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Photo credit: Ocean Spray

From garlands to table settings to cocktails, add a splash of seasonal red to your holiday home with these inspiring ideas for incorporating cranberries into your decorating scheme this year.

Cranberry Garlands - Courtesy of Ocean Spray

Photo credit: Ocean Spray

Make a Cranberry Garland

For all garlands, start by choosing heavy-duty thread or twine and a needle large enough to pass through a cranberry. Tie a thick knot at the end of the string and, eliminating any blemished berries from the bunch, begin threading them with the other edibles you plan on adding to the garland. Here are a few ideas:

  • For a fragrant garland to hang from the mantle, thread tiny bunches of bay leaves (approx. 3-5) onto the string, placing them every 20-25 cranberries or so.
  • Slide dried orange slices and cranberries onto thread to create a seasonally scented garland that can be hung anywhere in the home.
  • Make a classic popcorn garland for the Christmas tree by alternating popped plain kernels with cranberries.

Surface Décor

Cranberries float well making them ideal for adding to water arrangements. Place them in a water-filled flat vase with tea light candles, or simply fill a vase half full of berries and fresh water, insert a flower arrangement – roses and holly leaves are nice – and top with more water and fresh cranberries to hide the stems.

Place fresh seasonal greenery in the bottom of a mason jar or glass vase and fill with water. Float cranberries and tea light candles on top and place on tables, bookshelves or a mantel.

Make a holiday centre piece by filling a large glass vase or bowl halfway with limes. Cover with an inch or two of cranberries, and then top with clementines. Insert greenery into the top of the vessel, sliding the bottom of the branches into the cranberries to hold them in place.

Alternatively, fill a glass jar or vase halfway with sugar, cover with cranberries to within an inch of the top of the vessel and insert greenery into the top, sliding the bottom of the branches into the sugar to hold them in place.

Place a rosemary tree or other tiny tree in an ice bucket, and fill it to the brim with fresh cranberries. For an extra touch, bend bits of wire and use as hooks for cranberry “ornaments” on the mini trees.

Cocktails, Mocktails and More

  • Scatter cranberries on a baking sheet and cover with just enough water to cover. When frozen, remove tray and break ice-covered cranberries into pieces. Place wine or champagne bottle into an ice bucket and slip the frozen cranberry pieces around the bottle to keep it chilled.
  • Place cranberries in an ice cube tray (2-3 per cube), fill with water and freeze. Add to a clear drink like soda water for a festive spin on a basic beverage.
  • Alternatively, float fresh or frozen cranberries in glasses of Prosecco; frozen fruit will help chill the drink without diluting the flavour.
  • Make fruit-infused water by filling a large beverage dispenser with sliced oranges, fresh or frozen cranberries and a few green herbs (sage, rosemary, or mint work well).
  • Make a cranberry rosemary garnish for your Christmas cocktails. To do so, you’ll need rosemary sprigs, wooden skewers, and fresh cranberries. Remove rosemary leaves from bottom half of sprigs; set aside. Use the wooden skewer to puncture holes in the cranberries. Thread three cranberries onto the bare part of the sprig. Repeat until you have the desired quantity. Place in a cocktail or mocktail and enjoy.

On The Table

Use cranberries and sprigs of rosemary to create wreath-shaped place cards for the holiday table.

Use inexpensive floral wire and needle nose pliers to make cranberry napkin rings. To do so, cut the desired length of wire with wire cutters and curl one end into a loop with the pliers. Slide cranberries onto the wire using as many as needed, fold up the flat end and insert it into the loop. Curl the end closed, and insert linen or paper napkins.

Photos and ideas courtesy of our featured member, Ocean Spray

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