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Apple Harvest Door Swag (Easy Autumn DIY)

Apple Picking Hop 2021

Learn how to make a DIY Harvest Door Swag using poly burlap mesh, a yard stick, fall ribbons and embellishments to celebrate the autumn apple picking season. This post is part of the Let’s Go Apple Picking blog hop, which features 9 bloggers sharing easy apple recipes and home decor ideas.

A fall swag made of poly burlap mesh decorated with ribbons, apples and flowers in autumn colors. Features a round metal sign saying “Farm Fresh Apples – Pick Your Own.”

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Apple-Picking Season

Have you ever gone apple picking? If not, maybe this is the year to try it! Late summer and early fall is the perfect time to venture out to your local orchards and pick fresh apples right from the trees.

Make new memories with your friends or family. Enjoy bite after bite of ripe, juicy apples. When you get home, indulge in a slice of traditional homemade apple pie or try one of the scrumptious recipes shared in the blog hop at the end of this post.

Word cloud of apple harvest related words in the shape of an apple.

Fall Apple Harvest Decor

Apple harvest decor is perfect for September. It’s a fun way to spruce up your decorations during the transition from late summer to fall. This easy DIY project is a beautiful addition to your front door for this time of the year. It’s also a great way to remind you and your guests of happy apple picking memories.

A fall swag made of poly burlap mesh decorated with ribbons, apples and flowers in autumn colors. Features a round metal sign saying “Farm Fresh Apples – Pick Your Own.”
A fall swag made of poly burlap mesh decorated with ribbons, apples and flowers in autumn colors.

DIY Door Swag Overview

This easy door swag made on a yardstick (yes, the 36″ wood ruler you can find at the local home improvement store for about $1). The base of the swag consists of 10″ poly burlap mesh shaped into “Woodland Ruffles.” Using these ruffles provide a full base that combines both curls and ruffles.

To that base, I added apples, gorgeous fall-themed ribbons from Michaels, and a mix of florals and greenery.

Finally, I added a cute sign I made from a Dollar Tree oversized bottle cap and an an Apple-Picking design I found on Etsy. However, you add any fall sign to your swag (purchased or hand made).

I purchased the graphic design from AllThingsWereCreated on Etsy. Here’s the apple-picking graphic I used. With the help of my trusty Cricut Maker, I cut the design out of permanent vinyl and applied it to a Dollar Tree metal bottle cap. If you can’t find a metal bottle cap, this apple-picking design also would look great on wood, chalkboard, or plain metal.

A fall swag made of poly burlap mesh decorated with ribbons, apples and flowers in autumn colors. Features a round metal sign saying “Farm Fresh Apples – Pick Your Own.” Second image is a close up of the ribbon tails.

Instructions for Making a DIY Apple Harvest Door Swag

Here’s What I Used

Contains affiliate links

Materials

Tools

DIY Harvest Door Swag Project Steps

Time needed: 3 hours.

This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions for making a yardstick door swag featuring woodland ruffles and an apple picking theme.

  1. Paint yardstick (optional)

    If desired, paint the yardstick. This step is optional since you most likely won’t be able to see the ruler through all the ruffles and embellishments once the swag is complete.

    However, if you love to spray paint things (like I do), go for it! Protect your work space against overspray with a drop cloth or tarp. Spray outside or in a well-ventilated area and wear a respirator to protect your lungs when spray painting.

    Hand spray painting a yardstick with orange paint.

  2. Drill hole at the top of the yard stick for hanging (optional).

    Carefully drill a hole at the top of the yardstick for hanging your wreath. I drilled a hole about 1 inch from the top. Unfortunately, my yardstick cracked when I drilled the hole. To fix it, I used a bit of wood glue. I should have used a smaller drill bit.

    Drill hole in top of yard stick

  3. Mark stick for placement of pipe cleaners

    Using a pencil, place a mark 2 inches from the top and then additional marks every 3 inches down the entire length of the stick. These marks represent where you will attach the pipe cleaners.

    Hands marking a painted yardstick every 3 inches to indicate where to place pipe cleaners.

  4. Wrap pipe cleaners around yardstick

    Wrap pipe cleaners around your base in a double, single, double, single repeating pattern. You will be using the pipe cleaners to attach the mesh ruffles to the yardstick.

    Form the V with the first pipe cleaner and attach it at the first mark (2 inches from the top) with a couple twists. The ends of the V should be facing out to one side. Take the second pipe cleaner and place it right next to the first, but with the ends of the V facing out to the other side and secure with a couple twists.

    Move down 3 inches and place attach a single pipe cleaner with a couple twists, but this time have the ends of the V facing straight up.

