Cranberry Creations  Hints, Tips and Tricks  977 reads


Holiday Cooking & Entertaining, 2000

Cranberries, grown only in Canada and the United States, have traditionally been included on holiday menus in drinks, sauces and pies, but they have always served a decorative function as well. Sprigs of these beautiful scarlet berries have been used to decorate Christmas trees since Victorian times. Nowadays, you'll find them used in place of glass marbles in floral arrangements for a lively jolt of color.

Here are some new, easy, artistic ways to bring a dash of cranberry crimson to your holiday decorating. Adding pinecones to a traditional cranberry garland creates textural contrast. These simple Fruit and Pinecone garlands, made with lengths of 20-gauge florist's wire, can be looped over mirrors, draped on a mantelpiece or hung over a doorway with silken ribbons.


Electric drill and 1/16-inch drill bit
Small pinecones
Wire cutters
20-gauge florist's wire
Fresh cranberries

With electric drill, make a small hole at the base of each pinecone. Using the wire cutters, cut a piece of wire to the length you wish your garland to be.

Twist a small loop in one end of the wire, then begin threading the pinecones and berries onto the wire from the other end, alternating a pinecone, then 3 to 5 berries, repeating until the wire is full. Leave 2 inches of wire at end of garland; twist into another loop.

Hang garland from loop ends or around a mirror, painting, mantel or doorway.

Fruit Place Cards eliminate predinner seating confusion. These handmade versions, cut from heavy card stock with scallop-edged scissors, have been decorated with evergreen sprigs and bright red cranberries. Great as gift tags, too!


Heavy art or watercolor paper or card stock
Scallop-edged scissors
Fine-point calligraphy pen or marker
Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
Evergreen sprigs, such as fir or pine
Fresh cranberries or other small, hard fruit, such as kumquats

Cut out the desired number of place cards to desired size. Using the calligraphy pen, write names on the cards.

Put a small dot of hot glue on the underside of each sprig and glue the sprigs onto the cards. Put a small dot of hot glue on each fruit and glue the fruit onto each evergreen sprig.

Fresh cranberries threaded together on wire and decorated with dried seedpods (hot-glued between berries) make delightful Fruit Napkin Rings. Dabs of hot glue seal the openings created by the wire, preventing juice stains.

Fresh cranberries or other nonjuicy fruit, such as kunquats
9-inch lengths of 20-gauge florist's wire
Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
Seedpods or flower pods such as rose hips, sunflower heads or zinnias

Thread cranberries and other fruit onto the wire, leaving 1 inch of wire free at each end. Place a small dot of hot glue on sides of each fruit at the point where it is pierced by the wire, to seal in any juice that might seep out.

Make a circle of the cranberry wire and twist together the two free ends, snipping off any extra.

Hot-glue seedpods in between the fruits in a decorative pattern. Place a napkin through each cranberry ring.

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