I am so happy that the Christmas season is finally upon us! I love our house at Christmas time; the beautiful lights and our twinkly tree, it’s like the house was made for them and it looks so bare without them. Apart from our tree (which is, of course, the centrepiece), my favourite decoration is our wreath for the front door. I always like the idea of making a new wreath from scratch each year with real foliage and dried fruit. As we all lead hectic lives, of course, I made a little compromise with myself: buy a lit, unadorned wreath that I can decorate each year, so I still have the DIY element with around half the effort. This method also works for the garland on our fireplace.
DIY Dried Fruit Wreath
The decorations for my wreath come in 3 parts: dried whole fruit, dried sliced fruit and little cranberry bombs.
Dried Whole fruit
Clementines work best for this as they are nice small fruit with thinner skins. You could try whole oranges, I never have so let me know if you do! I cut 6 slits into the skin of the orange from top to bottom, leaving a bit to connect all the segments and roll the orange around in a tea towel for a few seconds just to get rid of the excess moisture.
With the oven on it’s lowest setting, I placed the oranges in on a metal tray in a little bed of kitchen roll to once again soak up some moisture. And then you just leave them there until they are all dried out and hard, could be up to 24 hours depending on how plump your oranges are. It is worth turning your oranges over every few hours or so.
Once they are dry you can use a yarn needle to thread some bakers twine through the tops of the slits and tie into a knot. This part may be quite fiddly but just be patient and you should be able to wiggle it through. You can then either make a loop to hang your fruit, or you can tie it tightly to a branch.
Dried Sliced Fruit
I use apples and oranges for this job: full-sized oranges to get nice big slices. Cut the fruit into around 0.5cm slices, pat dry with a tea towel and put in a low oven for 2-4 hours. Easy peasy. Just take them our once all the stickiness is gone and they are very crisp.
To attach the fruit I thread some twine through using a yarn needle and then either tie it to a branch or make a hanging loop.
Disclaimer: I love doing apples because I like how they look but they don’t stay dried as well as the oranges do… or maybe I just haven’t dried them well enough. If you do try to keep your dried fruit for the following year be aware that the apples may not make it.
These little bombs came about when I wanted a bit of colour to break up the orange and gold on my wreath. When placed near your twinkly lights they really add a lovely pop of colour. Just follow the steps below (I like to use a yarn needle for his job as it is nice and sturdy to push through the cranberries): Using a yarn needle thread 6 or 7 dried cranberries onto some string (this was bakers twine), tie the string into a double knot before tying it onto the branches of your wreath.
The next job is to place all your elements, evenly spread onto your wreath, turn the lights on to see what it looks like.
See what is lit up nicely: cranberry bombs and orange slices make some beautiful colours when placed near lights.
Once everything is perfect you can tie them all on, hang your wreath and admire your handiwork!!
I am so in love with this year’s wreath!! Even though I know that English weather will ensure my dried fruit will be soggy by the end of the month!! What wreath are you hanging up this year?