Not only do I absolutely love this time of year for obvious holiday associations, but there’s another reason that this just so happens to be my favorite season here in Phoenix… it’s citrus season! As you guys know by now, our little neighborhood, Arcadia, here in Phoenix was once a citrus grove full of citrus farms and because of that, citrus trees of all kinds line almost every street thanks to the powers of the existing irrigation infrastructure. In the winter, Arcadia comes alive with the sights and smells of colorful, ripe citrus everywhere, and it’s absolutely magical. So as an homage to that, I thought it would be so much fun to finally tackle a little holiday DIY project that I’ve been dying to try – an adorable citrus garland! Spoiler: not only was this holiday DIY almost criminally easy to conquer, I love the end result even more than I thought I would!
Before I dive into how I created this fun holiday garland, I should explain that for the garland that you see here in the snaps I used faux greenery. Which totally worked like a charm! I would have used live garland if it weren’t such a task to find someone who sells live garland here in Phoenix, and I just wasn’t willing to drive clear across town to find it nor did I have the patience to order it. Luckily, I think this faux cypress and this faux eucalyptus garland from Hearth & Hand with Magnolia at Target looks extremely real for faux garland and bonus, I can use it again for years to come (I actually wrapped two strands of the cypress garland together and then wrapped one strand of the eucalyptus garland around the center of that for a cool layered look)! Also the very best way to make any faux greenery or floral arrangement look real is to add some live pieces into the mix, which is where these cute little kumquats came in handy! They do so much for making my faux garland look more like the real thing, so it was a win all around. That said you can absolutely replicate this project using real garland and it would be super cool, so if you have easy access to that I say do it!
It’s also important to note that because you’re working with live kumquats, they won’t last forever and will eventually shrivel up/turn brown, but if you place your garland in a spot that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight and is slightly cooler, they’ll last longer! I’ve had my garland up for a couple of weeks now in this cooler area of our house that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight and the kumquats are just now starting to brown slightly. It would also be super easy for me to run to the grocery store and replace the kumquat clusters on the garland for just a couple of bucks, which makes this DIY even more awesome and versatile. The same method I used here would also work perfectly on a wreath and if you’re in a cooler climate, this citrus may even last longer on an exterior door.
I absolutely love the look of larger citrus like cuties, Mandarins, oranges and the like on wreaths and garland, and I also adore the use of dried citrus in holiday decor for its staying power, but there’s just something so charming about live kumquats, don’t ya think? They’re also so much easier to secure to a wreath or garland than a larger citrus item, in my opinion, so they’ve got that going for them and they’re small size just makes them so playful. Let me know in the comments section if you have questions or modifications that you’re wondering about if you decide to take on this easy DIY project this holiday season. And as always, if you recreate this in your own home make sure you take me on Instagram so I can see your beautiful work!
Supplies for Your DIY Citrus Garland
Faux or live garland of choice (the garland I used here & linked above is sold out online, but I love this faux juniper berry garland & this faux eucalyptus garland)
Kumquats (they’re in season and I found them at Albertsons here in Phoenix)
22-gauge green floral/paddle wire (this little kit comes with wire and wire cutters)
How to Make a DIY Winter Citrus Garland
- Cut a 5-inch piece of floral wire (or larger/smaller to fit your garland’s needs – the wire just needs to wrap around the branches/branch clusters to tie in the back).
- Thread through the center of 2 or 3 kumquats so they stack on top of each other on the wire.
- Bend your wire and wrap the two ends around your garland in desired position, with the kumquat cluster on the front of your garland.
- Twist the two ends of your wire together in the back of your garland until the string of kumquats are secured tightly to the garland.
- Repeat as desired! You can see where I placed my clusters, but you could easily do more clusters in one spot, or mix up the placement only our garland however suits your style.
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