Use our fun menu to start a new tradition with friends and family, and get your house decorated at the same time.

Make Your Own Garland
Credit: Beth Dreiling / Styling Lisa Powell Bailey / Food Styling Rebecca Kracke Gordon

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Decorate with fun projects that kids of all ages will enjoy making. Fragrant garlands come with a high price tag if purchased in a store, so why not make your own? It's not as hard as you may think--especially when you have plenty of helping hands. Crank up the Christmas tunes, whip up these tasty snacks, and get the party started.

Garland Basics
Keep the materials simple, and you'll never buy your garland from the tree lot again. We used a combination of rosemary and lemon leaf. You can use any evergreen leaves; just remember, the heartier the better. Magnolia is also an accessible, affordable option that dries beautifully.

Start with a desired length of 3?4-inch-diameter jute rope, which can be purchased at any home-improvement or hardware store. Wire together bunches of greenery--the number of bunches will depend on the length of rope. A 25-foot garland can require as many as 40 bunches for a plush finished product. Wire the greenery onto the rope using florist wire. Continue this process until the rope is completely covered.

Add Some Flair
While garland is pretty enough as is, an additional burst of color with a ribbon of kumquats will keep youngsters busy. Simply thread the fruit with a craft needle; add a few dried orange or lemon slices to the mix for a little variety. Wrap the threaded fruit around the garland, and enjoy the super fragrant scents of the seasons.

If your children are too young to handle needles, here are some other ways they can help make garlands.

  • Have them count the orange slices and kumquats, and then put them in bowls. An adult or older child can do the threading.
  • Let them thread large, colorful beads (instead of kumquats) onto strands of ribbon to add to the garland.

"Make Your Own Garland" is from the December 2005 issue of Southern Living.