How to Make a Lantern Swag for Christmas

How to Make a Lantern Swag for Christmas

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Have you started thinking about Christmas yet? Let’s be honest…Once the kids get back to school, if you are like me, I act like it’s Fall already. Maybe because “back in the day” we didn’t go back to school until after Labor Day?? But we know that once Fall is here, Christmas is just around the corner. As a seller, if I don’t get a head start on Fall and Christmas items, I will start the fourth quarter rush already behind. The lantern swag I am sharing here is my first Christmas design of this year! Be sure to watch the video to find out one of my favorite ribbon hacks while I show you how to make a lantern swag for Christmas!

Especially if you are a seller, lantern swags (sometimes called lantern toppers) are a great item to consider adding to your collection. Besides their versatility, I like the fact that they can be made however detailed or simple as you like. One of my best sellers is a rustic lantern swag made with couple of basic evergreen picks, a few faux berries and a bow. ..That’s it! I like to make a lantern swag to coordinate with my wreaths or arrangements. You will find, many times you can use your leftover supplies from those projects to make a completed lantern topper.

If you have a vendor booth at a boutique or are having a craft show, I recommend staging an area with the coordinating items together. That way, the buyer can visualize them as a set. Who doesn’t like a “one and done”? I also sell many swags as gifts. Swags can offer a kind of a lower to medium price range for your customers. 

Remember as you are shopping for or selling swags, they are not just for lanterns! 

Other uses include:

  • Place on a grapevine wreath form for a completed look
  • Attach to a banister, lamp post or garage lighting
  • Use as a table centerpiece
  • Attach to a mailbox

Step By Step Instructions

Step One

I usually like to make my bow first.  In the video I am making mine by hand, but you can use a bow maker if you’d like. If you need help making a bow by hand, this blog post will show you some easy bow making tips.

Step Two

Next, I start assembling the swag. I basically sandwich the pieces together adding and securing with zip ties as I go. Depending on the size swag I am making, I like to use my fist to determine the gap where I will place the bow. I adjust the ribbon to blend with the other items but not be smashed. I also try to be sure the “goodies” or ornaments aren’t hidden.  Also,  I try to make the lantern on scale with the size lantern I am using. You don’t want it to overwhelm the lantern. I like to be able to see what’s inside, whether it’s a candle or, for myself, I like to fill the lantern with seasonal items for the different holidays. For example, for Fall, you can fill them with pumpkins, acorns…for Christmas fill them with ornaments, faux snow, etc. 

Step Three

Once the bow is attached, I cover the mechanics for a more professional look. For this, I have a collection of leftover leaves and glue them to cover the zip ties, etc. If you are making the swag for yourself, this can be omitted.

Step Four

Next, I place the swag on the lantern with the rustic wire. I start to shape the branches, taking each piece, fluffing and giving it a little bit of a bend, to make it look a little bit more natural.

Step Five

From there, I add pieces to make the swag to my taste. For the swag I made in this video, I added frayed burlap ruffles. I love using frayed burlap to add a different texture and I feel like it’s a bit unexpected. Sometimes put it in my bows, I use it in my swags and also in my wreaths. Simply curl a short strip and use a pipe cleaner to secure it.

How to Make a Christmas Lantern Swag

And that’s about it! To be honest, you could just decorate your lantern with a simple bow to match your décor. I like to jazz mine up…I’m a little “extra” I guess!

I hope you will give making a lantern topper a try! I always tell my wreath making group members to have fun and please don’t stress on it!! Anything can be undone and repositioned. Once you get your first designs under your belt, I am sure you will realize how rewarding it can be to see your gorgeous swag hanging on your lantern! Soon, your friends will be asking you to make one for them!!

Speaking of friends, if you liked this post, please share it with your crafty friends.

If you want to learn how to consistently make wreaths and artificial floral designs you are proud of, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Facebook for weekly video tutorials.

To learn wreath design on a deeper level, you can also join my private wreath making group, Teri’s Wreath Works, here.

Rustic Christmas Centerpiece DIY

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