How to Make a Floral Swag Arrangement

Updated April 17, 2017

Floral swags are not only attractive and fragrant---they are also quite versatile. Typically comprised of both greenery and flowers arranged in a slightly draping arc, they can be hung over doors and windows, strewn over mantles, attached to an outdoor gazebo or arbor for a wedding ceremony, or otherwise displayed wherever you see fit. Ranging in style from elegant to rustic, and from simple to lush, floral swags can be designed to suit any mood, event or environment. Floral swags are fun and easy to make at home.

Obtain a block of caged instant floral foam. The plastic cage in which the foam is contained will enable you to hang or attach the swag where you wish.

Choose an assortment of fresh cut flowers and greens that correspond to the event or place where the floral swag will be displayed. Select long, flowing greenery, such as ivy or asparagus fern, to give the swag the desired drape.

Slice the bottom 1-to-2 inches from the stems of all flowers and greens. Cut them at a sharp angle. Place them in water-filled buckets.

Submerge the floral foam in water until it is completely saturated. Remove and place it on your work surface.

Determine the shape and style you want your swag to have. Sketch an outline of the shape you want to achieve or look at a photo of a swag you admire for guidance.

Insert greenery into the floral foam. You have five surfaces to work with: the front of the foam, its top and bottom, and its left and right sides. Push greenery into all these surfaces, keeping it longer on the left and right sides to create a slightly arched effect.

Push flowers into the floral foam, following the general shape you created with your greenery. Keep the flowers shorter on the front and top surfaces of the foam, but allow the stems to stick out more on the sides and the bottom. Again, this helps to achieve the swag's arched, draping look. Cluster more flowers toward the centre of the swag, gradually decreasing the density of their placement as you work out to the left and right sides of the swag.

Add additional greens as needed to fill in any empty areas and cover the floral foam completely. Angle greens toward the backside of the plastic cage so it will not be visible when the swag is hung.

Complete the swag with a ribbon if desired. Wrap the ribbon in floral wire, position the ribbon where you want it and poke the wire into the floral foam.

Wind floral wire or chenille stems through the backside of the plastic cage holding the foam. Use the wire or chenille stems to hang the swag on a wall, or secure it to a gazebo or other structure.


For visual interest and dimension, place odd numbers of flowers rather than even ones. For example, you might put five-to-seven roses in the centre, top and bottom of the swag, and three roses draping down on either side. For a floral swag arrangement that will last indefinitely, use either dried or artificial flowers. Coat their stems in hot glue and arrange them in dry craft foam, not instant floral foam.

Things You'll Need

  • Caged block of instant floral foam
  • Water-filled buckets
  • Florist's knife or scissors
  • Assorted flowers
  • Greenery
  • 16-gauge floral wire or chenille stems
  • Ribbon (optional)
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About the Author

Rose Brown began writing professionally in 2003. Her articles have appeared in such Montana-based publications as "The Tributary" and "Edible Bozeman." She earned a bachelor's degree in literature from the University of California at San Diego, and a master's degree in English from Montana State University. Brown has been a professional florist since 1997.