Follow my step-by-step tutorial for how to make a dried orange garland. DIY dried orange slice garland makes a natural and charming holiday decor and creates a warm, vibrant splash of colors in any space in your home.
It has been five years since I ditched all artificial decorations and used natural elements instead. As a result, citrus slices became the number one Christmas tree decoration, and we enjoyed the process of making them.
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly holiday decoration, this orange garland is a simple solution that adds a touch of Scandinavian style and fun color to your home. While you can store an orange Christmas garland for next Christmas, we make a new one every year, as it will make your house smell delicious! So join me in the tutorial on the homemade dried orange garland to brighten up your holiday season!
Items You’ll Need
Oranges. I used 3-4 navel or valencia oranges.
Sharp Knife. Use a sharp knife to slice them all evenly. If you have a mandolin, you can also use it to slice oranges.
Paper Towel or clean dish towel. Press out the excess juice from the orange slices.
Baking Sheet. I used two baking sheets and lined them with parchment paper.
Needle or Toothpick. Needle with a large eye or a toothpick to poke holes in slices.
String. I love using a cotton string or rustic twine to string the orange slice garland. Of course, the clear fishing line will also do.
DIY Dried Orange Slice Garland – step by step tutorial.
First step: Slice Oranges
Use a sharp knife and begin by cutting your oranges into thin slices. Ideally, the slices should have a similar or uniform thickness so they’ll dry at the same time. Next, cut them across the center of the orange and make 1/8 to 1/4 thick slices.
Second step: Preheat the oven and spread oranges onto trays.
Preheat the oven to a temperature of around 200F – 210 F (100 C) and layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Use a conversion oven setting as the air circulation faster the drying process.
Before spreading the orange slices onto a tray, blot them with a paper towel to soak up excess juices. This will faster the drying process.
Spread the orange slices on a baking sheet in a single layer, avoiding overlaps.
Third step: Drying citruses
In the Oven:
Place in the oven and bake the oranges for 3 to 5 hours, depending on your oven and the thickness of the orange slices. Flip the oranges every hour to ensure even drying. Keep watching them, remove dry pieces, and let the thick slices dry. Once all pieces are dehydrated, transfer them to a cooling rack, and allow them to cool.
Fourth Step: String oranges to make a garland
Using a tight string and a needle with a larger eye, thread the orange slices in a raw. Make a loop at each end to easily loop the garland from a nail or branch.
What else can I do with Dried slices?
There are so many fun ways to use your dehydrated oranges. You can use them to make orange-infused tea or top a salad with them for added flavor and texture.
Add them to your favorite muffin or cake recipe for added sweetness or use them to decorate Christmas cookies.
I like grinding them up and using them in powder as an all-natural flavoring agent in sweet and savory dishes.
You can compost the slices too.
I like to attach them to presents; they make beautiful Christmas decor or gift.
My husband prefers to add a slice to his Campari juice.
How Long Does an Orange Slice Garland Last?
Citrus garland can last up to two years if stored in an airtight container in a cool and dry place. They are turning brown with age which is still pretty. Any moisture, however, can lead to mold development. So I like to place them outside for the birds and use the slices in tea.
How to store dehydrated Orange Garland?
Store the lovely garland in an airtight container, a large mason jar, or a ziplock bag. Find a place where they don’t break easily, like where you keep fragile holiday decor.
Sure, you can use a dehydrator that you need to set to 130-135°F (70 C). Alternatively, choose fruit setting or medium heat. It takes 6-8 hours to dry them completely. Fill as many trays as necessary, and rotate the trays to dehydrate them equally.
So long as they are appropriately dehydrated, there will be no mold growth on dried slices. Mold only appears if the drying process is timely and needs to be done for an adequate time. Even if the slices feel tacky just after being taken out of the oven, their contact with the atmosphere as decorations will guarantee further protection against mold. Unless you live in a highly moist climate, mold should not be a worry after drying. When dried, they will not attract bugs either.
Why do people decorate with oranges for Christmas or during winter?
Due to their warm, festive colors and fragrant aroma, dried citruses are often used as decorations during the Christmas and winter seasons. The orange is a traditional symbol of good health, luck, and prosperity in many cultures, and its sweetness can bring a sense of warmth to any room.
What kind of oranges should I use to make a Christmas orange garland?
Navel or Valencia oranges are the best for making orange garland DIY because they have thick skin, have lots of juice, and are naturally sweet.
I used them to make these Christmas pomanders.
I like to choose oranges with deep orange colors to get the most vibrant tones. Also, it is easier to cut firm oranges into thin slices than softer fruit.
You can also use blood oranges or other citruses to make a citrus garland, such as tangerines, lemons, limes, or grapefruits.
Ways to Customize orange Garland for holiday decor!
- The garland looks fabulous with the same color dehydrated orange slices. You can combine various citruses or different colors of oranges.
- Make cranberry garland – oranges and cranberries make a beautiful blend of colors. Fresh cranberries make a beautiful addition to the simple garland.
- Layer garlands – layer several different orange garlands for an interesting effect.
- Hang it differently – hang your orange garland on the mantle, in an archway, or along windowsills for a unique look.
- Use small pine cones to incorporate into your garland for added color and texture.
- Add lights – wrap string lights around your orange garland to create a prettier display at night.
- Combine materials such as burlap, wooden beads, ribbon, fabric, and twine with your orange garland to give it a more personalized touch.
- String the twine through a yarn needle, form a knot at one extremity, and put cinnamon sticks or other dehydrated fruits in between the orange slices.
- Use Christmas spices such as clove or badian to decorate the orange slices,