For insight into how I turned out the way I did, consider the year that my mother declared that we’d have an “18th-century Christmas.” While our friends asked Santa for American Girl dolls, Adidas Samba sneakers, and fluorescent-haired trolls, my sisters and I were left to scratch out lists that included wishes for wool mittens and scarves. The guideline was that all the gifts had to be homemade, or at the least, something that children in the 18th century might have received. It took some convincing to get us onboard.
On Christmas morning, our stockings hung heavy with oranges and walnuts and beeswax candles. We all did our best to look amused.
Read on for step-by-step instructions to make your own dried fruit garland for the holidays:
Photography by Erin Boyle.
In case there’s a historian in the crowd, it should be noted that the history of decorating wreaths and garlands with dried fruit dates from the early 20th century and the height of the Colonial Revival era, and not from the Colonial period itself. The thought of sacrificing an orange for décor would have been unthinkable to the colonists. …Details.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Assorted apples, pears, and oranges
- Upholstery needles
- Cookie rack
- Cookie sheet
1. Choose a variety brightly colored apples, pears, and oranges.
Step 2: Slice fruit into 1/4-inch slices.
3. Place sliced fruit on a cookie rack on top of a cookie sheet.
4. Bake at 150 degrees for from five to six hours.
5: When the fruit is visibly dried, remove from the oven.
6: Use an upholstery needle to thread the dried fruit onto thin twine.
7. If you include walnuts or cinnamon sticks, use a hammer.
8. Hang the garland in a sunny spot to enjoy all season.
See more ways to add edible plants and garden flowers you your holiday decor: