How to make a dried fruit garland – eco-friendly Christmas decor ideas
How to make a dried fruit garland? Garlands made of dried fruits look wonderful and you can use dried apples, pears, oranges, tangerines, lemons, cranberries – all these are excellent materials for making a magnificent Christmas garland or decorating the interior of the home.
It is really easy to make dried fruit decorations at home – all you need to do is buy some fruits, dry them in the oven, and craft interesting decorations which will not only look good, but will add a fantastic citrus fragrances to the room. To add more charm you can buy some spices like cinnamon sticks, star anise or rosemary as well and add them to your garland.
Ask your children to take part in crafting a unique and festive Christmas decoration. Your child can make a pine cone garland or help you with a cookie garland – there are numerous craft activities suitable for kids.
How to make a dried fruit garland – dry the fruits
When you want to make a dried fruit garland, the work is divided into two major steps. The first one is to get the fruits dry and the second one is to construct your decoration – it could be a wreath, a table centerpiece or any other decoration – the rules and the steps are more or less the same.
How to dry fruits for decoration? As we said, this is the initial stage or the preparation, if you prefer. You can choose one type of fruit or combine different varieties. Keep in mind, however, that the juicier the fruit, the longer time it takes to dry.
Preheat the oven to the lowest temperature – 100C / 200F. You can use a dehydrator, but if you haven’t got one, the oven is just fine.
Cut the fruits without removing the peel – oranges, tangerines, lemons, lime – into slices of 0.5 – 1cm thick. Apples or pears should be sliced as thin as possible with a mandolin slicer or a knife.
Place citrus fruits on a kitchen towel and try to carefully pat as much juice as possible. For apples and pears you can skip this step.
Place fruit slices on a baking sheet and dry them in the oven. Time will vary and will depend on the thickness of the slices so check them every hour and turn them to avoid sticking until slices are dry. On average it should betake between 3-4 hours. You will know when your slices are dry as they will become firm and will slightly curl. If the fruits are not completely dry, one of the reasons may be that citruses are very juicy. If they come out from the oven and are still a bit wet, you can either return them to the oven for another hour or lay them on a piece of cloth on top of a radiator.
How to make a dried fruit garland – thread the slices and spices
Once you have dried all your fruits and decided whether and which spices you will add to the design of your Christmas garland, you are ready to start!
You will need:
Strong thread, twine or thin string
A thick sewing needle
The dried fruit slices
Some ribbon, burlap or other embellishments
Step 1 – Measure the desired length of your garland and cut the thread (twine, string). Make sure you add some extra length on each end to make a loop.
Step 2 – Use a large needle and start threading the fruit slices. Add cinnamon sticks (optional). You can tie them with the thread or drill a hole in the center. Be careful as cinnamon sticks tend to split. Do not thread the slices too tightly. Leave some room between them so that air can circulate.
Step 3 – Tie a loop at the other end of the thread. Add ribbons, burlap or any other decorations to your garland and it is ready to be hung!
Once the holidays are over and you want to store your dried fruit garland to use again next year, it is best to use a paper bag than a plastic box. Keep the bag in a dry place to prevent from mold.