Decorative apples add sophistication and elegance to formal and informal settings. They are not just for Williamsburg wreaths and bowls. This Christmas, add a Christmas swag made of red or green apples to welcome friends and family into your home. These directions are for a fireplace swag that could easily repeat the apple motif throughout the house.
- 4 to 5 dozen apples. Use apples that are uniform in size. Small or medium work best.
- Heavy fishing line
- 8 to 10 florist’s picks
- 3 small nails
- 2 to 3 small pine branches
- greenery (your preference for filling in areas on mantle)
- 3 red velvet bows (optional)
Directions for Making a Christmas Swag of Fresh Apples:
Place a small nail halfway into the center of the mantle so that the nail extends vertically to provide a place to tie ends of the fishing line. Place two more nails, one at each end of the mantle, for anchoring the garland to the mantle.
Left half of the mantle:
- Measure the width of half the width of the mantle. Add to this number the length of the distance you want the end piece of your apple garland to extend down the side of the fireplace or mantle area. Triple this measurement to determine how long to cut the fishing line.
- Tie one end of the fishing line tightly to the middle of one of your florist’s picks. Triple tie the line so there is no danger of it’s coming untied. This pick will prevent the apples from slipping off the end of the garland.
- Tie the other end of the fishing line to the blunt end of another florist’s pick to fashion a “needle” from the pick. The sharp end of the pick will form your needle.
- Line your apples up so that the smaller ends point toward the left and the larger ends point toward the middle of the mantle.
- Insert the pointed end of your florist’s pick needle into the center of the bottom of the first apple. Carefully push the pick into and through the vertical core of the apple. Your needle should appear near the center of the top of the apple. Pull the florist’s pick out and prepare to add a second apple.
- Use pliers if necessary to pull out the pick.
- Continue to string apples into a garland until you achieve the length and draping effect you desire.
- Leave extra fishing line intact for tying
Right side of the mantle:
- Repeat all of the above steps to fashion the apple garland for the right-hand side of the mantle.
- Before tying the garlands on too tightly to easily remove, eyeball the swags you have made and adjust them according to the final look you wish to achieve.
- Select a piece of pine branch that resembles a tassel. Wrap the wire from another florist’s pick around the stem of the pine tassel. Insert pick into bottom of the outside apple to finish off the apple garland. Repeat for the right-hand side.
Finishing Touches for the Apple Holiday Garland:
- Accessorize the garland with small pine branches, pine cones, magnolia leaves or other greenery as desired.
- Tie red bows to each nail, for accents.
Place additional greenery, candles and a few more apples along the mantle to finish the mantle display.