Here’s what we made:
The first and most time-consuming element of this garland are the oranges.
-Slice 2 large navel oranges (the thinner the better to shorten drying time)
-Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet
-Bake in the oven below 300* (we baked our’s at 275*)
-Bake for 2-3 hours depending on thickness, watching carefully as thin slices can brown (though I didn’t mind the added character!)
-Once they’re sufficiently dehydrated, remove from oven and place on a wire rack overnight for further drying
Some slices were ready the next morning but others took up to 48 hours to dry completely.
Once they were ready we popped some corn, poured some cranberries in a bowl and got ready to assemble our garland. Before I could do that, I had to settle the kids.
Here’s what they made:
Besides the clear-bulbed natural tree in the front room of our home, there is a second tree downstairs in the family room just for the kids (yes, we’re those multiple-tree having people!). It’s a very small, artificial tree trimmed with vintage angel ornaments collected by my mother and daughter. With it’s white branches and colorful bulbs I thought it could use a touch of handmade charm in the form of yarn strung Cheerios garland.
We simply cut 6′ of white yarn tied a hefty knot on one side, wrapped tape around the other end at a point and let the kids string the cereal on! Originally I had purchased yarn needles thinking they would be safer than the blunt sewing needles I was using for the Cranberry Popcorn craft, but they ended up being too wide to fit through the Cheerios! But, I found that tape worked just as well.
Back to what we did!
To assemble the garland:
-Gather your materials and see what patterns you like
-Cut 6-8′ of thick thread (we used a dark green quilting thread)
-Attatch to a blunt sewing needle and tie a nice knot at the other end
-string natural elements onto the thread
Play with different patterns and add your own touch! I assembled mine with my friends and they all came out a bit different. We included fragrant cinnamon sticks and I sewed some into my orange slices. One of my friends strung the cinnamon sideways on the string, another made a garland purely of cranberry.
On the tree, each strand is unique, but working together for a cohesive look and feel. Here’s the finished product:
I think it turned out great. The cranberries have dried on the string, shriveling a bit, but they still look cute!
I plan to use the left-over orange slices and cinnamon sticks for added charm to my upcycled brown-paper bag gift wrap and once we take down the tree we will string up the strands on tree branches in our yard for the birds to nibble on!
I hope you enjoy making your own garland at home! If you do, comment and let me know how it all turned out.