Swans a swimming tablescape

The Christmas fanatic inside of you has been dying to create this Swans a Swimming Tablescape! Is there a more iconic Christmas song than The Twelve Days of Christmas? It also happens to be the one that gets stuck in my head more than any other song, but what can you do? We wanted to create a tablescape appropriate for the holidays but on the more untraditional side of things, AKA no red, white, or green. So using The Twelve Days of Christmas song as our inspiration, we give you the Swans a Swimming Tablescape! A paper swan nestled on a bed of greenery and paper flowers along with more swans a’ swimming in the form of printable name tags and a DIY swan!

Swans a swimming tablescape

Learn to make the Swans a Swimming Tablescape after the jump!

Swans a swimming tablescape

Swans a swimming tablescape

Swans a swimming tablescape

Swans a Swimming Tablescape

Printable Swan Place Cards, Flowers, and feather templates HERE

Materials: 
  • Tissue paper
  • Masking tape
  • White crepe streamer roll
  • White and orange crepe paper (we used two weights to give variety and dimension)
  • Pink acrylic paint (optional)
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
Instructions:

Body

  1. Create the neck of the swan by taping 5 pipe cleaners and a length of more rigid wire together. Make a little head by crumpling some tissue paper into a little ball shape and wrap masking tape around it. Hot glue the ball to one end of the wire bundle. Give the neck more thickness by bunching or loosely rolling a sheet of tissue paper lengthwise and loosely taping it to the wire bundle.
  2. Create the body of the swan by crumpling up tissue paper into a football shape and wrapping some masking tape around it.
  3. Curve the neck of the swan into an S-shape and glue/tape the end opposite of the head to the base of the swan body.
  4. Fill in any lumpy areas in the body by adding small bits of crumpled tissue paper and taping them in place.
  5. Wrap the entire body, neck, and head with white crepe paper streamers. Hot glue these in place where needed. You may need to cut some pieces of streamer down the middle (giving you more narrow strips) to wrap around the neck and head area. This will result in less buckling and gaping.

Feathers

  1. If you’d like to give the white crepe a bit more dimension, you can water down a bit of pink acrylic paint and speckle some of your white crepe paper with it.
  2. Cut a variety of feathers from your white crepe paper ranging from about .5 inch in length to 6 inches in length. Cut the feathers WITH the grain (those crinkly ridges that run up and down the crepe paper). Hot glue some of the longer feathers to the swan starting with the swan’s tail feathers. Only glue one end of the feathers to the body and leave the other end free. Overlap and angle the feathers slightly differently as you glue. Continue to glue feathers working from the tail feathers toward the neck and head. Remember to only glue down the ends of the feathers that are closer to the neck/head side of the body. Begin with the 6-inch feathers at the tail and start mixing in smaller feathers until you get to the .5 inch feathers at the head.
  3. Tuck some of the 6, 5, and 4-inch feathers under some of the feathers on the body of the swan and glue into place. These are your wings. You want them to start blending into the body feathers as much as possible.
  4. You can now go through your feathers and glue down any ends that you don’t want to stick up so much. As a general rule the feathers on the head and neck should be glued down closer to the body and as you get closer to the wings and tail the feathers can lift up from the body more.

Head/Beak

  1. Create a beak by crumpling some tissue paper into a cone shape and securing with masking tape. Glue the cone to the head of the swan. Cut .5 inch strips (against the grain) from the orange crepe paper. Wrap the strips around the cone and glue into place.
  2. Use the black acrylic paint to paint nostrils, eyes, and the black band where the beak meets the head. Done!

Please Note: We first imagined the swan as a tree topper. The first seven photos indicate how to make that possible if you’d like to do this yourself! If not, you may disregard the cylinder but still proceed with the stuffing.

Swans a swimming tablescape

Swans a swimming

Swans a swimming tablescape

Swans a swimming tablescape

Swans a swimming tablescape

Swans a swimming tablescape

Shop the look!

Teal plates  |  Gold splattered plates  |  Gold flatware  |   Glass/gold goblets 

Photography by Clara Sumsion Jones