There’s nothing I love more than decking out my home for the holidays. One of my favorite things to make and display every year is a homemade dried fruit garland – it’s a handcrafted touch that instantly infuses any space with seasonal warmth and cheer.
In this post, I’ll go over how long dried fruit garlands typically last, including ones made with dried apples, oranges, and other fruits as well as give you a step-by-step tutorial for making your own. That way, you can DIY a custom garland that will fill your home with fruity cheer this holiday season. I’ll provide tips on the best places to display your homemade masterpiece and how to make it last for as long as possible. So grab some wrapped wire, pinecones, and apple slices, and let’s get crafting!
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How Long Does Dried Fruit Garland Last?
A well-made dried fruit garland can last for many years when stored properly between seasons. The key factors that determine longevity are using quality preserved fruits, proper hanging/display, and ideal storage conditions.
Start with quality ingredients
If you start with quality ingredients like commercially dried fruit slices or preserved whole fruits like oranges, your garland can look great for 2-3 years or more. Drying removes a lot of the moisture that causes fruits to spoil quickly. This slows down the deterioration process. However, it does not completely remove all moisture or prevent deterioration forever. Dried fruits still have some moisture and will eventually deteriorate. Here are some key factors to extend the life of your dried fruit garland.
Avoid direct heat and sunlight
When displaying your garland, avoid direct heat and sunlight which may cause fading. Cool, dry indoor conditions are ideal. At the end of the season, carefully wrap or box the garland to avoid breakage before storing.
The best storage for off-season
The best storage for off-season is in a dark, climate-controlled space. An airtight plastic bin in a closet or under a bed works well. You want to prevent temperature fluctuations, critters, and excess moisture from damaging the garland.
With high-quality preserved fruits, proper seasonal display, and ideal dark and dry storage, a homemade dried fruit garland can absolutely be enjoyed for multiple holidays. The fruits may eventually shrivel, but the garland will maintain its decorative shape and scent for years to come. Take care of your homemade garland and enjoy it as a vintage-style heirloom!
Dried Fruit Garland Longevity
This table provides estimates for how long a homemade dried fruit garland will last when displayed or stored in different conditions, based on factors like temperature, sunlight, and humidity.
|Displayed indoors in cool, dry room||2-3 years|
|Displayed in sunlight or near heat source||4-8 weeks|
|Stored in dark, climate controlled space||Up to 5 years|
DIY Dried Fruit Garland Tutorial
Faux Christmas greens, dried apples, mini pinecones, and twinkle lights! What is not to love about this sweet, easy-to-make kitchen garland? The base of this garland is a premade wire wrapped in brown floral tape making it a snap to put it together. The brown wire also gives it a beautiful and delicate natural look.
Note: this supply list is for a 50″ garland that fits a 36″ wide window. To determine the exact amount of supplies for your space visit “How to measure your wire” below.
- 60″ of Wire wrapped in brown floral tape
- 6-8 pcs Mini Pinecones
- 12 pcs Dried apple slices
- 1 stem Faux cedar
- 5 strands of Raffia (or your ribbon of choice)
- 1 set of Twinkle lights (with batteries)
How to measure your wire
- Window Width:
- Measure the width of your kitchen window where you intend to hang the garland.
- Draping Length:
- Decide how much you want the garland to drape down on either side of the window. This adds a decorative touch.
- Garland Style:
- Consider how closely or loosely you want to space the faux greens, pinecones, and apple slices along the garland. Leaving more space between elements will make a dainty garland, while clustering the items closer together will make a shorter, fuller garland. Keep in mind each item requires a wrap of wire so a dense garland will need more wire.
- Additional Items:
- If you plan to add extra items or twists along the length, account for each addition when measuring the wire.
- Safety Margin:
- Add an extra length for safety and adjustment, usually around 10 inches. This ensures you have enough wire for securing and draping without falling short.
By combining these measurements, you’ll have a wire length tailored to your specific space, style, and design preferences.
DIY Kitchen Garland: A Festive Faux Green Creation with Pinecones, Apples, and Twinkle Lights
- 1 Pair of scissors
- 1 Pair of wire cutters
- 1 Toothpick or nail
- 1 Piece 60" Brown wire
- 6-8 pieces Mini pinecones
- 12 Pieces Dried apple slices
- 1 long stem Faux cedar (cut 6-8 pieces from the main stem to create a small sprig)
- 1 piece Twinkle lights (with batteries)
- 5-6 strands Raffia (or ribbon of choice)
- Gather Supplies: Collect faux greens, brown wrapped wire, raffia, scissors, pinecones, dried apples, and any other items mentioned in the instructions.
- Measure the Wire: Determine the desired length of the garland, adding an extra 10 inches for wrapping and draping.Note: this supply list above is for a 50" garland that fits a 36" wide window.
- Make a Loop: On one end of the wire, create a loop and twist the tails together.
- Start with the Greens: Measure 2 inches from the loop, then wrap the wire around the stem of the faux greens. Ensure to catch one of the branches while wrapping.
- Wrap Pinecones: Measure another 2 inches, then wrap the wire around the pinecones by running it under the top layer of the pinecone's leaves and twisting.
