In my last post, I shared some tips and tricks for drying out winter citrus. The whole reason for me embarking on the fruit drying journey was mostly because I was inspired by all the fruit on our property. But I also thought it would be fun to start a new tradition of foraging our own yard to make organic holiday decor.
Making garlands and traditions
So we grabbed a basket and got to explorin’ our own yard! This is the first winter season we’ve lived at The Flower Bungalow, so we’re still getting to know the property. Nestled on almost an acre of land and built in the mid-1900s, there is so much to get acquainted with here.
We came back inside with so many findings. Pecans, olive tree branches, myrtle berries, an assortment of citrus, to name a few. As we laid our loot out across the kitchen island, it smelled sooooooo good.
After slicing and drying up the fruit, we decided to make our first garland. It’s so easy, here’s what you’ll need:
- Twine or string
- A sewing needle or toothpick
- Dried citrus
- Fresh cranberries
- Chopstick or reusable straw
- Probably a glass of wine or holiday drink (optional)
I didn’t have a sewing needle on hand, so I attached a toothpick to the end of my twine by wrapping it in some scotch tape. It held up pretty well.
How to make your own organic holiday decor
First, I measured out my twine and arranged the fruit on the counter in the order I wanted to string it in. I tied a big knot at the end so the fruit wouldn’t slip off. Then I got to stringin’!
I quickly realized that poking a toothpick through a fresh cranberry was really difficult, so that’s where a chopstick or a reusable straw comes into play. Poke the hole, then string.
Whatever you use, it needs to be sturdy (that’s why I say reusable straw, not a disposable one) and it also needs to be smaller than your fresh cranberries. If it’s too big it’ll split the cranberry.
When stringing your dried fruit, there’s a few ways to do it. You can go through the center itself or you can poke it through the fruit at the top, just below the rind. I looped it around the rind once for good measure.
Alternating dried fruit slices and fresh cranberries, I strung my heart out until I got to the end. I decided it needed a little somethin’ extra so I took little sprigs of olive tree greenery and stuffed them into the holes of the cranberries.
6 ways to use dried citrus holiday garland
Here are some inspiring ways to use your organic holiday garland.
1. Trim the tree
Does anyone still string popcorn? I haven’t seen that in a while. Anyway, whether you decide to make individual ornaments with the dried citrus slices or a garland, it’ll look lovely on your tree. The lights shining through the glassy fruit slices are heavenly.
2. Hang around the house
Mine became a zoom background for a day. But I love having the fresh garland around the house, it makes me appreciate our home so much more. It’s a sustainable way to decorate, and like I said, I would love to make a tradition out of it.
3. Combine with fresh pine garland
I haven’t done this yet myself, but I am dying to hop over to Trader Joes for some holiday pine garland. I’m definitely going to combine some dried fruit garland with it and will have to share how it turns out on Instagram!
4. Decorate a holiday bar cart or serving area
This was a last minute idea because had so much dried fruit laying around. We decided to break out our vintage teak bar cart and shine her up. We strung battery operated lights, a string of fake greenery (would have loved if it was real!), and some dried fruit. It was seriously so cute! I wish I would have gotten better pics of it.
5. Gift adornments
When it’s time to wrap those gifts, add a touch of home-made love by using a dried citrus ornament as gift decor. Another way to use up the garland would be to cut it into sections and use the twine to wrap the gifts with the dried citrus on it. How fun would that be?!
6. Give the gift of a DIY garland kit
Most dried fruit slices fit perfectly in a large mason jar. Combine 10 or so slices of dried fruit, fresh cranberries, twine and sprigs of greenery like rosemary or pine. I literally just thought of this before I published the post and am so excited for this idea. By all means, if you like the idea too, please use it. It would make me so happy!
If you end up going organic with your holiday decor, you’ll have to share it with me. I can’t wait to see what you all create!