KEEPING IT REAL: MAKE YOUR OWN DECORATIONS
Bringing the outdoors in is a yuletide tradition as old as time, and is a great way to add a natural touch to your festive decor (not to mention much better for the environment that plastic and glitter). Here are some of our favourite (and really easy) ways to make your own:
Quite possibly the easiest of the lot. Wrap a bit of florist wire around and fix them to the tree, or style them elegant amongst sprigs of foliage for big Scandi vibes. Keep in a dry place and you'll be able to use them year after year, or take off the wire and pop them in the compost.
Having oranges (usually satsumas or clementines, often Terry's) at Christmas is generally thought to represent gifts of gold from St Nick, but their festive associations don't stop there. Their scent is ubiquitous with the season, and they also happen to be great for decorating with.
Stud oranges with cloves for spicy pomanders, add a bit of ribbon to hang from the tree or pop them on your mantlepiece and allow their subtle scent to fill the house.
Alternatively, dry them out! Thinly slice (about 4mm) oranges (lemons, limes and grapefruit will work too). Spread them out on a sheet of baking paper and dry them out in a low oven (around 100°C), turning every 30 minutes to ensure even colour.
This usually takes 2-3 hours, maybe a little longer if you've done thicker slices (and will make your house smell so good). You'll know they're ready when they let light through like a stained glass window.
Gently poke a hole through and add ribbon to hang like ornaments from your tree. Single slices or stacks both look great. You can also string them into a garland using a needle & thread.
Good for more than just sauce. If you're making an orange garland like the one above, you could also add cranberries in between each slice for some extra festive colour - or go all cranberry if you're feeling ambitious. These can go on fresh and will dry out in situ. You can also buy ready dried cranberries and use these if you prefer, but they can be a bit more fiddly.
Cranberries also make very cute tree decorations. Make small simple shapes like wreaths and hearts using a sturdy wire and thread the cranberries on. Finish with a bow and job's a good un!