Christmas Creations: DIY Citrus Fruit GarlandWith Christmas just around the corner, what better way to get into the Yuletide spirit than by decorating your home for the holidays! While buying Christmas decorations may well be an easier approach, making your own festive decorations adds a special, cosy touch to your home, and in the process allows you to save money for your much-anticipated (or dreaded!) Christmas shopping. What’s more, you can get the whole family involved, allowing you to spend precious time with your loved ones. So, if you’re interested in decking out your home with pretty, handcrafted decorations this Christmas, you’re in luck! We’re here to help with a guide to creating your very own garland using easily accessible materials. Just snip a couple of branches from your Christmas tree and pick up a few citrus fruits and spices from your local shop, and you’re all set! So, whether draped across your mantelpiece or suspended over your dining table, these citrus fruit garlands are sure to add a touch of Christmas cheer to your home!
What you’ll need:• Citrus fruits: oranges and lemons
• Cinnamon sticks
• Star anise
• A needle and nylon thread
• A serrated knife
• A few fir branches
1. Start by preheating your oven to 90°C. Then, using a serrated knife, cut your fruit into thin slices of around 4-5mm.
Step 1: Dry your citrus fruit slices
2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and arrange your fruit slices in a single layer. You will want to leave them in the oven for around 5 hours, turning the slices over every hour. Make sure to keep an eye on them, ensuring they don't burn and turn black.
3. Remove your fruit slices and leave them to cool for a few hours, or overnight if you prefer.
Step 2: Assemble your garland
1. Start by playing around with different designs, arranging the various decorations into patterns on your table until you’re happy with your layout. We chose to create 5 small garlands. However, you can modify the number and size of garlands you make based on your own personal preference!
2. Once you’ve decided on your design, thread a needle with a fairly long string of nylon. Pass the needle and thread through each of your decorations, to attach them one by one. You can string them close together or leave larger gaps between each decoration depending on your own taste!
3. For the citrus fruit slices, you’ll want to pierce the flesh twice with the needle, in order to hold them securely. Tie a knot on either side of the slice to prevent it from sliding around on the thread.
4. To attach the fir branches, you will need to pierce the needle through the branch and then wrap the thread around it a few times before tying a knot.
5. When it comes to the cinnamon sticks and star anise, wrap the thread around the middle a few times before tying a secure knot.
6. Once you’ve finished threading your decorations, knot the ends of your thread on both sides, in such a way that it leaves two small easy-to-hook loops.
Now, all that’s left to do is hang up your garland! Our favourite place to do so would be just above your dining table, as it adds an extra warm atmosphere to all your festive feasts. If you’re looking for an impressive way to welcome your guests over the holiday period, why not attach your garland to your staircase? And for those who prefer a classic, traditional touch, you can drape your garland over your mantelpiece. If you’re hesitating on where to place your new Christmassy creation, why not make multiple garlands!