    Go to the next mark, 3 inches down the yardstick, and add the double pipe cleaners with the ends facing out. Then add a single pipe cleaner with the ends facing up at the next mark (3 inches down the stick).

    Repeat this pattern down the length of the stick as shown in the image below.

    Pipe cleaners wrapped around a painted yardstick in a pattern every 3 inches (double, single, double, single, etc.)

  5. Secure the pipe cleaners

    Use a dab of hot glue to secure the pipe cleaners to the yard stick. This helps to keep the pipe cleaners from moving around as you’re attaching the ruffles.

    Using hot glue to attach pipe cleaners to a painted yard stick.

  6. Cut poly burlap mesh into 22″ strips

    Take your roll of 10 inch-wide poly burlap mesh and unroll a length of it on a cutting map. Using a ruler and a rotary cutter (or scissors), measure and cut strips of mesh, each 22 inches long. Cut both rolls of the poly burlap mesh into 22 inch strips. You should end up with about 20 strips (10 from each roll).

    I’m using my new Cricut Safety Ruler in the image below to protect my fingers from the rotary cutter.

    Hands holding a metal ruler and a rotary cutter to cut a piece of poly burlap mesh.

  7. Forming Woodland Ruffles (curl first end)

    To form a Woodland Ruffle, first curl up one end of the poly burlap mesh strip (roll the mesh about 2-3 times) following the natural direction the strip want to curl.

    Hands rolling up one end of a strip of poly burlap mesh to make a woodland ruffle for the door swag.

  8. Forming Woodland Ruffles (clip rolled edge)

    Secure the mesh roll with a clip or clothes pin. This is to prevent the side from unrolling as you work on the other side in the next step.

    Curled edge of a mesh ribbon secured with a clip.

  9. Forming Woodland Ruffles (roll other edge and scrunch up strip into a ruffle)

    Roll the other side of the mesh 2-3 times to form a second curl. Pinch that curl and then begin to scrunch up the mesh along the middle of the strip.

    Hands scrunching up the length of a poly burlap mesh strip to make a woodland ruffle for a fall door swag.

  10. Forming Woodland Ruffles (continue scrunching until the two ends meet)

    Continue scrunching up the strip of mesh until the two rolled end meet.

    Hands scrunching up the length of a poly burlap mesh strip to make a woodland ruffle for an autumn door swag.

  11. Forming Woodland Ruffles (secure ruffle with a zip tie)

    Wrap a zip tie around the center of the ruffle, thread the zip tie, and pull tight to secure.

    Instead of using a zip tie you could put the ruffle directly on the wood frame and secure with the pipe cleaners. However, I wanted to form all my ruffles before attaching them to the frame.

    Hands using a zip tie to secure the pinched middle a strip of poly burlap mesh to create a woodland ruffle for a wreath.

  12. Trim zip tie

    Using a wire cutter, trim the end of the zip tie.

    Hands using a wire cutter to trim the end of a zip tie on a mesh ruffle for a wreath.

  13. Attach ruffles to yard stick

    Attach the ruffles to each of the pipe cleaners on the wood frame.

    Hands twisting a pipe cleaner around a mesh ruffle to attach it to a wreath form.

  14. Attach ruffles to each pipe cleaners

    Continue adding ruffles to pipe cleaners down the entire length of stick. Because of the double, single, double pattern of the pipe cleaners, you’ll attach two ruffles, then a single ruffle, then two more ruffles, followed by a single, etc.

    Once you reach the bottom, go back and add 2 more ruffles to the very first two pipe cleaners at the top so they are double stacked. This will help make the swag extra full at the top.

    Poly burlap mesh ruffles attached to a painted yard stick with pipe cleaners.

  15. Add decorative ribbon

    Add two strips of decorative wired ribbon down each length of the swag. I used a floral burgundy pattern and a solid green ribbon that I found at Michaels. Start by pinching the ends of the two ribbons and twist them into the top of the swag using one of the pipe cleaners at the top.

    Unroll about 10 inches of ribbon and then attach that in the center of the next outside ruffle (don’t attach ribbons to the the single ruffles down the middle of the frame). Continue down the entire side adding about 10 inches of ribbon between each outside pipe cleaner.

    When you reach the bottom of the sway, attach the ribbon to the single ruffle/pipe cleaner at the bottom. Leave about 12 inches of ribbon for a tail and then cut the ribbon.

    Repeat the same process down the other side of the swag. Both sets of ribbon will meet and be secured in the single pipe cleaner at the bottom of the swag. Leave about 12 inches of each ribbon at the bottom to form tails.

    Decorative wide wired ribbons in a floral burgundy pattern and in solid green attached down the length of the swag.

