Seasonal Crafts: Make a Chili Strand

Chili Strand
Margo Letourneau


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Create a colorful strand of red and green chili peppers for a unique holiday decoration. Here's how:

Traditionally made in Mexico at harvesttime, chile strands can be made with chiles from your supermarket.

  • Cut a piece of fine wire about 14 inches long.
  • Wrap one end of the wire tightly around a whole head of garlic.
  • Carefully use a large needle to poke a hole through the base of the pepper stems and string them onto the wire starting from the bottom so that they fan out, forming a spiral.
  • Twist the top of the wire into a loop for hanging, and tie on a bright red or green bow.

The strand will dry and remain colorful for months. It’s very festive and refreshingly different at the holidays!

chile strands

Illustration by Margo Letourneau

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I have made some of these,

I have made some of these, but used twine instead of wire. I started with at least 4 or 5 feet of twine, and tied knots around each chili stem. They form straight out, but with time, gravity takes over and they fall and have a layered look about them. If you use green chilis, with time and left outside in the elements, they turn red and dry. Very pretty.

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