DIY Garland with Hedge Apples

If you live in the midwest outside the suburbs, most likely you are familiar with the abundance of hedge apples.  Horse apples, monkey brains, and Osage oranges are just a few other names used to reference these warty grapefruit sized balls.  Chartreuse in color, I find them to be falls Annabelle – similar color, similar size and shape, long-lasting, and have many uses in crafts.

If you already have a plethora of hedge apples, gather them.  If not they can be found at farmers markets, Craig’s List, or even ordered online.  Once you have the fruit, making garland is easy and shouldn’t take longer than an hour (with the majority of your time spent in clean up 😉 ).

Materials Needed:

  • Hedge Apples
  • Twine
  • Scissors
  • Long wooden skewers
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Hammer


    • Use the stem of the hedge apple as reference for the ‘top.’
    • The milky sap from this fruit is super sticky.  You will want to do this in an outside area to keep the mess to a minimum.  When making the holes and threading the fruit the sap tends to splatter out of the fruit.
    • The milky say can also bother your skin so the use of gloves may be desired.  I didn’t use gloves (I rarely ever do), and after a bit my skin started itching like a bad bout of poison ivy!
    • It is advised to have some Goo Gone on hand for clean up purposes. 

1. To make the hole, align screwdriver at side of fruit.  Using hammer, tap with light to moderate strength, driving screwdriver through hedge apple’s center and out opposite side.  Repeat this on all hedge apples you plan to use for the garland.

2. Fold tip of twine, and hook onto sharp end of skewer.  This may take some finagling.  After a bit the twine will stiffen from the fruits sap and make it easier to thread through the holes.  If needed, the screwdriver can be used to help feed the twine through.  Thread each hedge apple.

3.  Display garland in area of your choice!  Once hung, slide fruit close together and tie off both sides.  Cut twine.

4. Clean up, and you’re done!

The wonderful vibrant color shows well from the road too!

I hope you enjoy this fall project as much as I do.  Such an easy way to add a pop of color for very little cost.  These silly hedge apples can last a long time – between 2-3 months, so your garland can be incorporated into Halloween, Thanksgiving, and even Christmas themed decor.  Plus, don’t forget the hedge apples claim to fame: folk-lore has it these lime green balls ward off spiders and other pesky bugs.  Anything that keeps spiders away gets kudos in my book.

Here you can find out how I made the Halloween arrangement.  And here you can get tips from Kelly Acock, a fabulous local florist and eco conscious designer incorporating this monstrosity of a fruit into your homes decor.


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