Monday, 5 December 2016

Tutorial: D.I.Y Christmas Garland

I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I am firmly in the christmas spirit!  I love any excuse to be creative, so I've made a festive winter garland and thought I'd share a tutorial with you, as these are super simple to make and the results are just gorgeous!

I originally had this idea as I have two potted bay trees on either side of my front door and they were in desperate need of a haircut! So two short back and sides later, I had enough bay leaves to make a start. Here's what you'll need;

Bay leaves
Florist wire
Dried Fruit
Cinnamon Sticks

 I used well over 100 bay leaves to make this garland, but if you don't have this many you can pack your garland out with pine cones and even fresh sage. I love how green this garland is, but it really is up to you what you put on there, there's no right or wrong - just add what you love.

I bought fresh cinnamon sticks, as the warm spicy fragrance really complimented the fruit and gave it that distinctive Christmas smell - but you can use dried and always spray your finished garland with festive room spray or refresher oil to give it that added oomph. I wound copper wire around two or three sticks of cinnamon and made little secure bundles that I could add to the garland as I went along. (This just made it easier to place them, without them pinging off!)

If you want to dry your fruit yourself, slice a few citrus fruits into about 2cm slices and place on a baking tray in a preheated oven of between 80-100 degrees celsius for around 2 hours. Just keep checking them, and when they are hard, take them out and leave them overnight.
I bought pre dried fruit and spices for ease - oranges, lemon, lime, hot peppers and apple. 
I used a whole dried orange and lime to bookend the garland, just wind your florist wire around the whole fruit and secure.
Then the fun starts! Just start threading your leaves and fruit slices onto the wire, occasionally adding your cinnamon bundles. Work your way up the wire until you've filled it and then secure your wire, so nothing slides off.

I then made two wire hoops, from doubled over florist wire and added these to each end so you can hang it up. Your garland can be any length you fancy, you can always tie ribbon around each wire hoop to make it even longer. Over time, the bay leaves will dry so you can get this garland out every year to enjoy.
String up across your fireplace, over a door, or up your bannister rail and add some festive fun to your home!  

Happy crafting and wishing you all a wonderful Christmas!

Love C x

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