Intro: Delightfully Dehydrated Garland
Enjoy the sights and scents of this easy to make, dehydrated compilation of fruits, leaves, cinnamon and eucalyptus. Bring the beauty of the natural world into your home.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
First you will need to gather all of your supplies:
1. Big Apples (Red & Green)
2. Big Naval Oranges
3. Eucalyptus Leaves
4. Green Leaves
5. Cinnamon Sticks
8. Lemon Juice
10. Cutting Board
11. Large Bowl
12. Dehydrator (or oven)
15. Drill with 1/16 drill bit
Step 2: Dehydration
There are a couple of ways you can do this. I have a small electric dehydrator that I use. You can usually find these pretty economically priced (~$25 @ Wally-mart or other kitchen stores). If you do not want to invest in one, you can always use your oven. I am not very experienced in that department though so I am not going to give instructions on that method.
1. Cut your fruit. Apples can be cut into 1/8 inch slices (do not core apples since the core forms a pretty star shape when dried.) As you slice each apple, immediately place slices into a solution of lemon juice and water (50/50 mix). Soak apples for 10 minutes, drain, and place on dehydrator trays. Oranges can be cut into 1/4 inch slices and they do not need to be pre-treated.
2. Dry the fruit. This is the time consuming part and should be accordingly planned for. Both apples and oranges should be dried at ~ 135 degrees F. Apples take about 4 hours, while oranges take about 10-12 hours. Remove apples when they feel leathery (not crisp), and remove oranges when they are no longer moist or sticky.
3. How Many? I find that I can get around 10 slices out of one apple and or orange. That is perfect for one garland, so plan 1 red apple, 1 green apple, and 1 orange per garland
Step 3: Prep Cinnamon
I found these cool bundles of cinnamon at Pier 1 for $5.00. It is best to find this type of decorative cinnamon, otherwise you will pay about $6.00 for a little spice jar full. Cinnamon is actually pretty easy to work with and of course it smells amazing!
1. Break the long sticks into pieces about 4 inches long.
2. Drill a hole. I used a 1/16 drill bit and went right through the middle. You do not need much pressure to get through.
3. How Many? You will need 8 pieces of cinnamon per garland
Step 4: Prep Eucalyptus
You can find large bundles like this at craft stores. I got this bundle for ~$3.00.
1. Cut Pieces. Cut little sprigs around 4 inches long each
2. How Many? You will need 4 pieces of eucalyptus per garland
Step 5: Leaves
You can really use any kind of leaves to add extra color and texture. I was not planning ahead for making this craft so I did not collect leaves when they were out on trees. I ended up getting some at a florist shop. These ones are lemon leaves (Salal Leaves) They smell nice and are a pretty shade of green.
1. How Many? You will need 8 leaves per garland
Step 6: Prep Ribbon
Depending on your tastes, you can find all kinds of fun ribbon to use. I wanted to use natural shades that would be suitable for any season so I used green and gold.
1. Cut them into pieces about 5-6 inches long
2. Burn ends. I use a lighter and very gently wave the flame under the ends of the ribbon. This just seals the material so they will not fray as time goes on.
3. How many? You will need 6 pieces per garland. I usually use 3 of each color so I can have some variety and alternate colors.
Step 7: String Up the Beauties!
Get all your supplies ready:
10 Slices Red Apples
10 Slices Green Apples
10 Slices Oranges
8 Cinnamon Sticks
4 Pieces of Eucalyptus
6 Pieces of Ribbon
1 Strand of Raffia
1. Thread the raffia onto a needle. (Make sure that it is not too thick and can especially go through your cinnamon stick holes.)
2. Tie a knot at the end and create a loop about 3 inches long.
3. Tie your first piece of ribbon
4. (Begin threading fruit) Start with 2 red apple slices
5. Then 2 orange slices
6. Then 2 green apple slices
7. Then 2 leaves (I like to face them the same way so the end result is uniform)
8. Then 2 cinnamon sticks
9. Then you are going to tie a knot around 1 piece of eucalyptus
10. Top it off with a ribbon
Continue with this pattern 3 more times.
After that last ribbon add:
2 red apple slices
2 orange slices
2 green slices
Then tie it off with the last piece of ribbon.
After the ribbon, tie the raffia into another knot like the beginning knot.
Step 8: All Done!
This is such a fun and easy craft to make. A good friend of mine (Janet Bly) first introduced me to this beautiful craft. The wonderful thing is that it is so versatile. I am sure you could also use any kind of other objects like pinecones, acorns, needles, berries, etc. I have made about 20 over the last month for family members and friends. It is pretty, goes with most decor, and everyone loves them. The best part is that they smell so good! It is like candy for the eyes and nose! Enjoy!