So awhile back when I was in the process of planning the most recent styled shoot I did, I got this idea to make a fresh citrus fruit garland. I know it’s been done a bunch with dried fruits, dried flowers, dried stuff in general, but I wanted it to be fresh! So I started brainstorming how I could make this work.
For this project, I wanted oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruit to get all of the colors I needed to make the photoshoot theme cohesive. I also got fishing line that could hold up to 50lbs (probably not necessary) and I got the longest embroidery needles that I could find. I figured embroidery needles would be best to hold the thick fishing line and because they would be the strongest to go through the skin of the fruit and to the other side without me losing the needle, especially in the grapefruit.
My first thought was to string orange next to orange, fruit next to fruit, all pushed together.
So about a week before the shoot, I made a prototype that I was pretty excited about. It seemed like it was going to work super well. But when I picked it up to imitate it hanging, some of the fruits squished together, some broke off, and barely any stayed perfect.
I don’t even have a photo of this attempt because FAIL.
But that didn’t stop me. I went out for attempt number two and bought WAY more fruit. Side note, if you ever need a ton of fruit and don’t want to pay 85 million dollars, go to Marketón.
For the second time around, I finally got the citrus fruit garland to look like an actual garland. And this is how.
1. I started by making my fishing line super long because I knew I was going to be hanging it from the ceiling.
2. Cut alllllll the fruits. And make sure you make them pretty thick so that they can be strong enough to not break when the embroidery needle goes through the skin. I was able to cut about 4 slices from each fruit, give or take a slice! Also, buy extra fruit unless you’re a master cutter because I definitely made so many slices way too thin.
3. I put the end of the fishing line through the hole in the embroidery needle. Trying to tie fishing line is impossible, so it was easiest for me to just crease the fishing line instead of tying it. It still pulls through the fruit skin pretty easily instead of trying to pull a huge knot through.
4. Push the needle through one side of the fruit and out of the other side. Try to make sure that the needle is as centered on the fruit skin as possible. NOTE: When stringing the grapefruit, I used pliers to grab the needle in the center of the fruit and to push it through the other end.
5. Once I strung the fruits I wanted in the pattern I wanted, I hot glued each side of the fruit where the fishing line was. The glue doesn’t always stay the best, but it works pretty well enough to get the fruits to stay. I ended up making these the night before, so I had to hot glue about two of the citrus fruits back into place.
I was a lucky duck when my cute husband came to the photoshoot to bring me a few things because he stayed and hung the three different garlands for us. They definitely didn’t come out perfect, but they looked amazing in the photos and it was exactly what I was envisioning for my fresh citrus fruit garland.
And a huge plus– the studio we shot in smelled seriously amazing. I love all the citrus scents.
This is definitely one of my most favorite projects I have ever made and I hope you guys like it too! And if you try this at home, I’m sure yours will look better than mine, so tag me in your fresh citrus fruit garland on Instagram @stylewith.ash so I can see all the goodness!
Photo: Ashlyn Savannah Photo Erin Nicole Photo | Styling: Style with Ash | Hair: Allie Vidal | Makeup: Pretty in Pera | Florals: Helianthus Floral Design | Dress + Jacket Painting: Taylor Uchytil | Jewelry: Tree Myriah | Invitation: Pretty Little Paper Co. | Cake: Delicious Designs Reno | Model: Julie Amaro | Venue: Studio Fourteen