You want to make Christmas time extra special and intentional? You love to do activities with your kids during this special time of the year? Then this DIY Orange garland is for you! It makes a beautiful decoration on the Christmas tree or over the chimney, but you can also use the loose slices to decorate the dinner table or buffet, to add to a wreath or even to include in your gift packages!
The process might take a few days because of the drying. So, keep that in mind if you need them by a certain date for anything! Oh, and to make it extra special, here’s a tip for you : You can add a few drops of orange and/or cinnamon essential oil on the slices before baking for some fragrance! It is totally optional but it definitely adds to the christmassy vibes!
What you need :
- Orange and/or cinnamon essential oils (optional)
- Baking sheets
- Paper towels
- Parchment paper
- Mandolin slicer or very sharp knife
- Cooling racks
- Jute string
- Dull threading needle
- Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature possible. 170 °F to 200 °F works fine.
- Slice the oranges to 1/4 inch thick using the mandolin or a sharp knife. Slice as many as you need and blot dry them with paper towels. Try to remove as much moisture as possible. Then, place them on the parchment-lined baking sheets.
- You can add now some drops of essential oils if you choose to.
- Bake the slices for 4 hours then flip them and bake again for another 2 hours. After the baking, they should not bend when you pick them up. If they still do, add more baking time and keep checking.
- Place the orange slices on a cooling rack overnight or for a couple of days depending on how dry they are. They should be completely dry. You don’t want them to get mold!
- Let’s make the garland now! First, decide the length of your garland and cut a piece of jute accordingly, making sure to leave about 10 inches of leeway on both sides to tie.
- Use a dull threading needle, thread the jute back and forth through the top of the dehydrated orange near where the pith meets the fruit. This is the sturdiest place to secure the string for hanging.
- You can choose to place your orange slices very close together or more apart depending on the look you want. Repeat the process for as many garlands as you need.
- Tip : You can also string pine cones in-between the orange slices!