Christmas Crafts: Outdoor Swag and Lanterns

Outdoor Swag Tutorial
It’s only December 2nd and I’m already behind! I had this project ready for November, but I don’t know if I missed a week somewhere or I just got too inspired to stop, but somehow I ended up with an extra craft tutorial! It’s my favorite one so I had to put off the big Christmas Tree kickoff one extra day to share it.

The swag is simple enough, cheap plastic garland hung up with cup hooks, and a bow at the top of each loop. (Here’s my bow tutorial in case you missed it.) But I think what makes it really special is the lanterns. And those are just made out of cheap solar walkway lights, with a wire rig to hang them from the top. It might be one of my best ideas ever.

Lantern Tutorial Step 1
Take the ground stake out of your solar light. You won’t be needing that. Then wrap a piece of wire around the globe part of the light, overlapping each edge by about 3/4 inch. The wire I used is actually electric fence wire. It was super cheap and heavy, and came in a giant roll, so it was perfect for this project.

Lantern Tutorial Step 2
Using some round nosed pliers, roll the ends of each side of the wire into a loop and hook them together.

Lantern Tutorial Step 3
Measurements really don’t matter on this project, but I used about 2 feet of wire to make the handle. Make loops on the end just as you did before and attach it to your circle.

Lantern Tutorial Step 4
Fit your solar light into the rig you’ve made, and twist the wires of the handle together to hold the top in place. To make the fit extra snug I pinched the wires around the top before I twisted.

Lantern Tutorial Step 5
I put another twist in the handle close to the top, just to give myself some options when I went to hang it. Now I have two different lengths the lantern can hang to.

Old fashioned swag with lanterns tutorial
This lantern idea came from a spectacular craft fail. I mean, one I was bummed out about for a solid week. Over the summer I thought I’d use some cheap solar walkway lights to make some paper lanterns that were more weatherproof than actual paper lanterns. But it was a disaster. I’ll be sure and share more about that after the holiday, but it was epicly embarrassing. And yet out of that failure came this project that makes me happy every time I pull into the driveway. So I guess instead of a craft fail, it was really more of a craft experiment that took some time to find success.

What I love about this project so much is that it makes my house the most festive house on the block during the daytime, when all those lights the Grizwold’s up the street don’t look like anything. Our lights are beautiful, but with this swag and all the rest of my outdoor decor projects, my house looks like Christmas 24/7.

Be sure and come back tomorrow for the big tree kick off! I’ve got more ideas than there are days until Christmas. I honestly might be posting a few tutorials a day at this rate!

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