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How to Make DIY Garland Using Your Favorite Fruits

Elevate your collection of homemade fall decorations with this simple, sustainable, and seasonal DIY garland made from dried fruit.

Written by
Samantha Bailon
Published

Summer's final weeks offer more than an opportunity to switch out your smoothies for pumpkin cream cold brew. The seasonal transition—and all of the anticipated coziness that comes with it—is the perfect time to make use of your harvest season fruit haul by making some homemade fall decorations.

Along with their delicious nature, pome fruits (like apples and pears) and citrus double as sustainable craft supplies with this easy DIY dried fruit garland.

Americans waste 25% more trash during the holidays than any other time of year, from food to plastic decor like bows and faux pumpkins. As such, this is a fun activity that comes with some serious eco-minded benefits. Garlands minimize food and material waste, allowing you to upcycle what you have rather than tossing that extra fruit or purchasing needless holiday adornments (though you're still welcome to peruse the aisles).

What are you waiting for? Gather your loved ones and string up some homemade fall decorations that make a difference for your space and the planet.

How to Make a DIY Garland With Dried Fruit

1. Collect Fruit

If you live in an area with orchards, get to picking! Late summer and early autumn are prime harvest months and the ideal time to stock up on fruit. If a hands-on harvest isn't an option, head to your local produce section or farmers' market. Eat what you can, and save your older or excess fruits for your garland.

2. Prep and Preheat

Set your oven to its lowest possible bake setting. While it's preheating, slice your chosen fruits as thinly as possible (this will help shorten the drying process). Once cut, use a Swedish dishcloth, an eco-friendly paper towel, or an absorbent rag to gently dab the fruit to remove as much moisture as possible. 

3. Bake

Bust out your reusable baking mat and lay your fruit slices flat. Once your oven is preheated, cook your fruit for 5 to 6 hours. Check on your fruit each hour, flipping as needed to make sure that both sides are properly drying. When fruit isn’t completely dehydrated it can attract unwanted bugs in your home, so take your time! When done, slices should be dry and stiff.

4. Thread Away

Once cooled, grab a needle and your choice of twine or sturdy string. Thread your slices, using the natural shapes and colors to create your own unique design.

5. Hang and Enjoy!

When you're done, hang your homemade masterpiece anywhere in your home to admire all season long.