seasonal decor – dried orange slices

Closeup of the corner of a mantel on a brick fireplace that has been painted white. An orange slice garland is draped in front of the mantel. The mantelpiece is decorated with cedar branches and pine cones.

Dried orange slices are a traditional holiday decoration making a big comeback. If you don’t make an orange slice garland, do you even Instagram?! I finally gave this a try last year year when a box of nearly past their prime oranges called to me from the “reduced to clear” section of the grocery store. It was a lovely way to make a natural decoration while saving food from the landfill. These are also great to make for yourself or for gifts if you have citrus trees that you just can’t keep up with. Throw some pinecones and cedars bits from the yard on your mantel and your holiday decorations are sorted (and biodegradable)!

How To Make Dried Orange Slices

  • Thinly slice oranges, but not too thin! About 1/4″ does the trick. Use a mandolin if you have one for a consistent thickness.
  • Blot the slices with a towel to speed drying time. Learn from my mistakes!
  • Set them on a cooling rack in your oven at 200°F for 1 hour. Flip them.
  • Back in for another hour. Flip again.
  • Keep doing this flip and check business every 30 minutes until they are done.
  • Takes 2-5ish hours depending on your oven, your slicing, and your oranges.

Of course, if you have a food dehydrator, the process is a lot more hands off – simply follow the drying time and temperature recommended by the manufacturer. I let mine sit on the counter for a few extra days out of laziness, and it seemed to make them far less sticky. This process also works for lemons, limes, and grapefruits with varying drying times.

What To Do With Your Dried Orange Slices

These are a perfect eco-friendly decoration with so much versatility! I made a garland using leftover yarn and some random beads from our craft bins. I use a needle to gently poke a hole near the skin, going back through the hole to form a loose knot to keep the slice in place. Let them hang, or continue across the slice and repeat the knot on the other side for a tighter garland. You can also incorporate other natural bits and bobs like pinecones, twigs, evergreen boughs, acorns, dried cranberries, or cinnamon sticks. The kids and I also made them into tree ornaments using the same process. Pinterest is loaded with beautiful ideas for wreaths as well, which is on my to do list this year! They also make your home smell fabulous while they are drying. Store them in tissue paper, expecting them to darken over time.

What is your favourite holiday decor to make at home?

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