One of our favorite new projects this holiday season was making a multitude of handmade ornaments with which to decorate the tree for the birds standing at the center of the Village. This year’s tree has gotten so much attention that we thought we would share the “how-to’s” of creating its distinctive dried-orange swag with our readers!
The first step consists of slicing and drying the oranges for 2-3 hours in a low (200-degree) oven.
Once they are cooled, the slices can be threaded with short lengths of fine gauge florist’s wire and set aside.
Next we cut a length of heavy twine to the size we needed for the swag. This was then tied between two fixed points (we used nails affixed to a wall), and the orange slices were wired along it at evenly spaced intervals.
With several buckets of cut greenery and berry clusters to work from–one of the perks of having large and diverse plantings here at Fearrington, although local Farmers Markets abound with beautiful cut greenery at this time of year–we wired small clusters to the twine by wrapping with florist’s wire along the length of our swag. With greenery, oranges, and berries firmly in place, we finished our swag with small handfuls of dried Spanish moss to give it texture and help hide the wiring.
Now the swag is ready to hang–on tree or wall–and look as beautiful as it tastes delicious to our feathered friends!