Make a Decorative Chili Pepper Strand (Ristra)

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Photo Credit
Margo Letourneau

Hang Colorful Strings of Chili Peppers for the Holidays!

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Create a colorful strand of red and green chili peppers—called a ristra—to hang outdoors for a unique holiday decoration. Here’s how:

Traditionally made in Mexico at harvesttime, chili strands can be made with peppers from your supermarket or leftover peppers from your garden.

Note: How many peppers you will need will depend on the type you use. If using small chili peppers, you may need around 35 to 50; with large chilis, you may need about 15 to 20.

Make a Decorative Chili Ristra

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

chile strands

Illustration by Margo Letourneau

About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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