History of Garland

Before Christianity became the primary religion in Europe, many Druid, Celt, Norse and Roman civilizations celebrated the winter solstice (generally around Dec. 21). These cultures often used live greenery to symbolize eternal life; therefore, plants that stayed green all year played a critical role in these particular celebrations.

The Romans celebrated a mid-winter holiday, Saturnalia, honoring the Roman god Saturn (Cronus Greek equivalent). They would decorate their homes with greens such as wreaths and garlands. This tradition started out small, like a branch or string of garland greens, but eventually evolved into the modern day Christmas tree.

Because of the pagan origins, the tree and other holiday greens were frowned upon, at first, by many until 1848. Queen Victoria of England desired to have a Christmas tree added to the holiday decorations of the palace, because her husband Prince Albert was originally from Germany, and then the tree and holiday greens became more generally accepted.

Garland is the original Christmas tree decoration, but it has since evolved. Originally garland consisted of various types of dried fruits and popcorn. There is no definite answer as to why dried fruit and popcorn were used, except that there wasn’t much else to use for decorations. It was also a profitable means for farmers in the off season to be able to sell leftover crops they had dried. All of this dwindled due to the synthetic garland mass produced in stores.

Create a garland

in 4 steps or less

Natural Orange Garland

Supplies needed2 medium oranges

thin ribbon (any color)

whole cinnamon sticks


whole bay leaves (not dried)



First Step: Dry orange slicesSlice oranges approximately 2 cm thick.

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.

Place oranges directly on rack in oven.

Turn oranges approximately every hour for 4 hours.

Second Step: PatternThe pattern used is completely up to personal preference.

Decide if you want more or less of something.

Determine how long your garland needs to be.

Add 3 to 4 inches on each side for proper hanging.

Third Step: StringingOnce pattern is decided, thread the thin ribbon through needle

Add cinnamon sticks, dried orange slices, whole bay leaves and knot twine to ribbon (cinnamon sticks may be easier if made smaller).

Repeat until pattern is complete.

Fourth Step: HangingFind a proper place to hang garland. If you have pets, hang garland on mantle, tree or top of a window.

Wash hands immediately. Do not touch your face. Cinnamon can be harmful to your eyes.

Enjoy the relaxing smell of bay leaves, cinnamon and orange throughout your home all season.

Torn Cloth Garland

Supplies needed:at least six different types of fabric. Personal preference (I would recommend thicker fabrics)



First Step: RibbonsCreate ribbons of each fabric by cutting the edge of the fabric seven or eight times.

Hold fabric firmly while pulling the tab upward ripping the fabric.

Repeat until there are six or seven ribbons of each type of fabric.

Second Step: PatternDetermine pattern.

Once pattern is decided, determine length of garland.

Cut twine 3 to 4 inches longer than needed for hanging

Third Step: KnottingLay out patter along twine.

Tie fabric ribbon to twine. Length of fabric ribbon is decided by personal taste.

Repeat step until all ribbons are tied.

Fourth Step: HangingFind a proper place to hang garland. If you have pets, hang garland in places out of reach or places less likely for your pet to reach.

Enjoy your rustic, sparkling and/or colorful garland.

Pom Pom Garland

Supplies Needed:different colored craft poms


thin Ribbon


miscellaneous small decorations

First Step: PatternDetermine the pattern (this one is fun to complete randomly).

Choose length of garland.

Cut ribbon 3 to 4 inches longer than anticipated length of garland for hanging.

Second Step: StringingThread ribbon through needle.

Carefully press needle near pom’s center for a more secure hang.

Add poms and other small decorations to ribbon.

Third Step: HangingFind proper place to hang garland. Keep out of pet’s reach.

Enjoy a playful splash of color in your home this holiday season.

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