The aromas of holiday cooking bring to mind warm images of dinners with family and friends. And if you want to add some special flavors to your cooking this season, consider keeping one of these beautiful decorative herb swags nearby. Made with fresh ingredients you can harvest straight from your herb garden, this lovely, easy-to-make swag will spice up your kitchen (or any part of your home) throughout the cold winter months.

Ingredients

Use your fresh herb cuttings to create fragrant swags and other decorative items for your home.

Photo Credit: Mary Moore

Bend hanger

A bent wire coat hanger creates a strong backing for your herb swag.

Photo Credit: Mary Moore

Layer Ingredients

Work with several cuttings of the same herb at a time to help create a full look.

Photo Credit: Mary Moore

Swag

The swag takes only about 30 minutes to make, but you can use it to flavor your cooking for months!

Photo Credit: Mary Moore

To create the herb swag, gather the following items:

  • A few dozen stems of culinary herbs cut at least 6 inches long. (Sage, tarragon, thyme, parsley, rosemary and other fragrant herbs work great for this project – but harvest more thin-stemmed herbs [like thyme or parsley] than the woody, thick-stemmed herbs [like rosemary].)
  • 1 wire coat hanger
  • Floral wire (can be purchased at craft stores)
  • Wire cutter
  • A premade bow or 35 inches of decorative ribbon (This is enough ribbon to cover the hook and add a bow. If you decide to finish the swag with a simple tied bow, you’ll only need about 20 inches.)
  • An ornament of your choice to decorate the front.

In just five steps and 30 minutes, you can create your one-of-a-kind herb swag masterpiece:

  1. Grab the coat hanger and bend the long wire along the bottom of it up toward the hook. Then fold down the sides (as shown in the picture).
  2. Cut a piece of floral wire about 1 ½ feet long. (This is just an easy length to use, but feel free to make it longer or shorter as you prefer.) Attach it by twisting one end around the bottom of the hanger until it’s secure, so you’ll then have one long wire hanging from the bottom. This is the wire you’ll use to start attaching your herbs.
  3. Begin building your swag by wrapping a single piece of rosemary or other woody herb at the bottom of the hanger with the wire. (Starting at the bottom of the coat hanger instead of the top makes it easier to layer the herbs and end up with a fuller look.)
  4. Once you’ve secured the first stem to the hanger backing, add another cutting of the same herb slightly above the first piece and, again, attach it to the hanger with the wire. Work with several pieces of the same herb at a time before adding a different herb to create a nice layered effect. When your first piece of floral wire is almost completely used, wind the end of it completely around the hanger, making sure the end isn’t exposed. Cut a new piece of wire, wrap it around the coat hanger a couple of times to secure it, and continue to attach the next layer of herbs. (If some of your smaller herb cuttings are shorter than the recommended 6 inches, just tie them in small bunches before securing them to the coat hanger.)
  5. Continue to tie the herbs in layers onto the wire backing until you reach the hanger’s hook. Wrap ribbon around the hook, then attach the end with craft glue. (You can use floral wire to hold the ribbon in place while the glue dries.) Finish your swag with a pretty bow and an ornament at the top for a festive look, then hang in your kitchen.

You can snip off some of your herbs to use in cooking immediately if you’d like, or you can wait for them dry. Just be sure to hang your swag in a dry area of your kitchen that allows air to circulate freely for the best results. And if you’ve got plenty of herbs left over, consider making a swag for a friend – it’s a great way to share the scents and flavors of the season!