Swags of fun!

I recently taught myself to make swags. I couldn’t find any instructions on the internet to help, so I want to record what I did, before I forget and to share my method.

Here is the finished product.


You will need

Fabric – see measurements below



Tailor’s chalk



I began the project with 54″/ 140cm wide fabric. As I wanted red/white/blue, I had to cut the fabric lengthways into three and rejoin them with felled seams [instructions on YouTube here, but if you offset the edges, it avoids having to trim the seams].

Hem any raw edges.

Measuring up

  1. First measure the finished width of the swag. The one above was 3m/2m/3m = 8m.
  2. Add 40cm to the end of each section [which means 80cm between sections] so in this case I have 40+300+40+40+200+40+40+300+40 = 1040cm or 10.4m

I worked out the 40cm by trail and error, but it works for this width fabric; you may have to change this if using wider or narrower fabric.


Lay the fabric flat and mark (using tailor’s chalk) the top edge with the measurements worked out above. From the first 40cm mark, draw a diagonal line to the bottom corner of the fabric. Continue to mark from the top edge measurement to form triangles as shown below:

swag measurements

Thread a needle with double thread (plenty) and make long running stitches along each marked line; about 4cms long stitches with 0.5cms of material in between.


When you reach the other edge, gently pull the thread until the fabric is gathered. Pull until gathers are quite tight, then finish thread with double stitches and cut. For the middle triangles I used two separate threads – you can wait until you have run both threads before gathering if you wish. Providing you have marked the lines with chalk you should be able to manage to follow these even though the material is gathered nearby.


Tie a piece of string around the two gathered threads and pull tight. Tie off and use the ends to hang the swag.

Pull the surplus material into a round shape.

At the end you will have a triangular ‘tassle’.

You can make individual swags using same method – allowing 40cms each end and gathering up.

Making swags in this way means they can be reused easily – no additional pinning or gathering.

Have fun!