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Christmas Mantle with a DIY Garland

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Oh how I LOVE Christmas!! The look…the feel…the smell…it’s my favorite time of year!

And my favorite part of our home, our Mantel! You’ve seen the Mantel decorated for all the different seasons and Holidays, and even last year for Christmas. But, I think, this has to be by far, my favorite Mantel I have decorated!!

In years past, I have always used the garland made from greenery and added the white lights. This year I wanted to go one step further, and bring a little outside in, so I added fresh green to the artificial garland.

  1. I (with Doug’s help) wired the artificial garland to the Mantel, then added some fresh greenery. After the garland on the front was finished, I added a layer of greenery to the top of the Mantel.
  2. Next come the Santas, first the sleigh with a large Santa and his pack
  3. Then a very tall woodland Santa on the opposite end

I like starting with the largest pieces first and placing them on either end. And the fresh green that I used was arborvitae and spruce.

  1. Then 3 more Santas in the middle
  2. Some very large pinecones that came from my sister in California, many years ago
  3. And some fresh oranges for color and to match the popcorn garland and tie it all in together

Last week while baking the oranges and apples for the popcorn garland, the house smelled so good, like Christmas, I just had to share on Twitter. I had a couple followers ask how I baked the fruit, so I thought I would share with you. It’s really very easy, and I think the results are great!

Christmas Popcorn Garland

You will need…

  • Oranges – sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  • Whole Cloves – to put in the oranges
  • Apples – sliced about 1/4 thick
  • Lemon juice to brush onto the apples
  • Cinnamon and Sugar mixture to sprinkle on the fruit
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Popped Popcorn – no butter or salt
  • Needle and clear thread or fishing line
  • 2 teenagers willing to sit and string the garland for you {Thanks Nick and Brittney!}

First you need to bake the fruit…slice oranges and apples, brush apples on both sides with lemon juice, push the cloves (2 or 3 for each slice) into the orange slices, and then sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Place a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray. Place the fruit on the cooling rack and bake in a slow oven, about 250 degrees for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours, watching them closely.

The reason I baked them on the cooling rack is so that the bottoms would also bake. For Halloween we made Shrunken Heads with carved apples and had to flip them over to get them to bake on the bottom. Using the cooling rack definitely helped.

Allow the fruit to cool completely. Then pop the corn, grab the cranberries and start stringing.

So, what do you think? One of your favorites that I have shared?

Are you decorating for Christmas? Just starting…like me? Or all you all done?

Linking to…Sundae Scoop


  1. Inspire Me Heather says:

    I might have to try your garland recipe – thanks!

  2. The mantel looks beautiful! As far as the garland, it’s pretty AND yummy looking!!

    1. Thanks so much Donna! Yes, it does smell great, the cinnamon on the orange and apples adds a nice smell. You can actually smell the popcorn too, it’s kind of funny.
      Thanks for stopping by! Merry Christmas!

  3. Wonderful! Love the rustic feel.

  4. I love the garland! So pretty! Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. I came by way of “Between Naps on the Porch” (Susan). LOVE your mantel! Very reminiscent of years gone by. Wonderful job!!!!! -Brenda-

  6. AmericKim's Home says:

    It is great. I was making a popcorn garland for my kitchen this year. I will have to add some fruit. Love the idea!

  7. Do the orange slices give a citrussy aroma?

    I have posted my first giveaway on my blog. It is a gift card from CSN stores. Please do come and enter!

  8. How beautiful!! I bet the smell is fabulous! 🙂

    I was about to say I might need to do that one year. But I just realized I have cats! If I do, I’ll have to hang it really high or they’ll eat it! 🙂

  9. Love the oranges in the garland. My boys keep wanting to make a popcorn one but I don’t have the heart for the mess or patience to do ti with them! Yours looks lovely though.

    1. My 17 yr old and his girlfriend made this garland, and except for when he spilled the popcorn every where, it really wasn’t that messy. 🙂
      I hope you give it a try. Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas!

  10. Cute and I bet it smells wonderful! I don’t have the patience to do this – can you just send me some – ha! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Your mantle looks wonderful. I strung popcorn on our tree for the first time this year, but never thought of orange slices, I will have to try that, it looks so rustic and festive, and I bet it smells lovely too.

    1. Thanks so much Denise! Yes, both the oranges and apples smell really good.
      Merry Christmas!

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