Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Apple and Orange Garlands

These garlands are so easy to make and take very little actual time. I plan to use mine to decorate my Christmas tree this year. Here's the process:

First, select firm apples and oranges with no bruises. I had some Golden Delicious apples (native to WV, did you know?) that were starting to get wrinkly but were otherwise blemish-free, so I used them.

Slice the fruit as thin as possible while still keeping a full circle of rind around the outside edge. (Don't try to use the stem and blossom ends for the garlands; instead, dry them for potpourri mixes).

Spread the sliced fruit on a cookie sheet or in a dehydrator and dry until leathery and no moisture is left in the fruit. I put mine in my electric oven on "warm" to dry overnight, and it worked very well. I also dried some by placing very near--but not on--the wood stove. Don't over-dry or your fruit rings will shatter when you try to string them.

Some people recommend dipping the apple slices in lemon juice first to keep them from turning brown, but I liked the way mine turned out without this step.

Once dry, push small holes in each piece of fruit with a nut pick or other small sharp tool; string the pieces on jute string in any arrangement that suits your fancy.

Use strips of fabric, cinnamon sticks, or other decorations to add to your garland as you like. I used fabric strips this time; in the past I've also used bunches of herbs and cinnamon sticks.

That's all there is to it! It took me about 15 minutes total to slice the fruit and about 30 minutes to make three garlands that are each about nine feet long.


Janet, said...

Those are so pretty Susanna! They look wonderful hanging on your log cabin wall.

Granny Sue said...

Janet, I bet you'd make them a lot prettier than I do--I tend toward simple, and I think you'd be more creative with them.

City Mouse said...

Wow - those are super cool. I think the oranges are particularly neat. I always likes popcorn and cranberry garland too.

Patty said...

Wonderful idea, thanks for sharing it with us.

Tracey said...

That turned out so pretty!
Thanks for sharing the directions with us! Hope you will share a picture of the garland on your Christmas tree.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and your family!
:) Tracey

Granny Sue said...

I will, Tracey. I'm thinking I might use it after the holidays in the kitchen window too. The oranges make nice suncatchers, and it would be a bright spot in the winter months.

I like the popcorn and cranberry garlands too, Mouse, and I may make a couple of those if time allows. I like them because they're food for the birds after the holidays.

Tiger Lady said...

I'm going to try this. I love it!

The Tile Lady said...

This is a wonderful tradition! I love doing them, and also making oranges with cloves to set in a bowl on a table. The cinnamon sticks are such a wonderful touch to these kinds of decorations, albeit a little hard to find (without paying a fortune!) But, it is so great for kids to learn about these natural decorations, and they make the house smell great too!


bayouwoman said...

Lovely! And is that really the wall of your house?

Granny Sue said...

Yes, it is, BW. it is one wall of the log room. I need to do a post sometime about how that room was built. It's a story in itself.

As for the slices, I'm glad many of you think you might try them. They really are simple to do--the kind of crafts I do have to be!

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