These dried orange slice ornaments are the easiest – and prettiest – decoration you’ll make this year!
I may be biased, but I think simple, homemade ornaments are the best ornaments. I have loved the family time they’re provided and the kids and I work to make our house pretty for Christmas.
Dried orange slices, paired with the cranberry and popcorn garland we made for our tree have been so fun and simple to make.
You really only need one thing – oranges – and then to decide whether you want to hang them with ornament hooks, or tie them with string.
As simple as they are though, there are a few things to know going in:
- Make sure your oranges are dry. This really goes without saying, but having cut, fresh fruit around the house attracts bugs, and can end up molding.
- You can preserve your orange slices for future years by spraying them with shellac. Even though drying them does preserve them to an extent, since they’ll be out in the open air rather than sealed in a container, they’re exposed to varying humidity levels, and bacteria in the house which can cause them to be not so great for storage later on.
So, shellac and store them, or plan to feed them to your chickens after Christmas.
With that said, let’s get on to our simple tutorial.
Dried Orange Slice Ornaments
First, choose oranges that are the size and color you want. In these pictures, you’re seeing small naval oranges. Blood oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruit can also be used for a variety of color and size.
Slice the oranges to between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick, but no thicker! You want them to dry easily all the way through, and be thin enough to easily hang from an ornament hook.
Arrange slices on the trays of your food dehydrator, and dry for 6-8 hours at 165 degrees. (I have this dehydrator, and use it for literally everything – especially jerky making.)
- Arrange orange slices on a cooling grid, such as one you use to cool cookies, and place that over a cookie sheet to catch any drips.
- Turn your oven to the lowest setting (200º is normal), and prop the door open to let some heat and moisture escape. You do not want to cook your oranges!
- Turn the slices over every hour until dry, but still pliable.
At this point, you can spray the orange slices on both sides with shellac, and wait for them to dry in order to preserve them.
Hanging the dried orange slices
Pierce an ornament hook through the flesh of the orange, near the rind, and crimp it so the now dried orange ornament doesn’t fall off.
You’re ready to hang them!
If you want to make a dried orange garland, simply use dental floss and a needle to thread the orange slices, either tying a knot on either side of the slice to keep it in place, or using other ornaments such as popcorn or cranberries to space slices out.
With that, your dried orange ornaments are finished!
These go so nicely with homemade snowy pinecone ornaments, and other handmade ornaments for your Christmas tree. I love that they’re such a simple yearly tradition to keep every year.
When you’re done decorating your tree, with your dried orange slices, you will feel so accomplished!
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