  16. Cut dovetails at the end of the ribbon.

    Trim ribbon tails to desired length. Fold the ribbons in half length-wise and cut at an angle to form dovetail ends.

    Cutting the end of folded ribbons at an angle to form a dovetail.

  17. Add flowers and greenery

    Add various artificial flowers and greenery to the swag. I made a swag of floral stems, berries, and eucalyptus branches.

    The ends of the branches were splayed out towards each end of the yardstick and the ends of the stems met in the middle of the swag.

    Attach the stems in to the middle of the yardstick using additional pipe cleaners. Use as many pipe clearers as needed to secure the floral arrangement to the swag.

    Using a pipe clear to attach greenery and flowers to a swag.

  18. Attach sign over center of swag

    Using floral wire and hot glue, attach your sign to the middle of the swag covering the area where ends of the floral stems meet.

    Attaching a metal sign to a poly burlap swag using floral wire.

  19. Add an apple at the bottom of the swag

    Add an apple at the bottom of the swag at the point where the ribbons meet. Insert a floral pick into the apple and add a dab of hot glue to the entry point. Then thread the wired end of the pick through the mesh and wrap it around around the yard stick.

    Using a floral pick in an artificial apple in order to attach it to a yardstick swag.

  20. Glue apple to ribbons

    Use a dab of hot glue to attach the apple to the ribbons.

    Using hot glue to attach an artificial apple to ribbon on an autumn door swag.

  21. Using floral picks, attach 3 apples to the top of the swag

    Insert a wood floral pick into each of the three apples and secure with a dab of hot glue. Then thread the wired end of the picks down through the mesh and around the yard stick.

    Because the artificial apples were a bit heavy, they tended to want to separate and pull the mesh outward I added hot glue to attach the apples together and curved the mesh to better support the apples.

    Hands attaching an artificial apple to a mesh wreath using floral picks.

  22. Tuck away pipe cleaners and wire ends

    Once you’re happy with the design, fluff and shape the mesh ruffles. Also, separate and shape the ribbons along each side of the swag. Don’t forget to fluff and separate the flowers and greenery too.

    Tuck the ends of the twisted pipe cleaners out of sight under the the ruffles or behind the yardstick. Make sure no wire ends are poking out where they can scratch you or your paint. You can add felt along the back of the yardstick if you desire to protect the wall or door.

    Hang your wreath and enjoy!

    DELETE

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Let’s Go Apple Picking

Now that you’re thinking about apples, are you ready for some some yummy apple recipes or apple-themed home decor ideas? Check out these Let’s Go Apple Picking blog hop posts. Let me know which recipe or project you plan to try first! I can’t decide, so I’m going to try them all! Yum!!

This-Dear-Casa-Baked-Apples
This Dear Casa – Baked Apples
Blue Sky at home - Apple crostata
Blue Sky at Home
Apple Crostata
Cottage On Bunker Hill Apple Wreath
Cottage On Bunker Hill
Apple Wreath
FeetUnderMyTableAppleDumpling
Feet Under My Table
Apple Dumpling
IKORNCRAFTS - APPLE SIGN
Ikorn Crafts
Apple Swag
Midwest Life and Style - Apple Fritter Monkey Bread
Midwest Life and Style
Apple Fritter Monkey Bread
Our Tiny Nest - apple cinnamon french toast casserole
Our Tiny Nest
Apple cinnamon french toast casserole
Shop at Blue - Apple Cobbler
Shop at Blue
Apple Cobbler
easy crockpot apple butter
A Loverly Life
Easy crockpot apple butter

Additional Wreath-Making Posts

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Carol@Blueskyathome

Friday 20th of August 2021

Wow!That wreath is so lush. So full of pretty fall decorations. Love burlap and your bows are awesome.

Anne

Friday 20th of August 2021

Thanks Carol!

Jennifer Howard

Friday 20th of August 2021

This is really cool!! You do great tutorials!

Anne

Friday 20th of August 2021

Thanks Jennifer!

Marie

Thursday 19th of August 2021

Great detailed tutorial! I love the idea of a swag that can be used on so many surfaces. Happy hoppin'!

Sue at Blu

Thursday 19th of August 2021

Anne I love this twist on door decor...you see so many wreaths all of the time. This sway is gorgeous!

Anne

Thursday 19th of August 2021

Thanks Sue!

Leslie Watkins

Thursday 19th of August 2021

What a gorgeous swag! I loved so many of your the methods you used to create this! Never thought of beginning with a yard stick even! Pinning this one to use your ideas for later, friend! Thanks, always for your inspiration! Loved hopping with you!

Anne

Thursday 19th of August 2021

Thanks Leslie!

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