Old-Fashioned Cranberry Orange Garland || Rustic Holiday Charm At It’s Finest

An old-fashioned cranberry orange garland adorning the Christmas tree can’t be beat. It brings out all the warm, cozy feels.

old-fashioned cranberry orange garland laying over pine branches on a table

And it is so gratifying to look at your tree and know that you used your own two hands to pour pure love into dressing it.

What Is Old-Fashioned Cranberry Orange Garland?

String together fresh cranberries, and dried orange slices and you’ve got an old-fashioned cranberry orange garland.

Adding a little fresh popped plain popcorn to the strand gives it some extra eye appeal. And who doesn’t want that?!?!

This garland is full of nostalgic rustic charm. And it is super fun to make. A really great way to spend a pre-holiday evening.

Supplies Needed To Make This Project

The supplies that you’ll need to make this old-fashioned cranberry orange garland are pretty minimal.

supplies for an all-natural holiday decor project on a table

It’s really just stringing up a few groceries when it gets right down to it.

Here’s a list for you to reference while you’re shopping …

  • DRIED ORANGES – You can dry your own orange slices. I’ll tell you how in the next section of this post. You’ll need a knife, some parchment paper, and a baking sheet to dry them.
  • POPCORN – Fresh popped plain popcorn is needed for this project.
  • CRANBERRIES – Fresh, whole cranberries are used to make this garland.
  • STRING/CORD – A strong string or cording is used to make this garland. I used hemp cord.
  • SEWING NEEDLE – A sewing needle is needed to do the threading for this project. It is best to use a larger needle as it will push through the popcorn and cranberries easier.

How To Make Old-Fashioned Cranberry Orange Garland

The first step to making this old-faashioned cranberry orange garland is drying the orange slices. It is best if you do this the day before you plan to string the garland together, as it can take all day.

It’s very simple to do. Just cut an orange(s) into thin slices, lay them out on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake them on a low setting until they are completelydry.

You will want to flip them every half hour to insure that they dry evenly.

orange slices on a parchment lined baking sheet

Then make a batch of freshly popped plain popcorn and get your threading cord ready.

To prepare the cord simply make a loop at one end and thread a sewing needle onto the other end. No need to double the cord for this project. Just string the cord through the needle for about 4 inches, so that the needle doesn’t fall off.

Thread some popcorn onto the cord and push it all the way down to the loop at the other end. I used 6 pieces of popcorn for my garland. You can adjust the amounts of material that you string onto your cord according to your own personal preference.

popcorn on a string

Add some cranberries to the cord and push them all the way to the other end of it, next to the popcorn. I used 3 cranberries for my garland.

cranberries and popcorn on a string

Put some more popcorn onto the cord (6 more pieces for me) and push it to the other end. Then thread an orange slice on the cord as well.

threading a needle through a dried orange slice

At this point, you will simply repeat the process again and again until the garland is as long as you want it to be.

old-fashioned cranberry orange garland laying on a table next to a bowl of popcorn

You can tie more cording together if you want to make it even longer. However, this will make it very hard to work with when decorating.

It is better to make the garland in about 6 foot lengths and place them together carefully when putting them on the tree or using them in other decor.

Variations For This Project

The old-fashioned cranberry orange garland that you create is YOUR VERY OWN. You can make it any way you like. That’s a big part of the fun.

old-fashioned cranberry orange garland and star lights over pine boughs

String just popcorn if you choose. Popcorn and cranberries. Oranges and cranberries. Oranges and popcorn. You get the idea!

You can also use other citrus fruits on your garland, like lemons and limes. Or add in a few pine cones if that’s your style.

How To Use This Old Fashioned Cranberry Orange Garland

This type of garland has been made traditionally for centuries. To the best of my knowledge it started as a way to decorate Christmas trees.

old-fashioned cranberry orange garland on top of pine branches on a table

Honestly, I haven’t researched the history of this old-fashioned cranberry orange garland. So, any information I would try to offer on that subject would be a bit questionable at best.

It’s never mattered much to me how or where it originated. I simply adore the aesthetics of this all-natural garland, and I love making it as well.

I’ve used garlands like this one to decorate my tree many times. I’ve used them to adorn wreaths, staircases, and door frames over the years too.

I’ve even hung them outside on trees and banisters for the birds and other wildlife to enjoy a few times.

The only thing limiting the use of this sweet, simple, rustic Christmas decor is your imagination. So, let your imagination run wild and see what uses you come up with.

Can You Store This Garland?

I’ve read some other blog posts out there stating that you can store this garland if you spray it with shellac.

old-fashioned cranberry orange garland with pine boughs and candles

I would have to say that doing that is a pretty bad idea. This is basically food on a string. I don’t believe that some shellac is going to preserve it.

The popcorn and cranberries are definitely going to rot from the inside out. The oranges may make it but that is still highly questionable.

If you want to give it a try I salute you. I’m one who would try and see for myself as well. I recommend that you store it in an airtight tote of some sort. And, for goodness sakes, don’t put anything else in there with it.

I think next year when you open that tote it’s going to be MESSY!

pinnable image for old-fashioned cranberry orange garland

If you try this project and love it, please give it 5 stars! It supports my work more than you may realize, and I appreciate that a great deal!

You can also show your support by tagging me on Facebook @sustainableslowliving and/or Instagram @slowlivingbydianegail when you post a pic of your finished piece.

old-fashioned cranberry orange garland laying over pine branches on a table
Yield: 1 GARLAND


Prep Time: 8 hours
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 9 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $4-$6

All-natural handmade holiday garland with rustic charm, that can be made in an evening. Popcorn, cranberries, and oranges come together to create an old-fashioned look that is perfect for holiday decorating.


  • Oranges -1 orange makes a 6' garland
  • Parchment Paper
  • Popcorn - fresh, plain
  • Cranberries


  • Knife
  • Baking Sheet
  • Hemp Cord
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Needle


  1. Slice orange(s) into thin slices.
  2. Lay them on a parchment lined baking sheet and place them in a 200 degree oven.
  3. Turn them every 30 minutes until they are completely dry. This can take 8-12 hours. So, it's best to do this the day before you plan to make the garland.
  4. Pop a batch of plain popcorn.
  5. Cut a strand of hemp cord to about 7' long.
  6. Tie a loop in one end of the cord.
  7. Thread a sewing needle onto the other end of the cord. Pull the cord through the needle about 4 inches.
  8. String 6 pieces of popcorn onto the cord. Pull them all the way down to the loop on the other end of the cord.
  9. String 3 cranberries onto the cord. Pull them all the way down as well.
  10. String 6 more pieces of popcorn onto the cord. Pull them down.
  11. Then string an orange slice onto the cord. Bring the cord up through the flesh of the orange slice toward the edge of the slice. And then back through the slice to the other side. Don't run the cord through the center of the slice or the garland will not hang properly.
  12. Repeat the process until you have just enough cord left to tie a loop on the end; popcorn, cranberries, popcorn, orange slice, repeat.
  13. Tie a loop in the end of the cord.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *