It’s a known fact about me: I loving giving gifts. And each Christmas, it brings me a lot of joy to make presents for my family and friends. My mom calls it my “Christmas ambition.” Starting around October, I make a list of the things I want to make during the Christmas season. I have yet to complete this list, but I strive each year to cross off as many items as I can. This year, the list had a bit of a theme, embracing dried fruit and cinnamon sticks.
I’ll confess, the idea to make a small wreath using dried orange slices, apple slices, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks is not an original idea. I saw it in an Advent devotional book someone gave me in November. But the craft is so simple that you really don’t need step-by-step instructions. It can be done in a number of ways.
But first, you have to dry the fruit. I do not have a dehydrator, so what I did was place the orange and apple slices on cookie sheets and left them in a 200 degree oven for 5-6 hours, flipping them every 2-3 hours. I made my best batch at night, turning the oven off before I went to bed and leaving the fruit in the oven while I slept.
With the fruit dried, it simply becomes an assembly process. I used floral wire as my “base,” stringing the fruit, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks in an alternating pattern.
For the cinnamon sticks, you could drill a hole in the stick and string it like normal, but I was a little lazy. Instead, I tied red and white baking string around the stick and then tied it to the wire. I liked the look of the extra string hanging down.
Once I strung enough fruit, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks, I use pliers to twist the two ends of wire together. In my first few wreaths, I left a small hole in the center (to look like a traditional wreath), but in the final ones that I made, I pulled the wire tight, making the wreath appear more like a ball. I thought this version looks so much better!
The final element was adding a touch of ribbon. I played with wide and narrow ribbon options, and in my opinion, I liked the narrow ribbon the best. But both options were fun to wrap up and give away. The beautiful smell of the wreath will hit the recipient’s nose as soon as he or she removes the lid from the box. Enjoy!