- Add Apples: Pierce the top of two apples with a toothpick or nail. Feed the wire through the apples from the end without the loop and place them 2 inches away from the pinecones, twisting the wire.
- Tie Raffia on Greens: Repeat the process with greens, pinecones, and apples until the garland is full. Once all items are placed, tie a small bow of raffia on each piece of greens.
- Hang and String Lights: Once the garland is complete, make a second loop for hanging. Hang the garland and weave twinkle lights through it for a festive look.
Where to Hang Your DIY Garland for a Festive Touch
So, you’ve just created a stunning garland, and now you’re wondering, “Where should I hang this beauty to showcase my handiwork?” Well, I’ve got you covered with some creative ideas to spruce up your space!
- Above Fireplace Mantel: A classic choice, this spot instantly adds warmth and charm to your living room.
- On Stair Railing: Transform your staircase into a festive focal point, making every step a delightful journey.
- Draped Along Kitchen Cabinets: Give your kitchen a festive makeover by adorning your cabinets with your handmade garland.
- Around Windows: Frame your view with a touch of holiday cheer or seasonal delight.
- Along Top of China Cabinet: Showcase your favorite china and your DIY garland in one swoop!
- Above Kitchen Sink Window: Doing dishes just got a whole lot more enjoyable with a garland to gaze at.
- Along Porch Railing: Welcome your guests with a charming garland as they enter your home.
- Across Living Room Curtain Rod: Elevate your living room décor by draping your garland along the curtain rod.
- On Bookshelves: Add a festive touch to your book collection – they’ll love the company!
- Around Doorframes: Create a warm and inviting entrance by hanging garlands around your doorframes.
- Around Dining Table Centerpiece: Make your mealtimes even more special by encircling your dining table centerpiece with your garland.
- Around a Floral Wreath on Front Door: Your front door is the perfect place to set the tone for your home’s décor.
- Across Kitchen Open Shelving: Show off your garland while keeping your kitchen essentials handy.
- Wrapped around Candlesticks/Centerpieces: Give your tabletop decorations a festive upgrade with a wrapped garland.
- Along Top Edges of Frames/Mirrors: Frame your favorite artwork or mirrors with a touch of seasonal style.
- Around Banisters: Make your stairway a grand entrance with a garland cascading down the banister.
- Across Wall Shelves or Above Cabinets: Make use of every available space to display your DIY garland.
- Along a Headboard: Turn your bedroom into a cozy retreat with a garland along your bed frame.
- On a Christmas tree: Crown your festive centerpiece with a magnificent garland, transforming your tree into the ultimate symbol of holiday joy and warmth.
No matter where you decide to hang your DIY garland, it’s sure to add a touch of warmth and charm to your home. So, go ahead, get creative, and let your imagination run wild.
Frequently Asked Questions about Fruit Garlands
To dry your own apple slices, start by washing and coring the apples. Slice them into uniform pieces, about 1/4 inch thick, ensuring consistency for even drying. Optionally, you can dip the slices in a solution of water and lemon juice to prevent browning. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ensuring they don’t overlap. Set your oven to its lowest setting, typically around 200°F (93°C), and bake the slices for 2-3 hours, flipping them halfway through. Alternatively, you can use a food dehydrator following the manufacturer’s instructions. The apples are ready when they are slightly pliable and have a leathery texture. Let them cool completely before storing in an airtight container to maintain their crispiness.
Using a sharp knife, slice the oranges into thin slices, uniform slices between 1/8 – 1/4 inches thick. Thinner slices will dry faster. A serrated knife can also help cut nice even slices.
Navel oranges, cara cara oranges, blood oranges, and other thin-skinned oranges work well. Grapefruit and lemons are other citrus fruits that can be dried into slices.
Drying orange slices on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in a low oven at 200°F takes approximately 3-4 hours. Check them periodically until they are dried but still pliable enough to pierce for stringing.
Keep dried orange slices in an airtight container or bag in a cool, dark, dry place. They can last for several months when stored properly away from light, heat, and moisture.
Use quality dried, dehydrated citrus slices. Avoid hanging the garland in direct sunlight or heat. Carefully store the garland between seasons in a dark, climate controlled place.
Enhance the beauty of your fruit garland by incorporating a delightful mix of additional items. Consider weaving in aromatic cinnamon sticks and star anise for a festive touch. Add wooden beads for a rustic charm, blending seamlessly with the natural elements of your garland. For a classic holiday vibe, intersperse Christmas decorations, such as miniature ornaments or festive figurines, throughout the arrangement. Integrate bay leaves for a touch of greenery and a subtle fragrance.
Exploring the art of crafting holiday decor with dried fruits is a great way to infuse your home with warmth and seasonal charm. As you admire your beautifully crafted garlands and wreaths this holiday season, consider the joy of preserving this tradition for the next year. The longevity of dried fruit decorations ensures that your efforts will be a lasting source of delight, providing a timeless and sustainable element to your holiday decor for seasons to come.
For more holiday inspiration visit:
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Thank you for joining me for this How Long Does Dried Fruit Garland Last (Plus DIY Garland Tutorial) post!