Old-Fashioned DIY Garland With A Modern Twist

It's the new, old-fashioned way!

It’s that time of year again – decorating for the holidays! Whether you live in an old or new home, it never hurts to bring back some traditional decorations with a modern feel. This is a DIY to create your very own minimal waste garland that is almost fully compostable!

How to create a green garland: 

1.Gathering supplies

Now the first thing you want to do is to source a variety of fresh greenery…. I went with a mix of cedar, pine and magnolia leaves, and sapphire bunches. Avoid using greenery that are shedding needles or that have brown, dry tips.

Once you have some greenery your going to create little flat bouquets with the greenery mixing all the different textures.  You will secure each mini bouquet together with green ornament hangers. You are going to have to figure out how many bouquets you want, by measuring the length of your banister with cord or rope. Tie the rope to the top of the stairs, and just measured all the way down, and cut it.


2. Attaching your bouquets to the rope 

So, you will now attach each of those bouquets to the rope to create the base of the garland. You will attach that to the banister using wire ornament hooks to secure it and for extra security, you can also use plaid/flannel ribbon which you can make out of old plaid shirts!


3. Add sparkle

Now if you want to add a bit of sparkle without using tinsel you can go with some little LED lights.  Take your lights and then weave them through some vintage cookie cutters. Adding a bit of piazza to the garland while also adding some sparkle when the lights play off of the metal cookie cutters.


4. Adding dried fruit

Now the best part to the garland is the dried oranges and lemons. It gives beautiful colour but in a natural way. This is a great way to create a Victorian Christmas since citrus-colored items were especially popular because they stood out against the dark green branches of fir trees.

Drying oranges and citrus for decorations dates back to Queen Victoria’s time. Now you can use this garland all on its own, or blend it in with a greenery one like I did.


Here is what you will need to add some dried fruit to your garland or tree: 

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Slice oranges in rounds, about 1/4 inch thick. Blot dry with paper towels, and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 3 hours, flipping slices at least 3 times to bake evenly. The edges should be slightly browned.
  3. After 3 hours, remove from oven and place on cooling racks. Put aside. The longer you leave them to dry the better. You can leave them for over 24 hours if you want. Patience is required here, because you want the flesh of the orange to be totally and completely try, otherwise it will rip when you stitch it.

Tip: Boiling the fruit slices for a couple of minutes will prevent them from rotting or turning discolored.


Adding your dried fruit to your garland 

Tip: You can also add walnuts or cinnamon sticks to the garland just gently tap the needle with a hammer through the hard surface

  1. Thread the needle with your choice of twine. Then string orange slices onto the twine. You want to make sure you make a complete stitch through the orange slices: take the needle in one side of the flesh of the orange, and out the opposite side. You need a complete stitch so the slices hang on the string correctly.
  2. When you have the length you need, cut the string and tie a knot in each end to keep oranges from sliding off of the garland. Leave enough string after the knot to affix to your pine garland or Christmas tree, etc.