In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to make a beautiful dried fruit garland for the holidays. This garland is extremely easy to make yet elegantly classic.
I think a dried fruit garland is so beautiful and classic. Plus they are extremely easy and cheap to create. I also love that as long as you don’t seal it with anything these are great to feed to wildlife after the holidays and won’t end up in landfills.
We hung my grandmother’s vintage ornaments which have classic colors of red, white, and gold. I think they pair beautifully with dried oranges and grapefruits, cranberries, and popcorn.
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How To Make Dried Fruit
- Cooling racks– These are a must
- Cookie Sheet
- Fruit to dry- Oranges, Apples, Pears
- Thinly slice fruit to 1/4 inch. You want the fruit thin so that it will dry but not too thin that it burns
- Place fruit slices on a cooling rack and do not overlap
- Place cooling rack on cookie sheet
- Cook in a 200-degree Fahrenheit oven until dry
Notes on drying the fruit
To dry the citrus you want to thinly slice it and lay it on a cookie cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet and place it in a 200-degree Fahrenheit oven for hours. This is a really long process but easy because you can throw it in and leave it. You can also turn the oven off and on over a few days without a problem. You’ll leave them in there until the fruit is completely dried out and no longer tacky. I check them periodically and flip them. I also keep an eye on them towards the end because when they are completely dry they tend to burn quickly.
By the end, you’re going to want to bring up the temperature to make it go faster. DON’T DO IT. Trust me from experience. You will burn your fruit and it won’t be as pretty. I went up to 215 F and burned most of my first batch in under an hour.
Materials To Make the Dried Fruit Garland
- String- I used embroidery floss. You want to make sure it is very thin string or it will break the popcorn. You can also use fishing wire or thread
- Needle- A small fine needle
- Dried fruit
- Popcorn- don’t use bagged popcorn. It can’t have seasoning so air-popped or on the stove is best
- Cranberries- These can be fresh or dried
How To Assemble The Garland
String a needle on your string and begin stinging fruit. You can make any pattern you want. I didn’t really follow a pattern and just strung whatever I wanted.
Some Tips For Your Dried Fruit Garland
You can use any citrus. I used oranges and grapefruits and wanted to add blood oranges but couldn’t find any.
I made a big pot of popcorn. Like 30 times too much. You do not need as much popcorn as you think.
I used embroidery floss to make my garland because that was what I had on hand but if you’re using popcorn you’re going to want to use the thinnest string so that it can go through the popcorn without breaking it.
If you don’t like seeing the string on the fruit you can use the fishing line but I didn’t mind it. You don’t really notice it unless you are very close.
I used fresh cranberries and didn’t seal them. I’ll report back after the holidays to let you know how long they last. I’m hoping they will slowly dry out on the string. I have read that you can dry them before you string them or seal them fresh.
Multiple pieces of garland are easier to work with. The popcorn was a little more difficult to string on a long piece of floss. Hanging a long piece of garland was also more difficult because it is fragile. I didn’t string all around and did a zig-zag on the front of my tree instead because the back faces a wall. If you want to go all the way around I recommend determining how many rows you want and then making a single piece for each row.
If you’re creating a garland or wreath with foliage there is a spray called Wilt Stop that will help it last longer. I have never used it but all the blogs I have read recommend it.
Dried citrus can also make beautiful ornaments. I took a simple gold ribbon and strung it through with a knot at the top. They can also make a beautiful addition to gift tags, name cards for your holiday meals, fun garnish for cocktails,
Christmas is officially over and I will 100 percent make this again next year. The cranberries dried beautifully on the string. They didn’t mold or become gross. So if you’re ok with the cranberries drying out I don’t think there is a point in preserving them. I did try an put my garland outside for birds and squirrels and other animals since I didn’t spray anything on it but they just don’t seem interested. I’m pretty sad about that.
If it’s the holidays and you make a version of this garland I’d love to hear about it!