Dried fruits such as dried orange and lemon slices, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves make up these easy to assemble and highly scented garlands. They can be utilised as wreaths, make an unusual table decoration, become tree hangings, or simply be hung in a room to scent it with delightful Christmassy smells.
Raw Materials for the Garlands
To assemble the garlands, you will need needle, lengths of strong cotton or string – coloured or plain, and plenty of raw materials of your choice – bay leaves, silver sage leaves, slices of dried lemon and orange, cinnamon sticks, and shells such as walnut or hazelnut shells.
Drying Orange and Lemon Slices
Dry orange and lemon slices by slicing them thinly and placing on a baking dish that has been lined with baking paper. Dry in a warm oven until the slices aren’t sticky any more. They can also be dried on a plate placed on a radiator.
Scented Leaves – Bay, Lavender, Rosemary, Eucalyptus
Bay leaves can either be dried or fresh – if they are fresh, they will dry out over time. Other leaves that remain evergreen, such as eucalyptuses are also suitable. The silver dollar eucalyptus is especially effective. Other scented leaves such as rosemary and lavender can also be used.
Nut Shells for the Beginning and Ends
Half walnut, hazelnut, brazil nut shells, or other cinnamon sticks make excellent end and beginning pieces to the garlands.
To Assemble the Garland
Drill a small hole in the shell if you are using a nut shell, or tie some cinnamon sticks together. Thread a needle with the cotton of choice, and then begin, letting imagination be the guide. Thread on slices of dried fruit, followed by five of six centimetres of leaves, pushing each one down firmly. Follow this with more dried fruit, then more leaves, and so on, until the garland reaches the appropriate length. When it’s long enough, finish off with another half nut shell or some more cinnamon, and leave enough string to make a loop so the garland can be hung. The garland can also be brightened with coloured berries, such as rose hips, cotoneaster, blackthorn, or rowan berries.
Uses for the Garlands
Simply hang the finished garland in a room, and it will scent the whole area wonderfully. Make smaller garlands to hang on the tree as scented decorations. If needed for a door wreath, simply bend a wire coat hanger into a circular shape, and carefully fix the garland to it, then affix to the door. Make an unusual and highly scented table decoration by placing a long garland down the centre of the table, and gently pushing it into a curving line with your fingers. In each of the curves, place a small coloured candle in a holder or on a saucer decorated with cloves or ivy leaves.
Also try making Christmas cards with natural materials, wreaths and tree decorations.