7 Holiday Garlands Made Out of Food

This holiday season, craft your own Christmas decorations that look good enough to eat (and your guests just might).

Popcorn and Licorice Garland

Sure, garlands made out of greenery are a beautiful way to decorate your home for the holidays, whether strung on a mantel, snaking up a banister or draped across the table as a runner. But they tend to be pricey and have a short shelf life. Shake things up (and save money) by crafting your own garlands out of items you can find at the grocery store. They're easy enough for your kids to create, and you'll be armed with unique decorations for the whole season.


Popcorn and black licorice may be delicious movie theater snacks, but in just a few crafty steps, these treats can be transformed into a chic decor option. This black-and-white garland can be a great decoration anytime, but it looks particularly pretty strung across a green wreath during the holiday season.


What You Need

Ingredients: Plain white popcorn, black licorice bites with holes, a needle, black-and-white baker’s twine 

Directions: Thread a needle with the twine, then string through the popcorn and licorice in an alternating pattern. 

Dried Orange Slices Garland

Oranges are quite possibly winter's best fruit. Put a new spin on yours by dehydrating them and creating an unexpected holiday garland. Their orange color is a welcome substitute for predictable red and green, and they look remarkably rustic and sophisticated when dried.

What You Need

Ingredients: Two large oranges, jute twine

Directions: Cut two large oranges into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Lay each slice flat on a baking rack that’s nested in a sheet pan, and bake in a 200 degree F oven for 6 to 12 hours, or until oranges are fully dried. To allow air to circulate completely, leave oven propped open a few inches throughout the drying process.

Once the orange slices are dried, string each slice onto a long piece of thick jute twine.

Gummy Bear Garland

Adorable gummy bears just got even cuter. Welcome the chewy treats to your holiday table by tying them onto a colorful piece of twine. They're the perfect addition to any kids' table –– but don't be surprised if the string has fewer bears at night's end.

What You Need

Ingredients: A pack of gummy bears, red-and-white baker's twine

Directions: To tie the individual bears onto the twine, wrap the string around an indented part of each gummy bear, tying a single knot to secure it in place. For a very colorful look, use all the bears in the bag. To keep the color more monochromatic, use only the red and white bears. For a Christmassy look, add in the green ones.

Cinnamon Stick and Cranberry Garland

To make a garland that’s perfect for your holiday party, take cues from the seasonal flavor pairing of cinnamon and cranberries. The jewel tones add a festive touch to any bar cart or buffet table, turning your year-round surfaces into cheerful vignettes.

What You Need

Ingredients: Cinnamon sticks (found in the spice section of your grocery store), fresh cranberries, a sewing needle, thread

Directions: String a thread through the eye of a sewing needle, then slide the needle through each berry. String berries in groupings or by themselves, then alternate with cinnamon sticks. Here we used pattern: three berries, one stick and repeat.

Dip-Dyed Marshmallow Garland

From spiced hot cocoa to sweet potato casserole, marshmallows are often incorporated into holiday traditions. Their absorbent consistency and fun, puffy shape make them perfect for whimsical decorations too. Hang a garland made of dip-dyed marshmallows on the mantel for a fireplace that invites s'mores making. Dye them any color you like; using red creates a peppermint-inspired stripe that will coordinate well with your other holiday decor.

What You Need

Ingredients: Marshmallows, red food coloring, water, twine or string

Directions: Dilute several drops of food coloring in a small bowl of water until the mixture reaches a bright-red color. Dip each marshmallow halfway into the liquid for 2 to 3 seconds, then pull out and place on a sheet of wax paper to dry.

Once they're dry, tie string or twine around the center of each marshmallow and make a single knot to secure them in place. Use more marshmallows closer together to achieve a fuller look.

Danish Butter Cookie Garland

Classic Danish butter cookies are known for their sweet taste, tender and crumbly texture, and signature round tin packaging. Those that have holes in their center are also perfect for stringing onto a holiday garland. Threaded onto a red-and-white ribbon, they're the ideal decoration for a cookie swap.

What You Need

Ingredients: A tin of Danish butter cookies, 1/2-inch-wide ribbon of your color choice

Directions: Pick out of your tin the cookies that have holes in their centers. String the ribbon through each cookie, alternating directions (through the front of one cookie, through the back of the next).

Doughnut Hole Garland

A few dozen doughnut holes are all you need to make this irresistible feast for the eyes. The of-the-moment dessert makes a sweet, surprising mantel addition. (Feel free to eat a few of your supplies in the assembly process. We certainly did!)

What You Need

Ingredients: One or two dozen glazed doughnut holes, a sewing needle, red-and-white baker's twine

Directions: Use a sewing needle to poke holes in the doughnuts and string them onto the baker’s twine, leaving space between each to expose the cheery red-and-white string.