For the last few years, we have used dried citrus fruit slices in Christmas decorations around the house as well as apple slices. They have made beautiful decorations but recently in the stores instead of just slices I started to see whole oranges dried and thought how great these would look to decorate a garland on the bannisters in our house. So here’s how to dry whole oranges or other citrus fruit and a suggestion of how to use them to decorate your home.
Read our how-to dry citrus fruit slices and make your own.
How to Dry Whole Oranges for Christmas Decorations
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I love creating our own homemade decorations and one of the aims has been to make as much of the items around the house as possible myself – or at least adapt them to be more than just a store-bought item.
So this Christmas I was inspired by the decorations and wreaths that I saw in stores which contained whole dried oranges (although I found that a lot of them were plastic – something we are trying to avoid in the home) so I set about creating my own to use to decorate for the festive season.
Materials need to Dry your own Whole Oranges
How to Dry Whole Oranges Step by Step
- With an orange held between your thumb and first finger make a cut in the skin about 1/4 of an inch (0.5cm) from the top straight around to 1/4 inch from the bottom (0.5cm).
- Repeat this slice around the orange.
- Once you have between 6 and 10 slices around the orange place it on a baking tray with lining (if you don’t want to ruin your baking tray).
- Place in the centre of the oven at your oven’s lowest temperature.
- It will take between 4 and 8 hours to dry out the oranges.
- When they are dry the insides will be dehydrated and the skins will darken.
Find more ideas for Natural Decorations that you could make for Christmas.
Ideas for Using the Dried Whole Oranges in Christmas Decorations
I have used the oranges that I dried to attach to a garland which I’ve hung from the bannister in our house.
To make one similar you will need:
A 9ft artificial garland or longer if needed
Selection of pine cones – you could paint some of these like we have
Strand of white battery operated lights
Whole dried oranges – see the end of the place where you can order these from if you lack time
To make your Garland
- Attach your stockings to the bannisters.
- Lay out the garland on the floor and wrap the lights around it.
- Using fishing wire hang the garland (it needed my husband and myself to do this).
- Take your pinecones and using the florist wire wrap it around hiding it in the pine cone parts.
- Then attach the pinecones throughout the garland.
- Attach the cinnamon sticks in a similar way.
- Take your whole dried orange and poke the florist wire through the orange and twist at the bottom to secure it.
- Take another piece of florist wire and attach the orange to the garland.
- When you have your pine cones, cinnamon sticks and oranges in place position the lights so that they can be seen and arrange the garland to conceal any obvious florist wire.
At the end of the festive season – you may need to remove the whole oranges if you will be storing the Christmas Decorations where they could get damp and they could then be placed in a handmade wooden decorative bowl with some cinnamon sticks, pine cones, and star anise in a potpourri.
Love the Idea but Lack the Time this Year
You can dry orange slices in just over an hour using our microwave method – check it out!
If you love this idea and want to try it but lack the time this year – save this idea to your Pinterest board and head to Etsy where you can buy dried oranges to make your own Christmas Decorations if you want.
More Natural Ornaments and Decorations to make for Christmas
- Any left over and larger oranges why not create some natural tea light holders with our easy DIY Orange Pomander Tea Light Holders Craft
- Got spare apples then create some beautiful dried apple slices that show off the star in the apple
- Collect pine cones and create some beautiful pine cone decorations this Christmas
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.