close up of cranberry garland
Brittany and Ben

Cranberry Garlands with Ben Schilaty

If you missed our post yesterday, we’ve decided to craft our hearts out this week in a special way with a different classic Christmas craft each day. The best part is, we’ve invited some amazing guests to learn how to make these wonderful Christmas crafts with us.

It’s day two of our Classic Christmas week, which means it’s time to make cranberry garlands with Ben Schilaty! Not only do you get the lowdown on making cranberry garlands, you get to watch me and Ben make the garlands and get to know each other better. So, here we go! Here’s what you need to know about making cranberry garlands with Ben Schilaty.

You'll Need:

cranberry garland

Cranberry Garlands

We’re excited to be making cranberry garlands today! These are such a fun, festive tradition and the ruby red berries look so beautiful amidst all the green pine boughs and other Christmas decorations. We were curious how cranberries became associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we did a little research. We found that cranberry garlands became popular in the 1800s in colonial Massachusetts, partly because of their long shelf life. They were also harvested in the fall and winter, making them the perfect candidate for holiday decorations and food! Their beautiful red color sealed the deal and we’ve been hooked ever since. If you’ve never made a cranberry garland before, this is such a great Christmas craft to add to your repertoire. It’s so easy, and the result is magical. I had such a fun time making mine with Ben Schilaty!

cranberry garland

Introducing Ben Schilaty

First of all, Ben is my next-door neighbor! I didn’t know him nearly well enough, so I thought making cranberry garlands would be the perfect opportunity to get to know him a little better. If you didn’t know, Ben wrote a book called¬†A Walk in My Shoes,¬†which is about his experience being a gay member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I would highly recommend! He also hosts a podcast with his friend, Charlie Bird (who is also a gay member of the same church), called Questions from the Closet, which also addresses being gay and members of their religion.

horizontal Ben and Brittany

Ben was such a fun guest to have join us! He also did an impeccable job on his cranberry garland, I must say. This is proof that getting to know your neighbors is a good thing! Here’s the video of us making the cranberry garlands:

Making Cranberry Garlands With Ben Schilaty

And now, here’s how you can make your own cranberry garland:

Cranberry garland

How to Make a Cranberry Garland

  1. First, measure how long you would like your garland to be. Cut a piece of string to that length, plus a few inches.
  2. Now take your string and thread it through your needle.
  3. Next, dump your bag of cranberries into a bowl for easy access.
  4. Now you can start threading the cranberries onto your string! Simply poke the needle through the middle of the cranberry and slide it all the way down. Tie a knot at the end so the berries don’t slide off the end
  5. Keep sliding cranberries along the string until it’s full.
  6. Remove the needle and tie a knot at the other end of the string. Clip the excess string.

Ta da!

close up of cranberry garland

This cranberry garland is such a versatile and beautiful Christmas decoration. You can use it to decorate your Christmas tree, string it along your mantlepiece, hang it along a wall, drape it around a window, and so much more. I love the little pop of color it can add to a room, too! The best part is, cranberries (as we mentioned before) have a great shelf life. They dry out after a while, but still look pretty that way. And after you’re done with them, they’re biodegradable, too!

We would love to see what you do with your cranberry garlands!

More Inspiration

If you had fun making cranberry garlands with us, we would recommend these other lovely Christmas crafts: Pomanders with Becky Edwards, Paper Poinsettia Wreath, Oversized Holly and Berry Garland, Christmas bulb advent calendar, holiday nesting dolls, paper honeycomb ornaments, DIY nativity puppets.

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