We might not have our Christmas tree yet (part of this weekend’s agenda), but we’re slowly filling up our home with Christmas cheer! This week, Zoe and I worked on a Simple Dried Orange Garland, and had so much fun together working on this DIY project! It is so simple, and I want to make 5x more to hang them on the tree! We love making Christmas time with our children extra special and intentional; here’s a list of our favorite 20 activities.
Side note: from start to finish, this DIY takes a few days because of the orange-drying process. So, keep that in mind if you need them by a certain date for anything! Oh, and next time, I’m going to put a few drops of essential oil on the slices before baking, for some fragrance (as is, they don’t smell at all)
Oranges (or clementines or tangerines)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Slice oranges in rounds, about 1/4 inch thick. Blot dry with paper towels, and arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 3 hours, flipping slices at least 3 times to bake evenly. The edges should be slightly browned. After 3 hours, remove from oven and place on cooling racks. Put aside (I left mine over our heat ducts) for 2-3 days, until completely dry. Patience is required here, because you want the flesh of the orange to be totally and completely try, otherwise it will rip when you stitch it.
2. Make Garland.
Thread needle with your choice of twine. Then string orange slices onto twine. You want to make sure you make a complete stitch through the orange slices: take the needle in one side of the flesh of the orange, and out the opposite side. You need a complete stitch so the slices hang on the string correctly. When you have the length you need, cut string and tie a knot in each end to keep oranges from sliding off of the garland. Leave enough string after the knot to affix to your pine garland or Christmas tree, etc.
You can repeat the above for as many garlands as you like!
Five oranges gave me about 12′ of garland (two 6′ sections). As you can see, my oranges are spread out about 8 inches apart; you may like yours closer or farther apart. You know what I love most about this project? Besides slicing and baking the oranges (and a little help figuring out how to sew orange slices), Zoe was able to do it all by herself, which she LOVES. Apparently it was a bit exhausting though, because halfway through she stopped, said she was tired, and put her head down for a few moments. Be still my heart. <3
Let me know if you make these; I hope you ENJOY this festive addition to your home!
Looking for more handmade Christmas ideas? Browse all of our holiday posts and download our Intentional Christmas List.
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These photos are so lovely and Zoe is a little angel!
[…] sweet holiday orange garland. I’ve tried to make these before and ended up with very crispy burned oranges. Think I needed […]
I have had mixed results with drying orange slices but yours look lovely, I have just added some of the successful ones to my Christmas wreath
Oh no, what sort of results have you had? A friend said some of her oranges slices came out on the slightly-burned side. I’m thinking oven temperatures might be different, or some oranges less juicy than others (and thus, requiring less time in the oven)…you might want to try slicing them thicker, or lowering the oven temp (and watching them)! <3 Hope that helps!
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Would a dehydrator work well for the project, or do you think it works best with the oven?
I *think* a dehydrator would work well, I just don’t have one! 🙂 Happy orange drying!!
Love how simple and organic looking this garland is! I couldn’t wait the 3 days for it to fully dry lol but it turned out great still! Maybe even better if I waited but I think it looks good! Thanks for sharing this.
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Wonderfully simple, natural and timeless idea. I am saving it for the coming fall/winter. The pictures are lovely and your child is an angel!
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How long would the garland last for, is it something I could put into storage and use again the following year?
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On Prince Edward Island most everyone has a wood stove. We’ve had success drying citrus slices for potpourri and garlands— sitting racks near the stove. They’re easy— and beautiful to watch. Totally agree with you— it is about low heat and patience.
Thank you and Happy Holidays!
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LOVE!!! I have a few oranges and we need some less-breakable items for our tree (curious toddler hands!). This garland would be perfect!
Yay, these are perfect for curious toddlers (and beauty-loving adults)! <3 Hope you love them!
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A dehydrator works very well for this, if you have one. I have an Excalibur and I love it! Our orange slices were done within a day and they are very vibrantly orange in colour…sometimes the oven method seems to make the oranges turn slightly brown. Your garland is beautiful! -love all your creations!