you make it - nut garland

When I heard that the Victorians were fond of tying nut garlands to their trees I did a quick search to see if I could find any modern day examples. I came up with nothing but thought to myself it would be easy to achieve. Simply string some nuts together! The result was prettier and more effective than I could have imagined. You could hang the nut garland on your tree, over a threshold or across your mantelpiece as I have done. The hardest thing is getting the hang of making the holes in the nuts but after you have done a few it starts to come fairly quickly.

Materials you'll need:

  • assorted nuts in their shells ( I used walnuts, almonds, chestnuts and hazelnuts. Note: I found pecans too hard to drill.)
  • waxed string cut to your desired length with a bit extra for tying knots.
  • a power drill or Dremel with 1/8" bit.
  • a measuring tape

The Process

  • Using a Dremel or a power drill with an 1/8" bit (I found the Dremel much easier to use) drill a hole through the centre of each kind of nut. This takes a bit of practice but once you have it down you will be flying through the nuts like a squirrel in Fall. If you can find a crevice or indent to rest the nuts in while you drill it is much easier. Also you will want to drill into a protective surface as the bit will go right through the nut. (I found outside on my deck was a good spot.)
  • With your string cut to your desired length tie a knot at one end and string the first series of nuts into place. If you're using four different types of nuts start with those four, if using two types of nuts start with two.
  • Next measure approximately how much length your unit of nuts takes up. This will allow you to roughly calculate how many nuts you will need to drill. If your selection of four nuts takes up 6 inches and your string is 60 inches long you will need approximately 40 nuts to complete the garland. (60 divided by 6 = 10 units of four nuts or 40 nuts) Or just drill as you go!
  • Once you have all the nuts drilled simply thread them onto the waxed string. I found the waxed thread was stiff enough on its own but you could make it even easier for yourself by using a needle.
  • Once you have all the nuts in place tie a knot at the other end and voila - you have a nut garland!

This nut garland would be the perfect accompaniment to an all natural Christmas.  I could imagine it surrounded by lots of greenery, orange pomanders, winter red berries and birch trees.

It's so understated and simple you might just forget to take it down when the holidays are over! What do you think? Is this something you would try?

Project initially conceived for The Globe Style Advisor - Winter Issue.