One thing I really wish we did in Northern Ireland is decorate our houses a bit more for Autumn. I’m not talking skeletons for Hallowe’en (eww…I’m sorry, but just nope) and we don’t need to go nuts with it either and have 3 carved pumpkins rotting on every door step; just the odd garland, apple create and maybe a fabric pumpkin or two on the shelf.
If you’ve seen my instagram feed you may have noticed that I’m pretty much always making something- I’ve got far too many ongoing projects all the time, and if I didn’t I’d just feel weird. My sisters are the same way, and whilst we all have our own niche, occasionally we like to stick our nose into what the others are doing and have a go at it ourselves.
My sister Christine (@christine.j.bell) is a talented designer – we’re expecting big things (and freebies) from her. She has some really interesting ideas for interior design and quite often uses earthy tones and natural colours for her designs. She’s also keen on using naturally occurring materials such as plants and flowers to make things, so when I walked in and found her in the kitchen last week surrounded by the smell of orange and cloves I knew she was up to something good. So good in fact, I stuck my nose in, stole a few dried orange slices and made an Autumn garland for myself.
It’s pretty, inexpensive, smells good enough to eat and adds a cosy Autumnal touch to the plain wall of our living room. They’re very easy to make and can be made using bits and pieces from the garden or a forest walk. Christine kindly let me share her idea, so if you fancy giving it a go, here’s what you’ll need:
- 2-3 large oranges (depending on how long you want your garland to be)
- cinnamon sticks
- twigs/dried leaves/pine branches/pinecones/ anything you can find!
Most of the process is drying. From the garden we chose small pine branches and twisted willow, as the twigs from it curl- just leave it to dry a little to make sure no sap is coming out of anything before adding it to the garland. I figured that bit out the sticky way.
Slice the oranges about 2mm thick and press cloves into them before popping them into the oven at 50°C- 70°C for four hours, turning them over about half way through this time. Let them cool off and tie a short length of twine on to them and your twigs/cinnamon sticks/etc to attach them on to your twine.
Cut your twine to your desired length, arrange everything and then tie it on once you’re happy with it all.
One super-easy Autumn garland ready to hang! You don’t have to be particularly artistic, so the excuse of ‘I’m just not creative’ doesn’t wash here – there’s nothing more satisfying than being able to look at something beautiful and say ‘I made that!’.
Why not give it a go? (And share your pictures, so we can see them too!)