We love holiday crafts, projects, and tradition


s. If you’re looking for a fun new tradition to start with your kids, making dried fruit garland is a great one! This fun and easy project is made from natural items, is eco-friendly, and easy enough for little kids to help with. Plus, you’ll end up with a beautiful decoration to hang on your mantle, tree, or cozy spot of your choosing! Today, the uber-talented Tiffany Griffin, Texas homeschooling mom of four, walks us through the process of how to make your own dried fruit garland with kids. She’s got a step-by-step tutorial with all the details – you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how fun and easy this project is!

Starting a new holiday tradition

Traditions are a big thing in our family. I find around the holidays, my heart aches for slow mornings, simple crafts, and quality time with my children. I can only hope my love for traditions rubs off on them to pass down to generations after me. One of our favorite holiday traditions is the ever popular dried fruit garland! If you’re looking for a fun new tradition to start with your kids this year, making a dried fruit holiday garland should be at the top of your list! 

There are so many reasons this activity is so wonderful. It’s great for little hands and helps with dexterity and fine motor skills. Not only is drying fruit a gift of beauty from mother nature, but it is also a sustainable craft that requires little to no waste. Leftovers can be composted, used to infuse for water/homemade cleaning solutions, or in our case, fed to our pet Lizards. Win! It will also add so much natural beauty to your home (and smells great, too!). 

The history behind holiday citrus

While the drying of fruit has been around for countless years, are you aware of why oranges are seen as a “holiday” fruit? During the Great Depression, oranges and citrus fruits were considered a luxury item. Most families could not afford citrus fruit at all, any time of year. But they’d splurge at Christmastime and give oranges, which became a symbol of gold and wealth! Ever received an orange in your stocking? That is why! 

Optional air-dry clay beads

We decided to add in some hand made beads to turn this project into a fine motor skills activity. Molding clay improves children’s spatial awareness and 3D visualization abilities. Throw in the wonderful dexterity workout that is threading the oranges and beads and you have a full force sensory craft to share with your children, while also creating a tradition that can be shared each year! 

How to make your own dried fruit garland with air-dry clay beads

STEP 1: Cut the oranges into 1/4 in slices. 

STEP 2:  Pat dry as much as possible, the drier the better!! It is very important to get as much juice off of the oranges/grapefruit that you can. Paper towels and terrycloth rags do wonders! 

STEP 3: Once the fruit is as dry as you feel you can get it, place the slices on parchment paper on a cooking sheet. I found it was helpful, but not necessary to bake them on a cooling rack. If you don’t have one, no worries! 

STEP 4:  Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and put in your fruit! The middle rack works best! Cook them for about three hours, making sure to flip halfway through. Be sure to check on them about every 30 minutes to make sure they are not browning. If they are, take them out and allow them to cool and dry out for 12-24 hours before resuming. 

Step 5: Allow the fruit to set out until they are completely cool. This is a good time to make your beads!

Step 6: Using air dry clay, have your kids roll the clay into small balls. You can do all the same size or various sizes. Use a toothpick to make a hole through the ball big enough for your string/jute/twine. Allow to dry and harden. 

Step 7: Once the fruit slices are cooled and dry you can use a toothpick to make two small holes through your fruit to thread your string/jute/twine through the oranges to create a garland! Alternate between fruit and beads.

Step 8: Hang your garland and enjoy!

Have you ever made dried fruit garland?

About the author

Tiffany is a homeschooling Mama of four earthside children, one baby girl that travels among the stars. She is a vintage-obsessed, wicker-collecting, tree-loving photographer, creator, painter, and writer. She loves to document her children’s childhood and is passionate about sharing her take on motherhood, raising children outside of the “norm” and in nature. She’s crafty, creative, and passionate about mental and emotional health. She’s a big believer in the healing power of nature.

You can find more from Tiffany in the following locations:

Instagram: @dear.wildlings

RWMC posts: Tiffany Griffin

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#Holidays #Diy #HolidayCrafts #OUTDOORACTIVITIES #WINTER

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