Step 1: Create greenery base



Pine Greenery for the base of the door swag


Place your greenery (of different sizes and fullness) together for your base (think of it as a flat bouquet). Loop the floral wire around the greenery 2-3 times, pulling it tight to keep the greenery in place. 




Step 2: Add Additional Greenery to your base



Add additional greenery to the base


Use a different type of greenery for the second layer of the base (white pine, ponderosa pine, longleaf pine, etc).  Take 3-4 sprigs and place on top of the base.  Wrap the wire around 2-3 times (weaving in and out of the branches).  Be sure not to place the wire too close to the top of the branches (the wire could show after).




Step 3: Add in other natural florals 

EnlargeFloral Door Swag


Floral Door Swag with natural florals               


Add 1-2 branches of other natural florals in the center of your display.  Wrap the floral wire around 2-3 times.







Step 5: Add the last layer of pine

EnlargeAdd in the last layer of pine

Add in the last layer of pine 

Add in the last layer of pine to the base          

Place the last, small layer of pine on top of the display.  Wrap the wire around 2-3 times.  Turn the display over and cute the wire (leaving approximately 5-6 inches).  Weave the excess wire around the branches so that it disappears.






 Step 6: Put a wire loop on back for hanging

EnlargeWire loop on the back

Wire loop 

Create a wire loop on the back

Cut 8-10 inches of wire (depending on how big of loop you need to hang).  Weave the wire through several branches (use more than one in case the branch breaks).  Twist the wire around itself a number of times until a loop has formed.  Tip: Don’t create the loop at the top of the branches or else the nail and hook will show when you hang it.





Step 7: Add a holiday bow

EnlargeAdd a holiday bow

Holiday Bow

Add a holiday bow of any color


 You can use any color or style ribbon for your wreath.  Twist the bow around several times in the back.




Step 8: Hang!

EnlargeHang your final door swag

Final Door Swag

Hang your final door swag                              


 This DIY holiday door swag will extend a warm welcome to visitors all winter long.


This DIY holiday door swag will extend a warm welcome to visitors all winter long!