Scandinavian influences are often featured in Christmas decor, and this dried orange garland is a fun family tradition. If you love minimal and simple holiday decor, you will truly enjoy this garland tutorial. Drying orange slices is easy and anyone in the family can make this DIY garland, including kids.
When I think of minimal Scandinavian design, I think of nature first. I have a vision of the calming and natural aspects of the outdoors brought into the home and focus on how I can create new, lovely traditions with my family. Let’s dive in and learn how to make DIY orange garland in a just few easy steps!
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Why Orange Slice Garland?
You might not know this about my family, but my husband’s last name is actually a tiny village in Norway. We have not yet visited, however, several of our family members have made the journey to the beautiful Nordic town. This is why using dried orange garland in our holiday decor seems so familiar to us – it’s special and nostalgic to our family and brings a Scandinavian touch to our coastal American home. We hope to pass this tradition down to our children and to their children for many generations to come.
My father-in-law made the journey to visit Romfo, Norway last year. He shared several beautiful images of the church and mountains surrounding the village. He had a wonderful time going back to his roots and we hope to experience it one day as well!
Hygge – noun (danish) a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).
Slicing oranges for holiday decor is such a great activity for kids and something new that will keep their attention. Again, it’s such a simple craft for the entire family to enjoy. My kids love to sneak in a few orange slices as a snack while we slice them. Also, this home DIY project has a deeper meaning as it’s a great lesson for the kids, teaching them that you can create beautiful decor while using what you have. This is a very inexpensive way to decorate your home for the holidays! Third, you can turn this activity into a lesson, teaching them about cooking or maybe even as a science experiment. Lastly, you can sit the dried orange slices out for wildlife (like birds) after you’re done with the decor.
Orange Slice Garland and Design Styles
While orange slice garland is popular in minimalist and hygge design, it’s also seen in several other designs. I love the look of orange slices mixed with traditional and chic designs. For example, orange slices mixed with chinoiserie is beautiful and something you won’t see everywhere you go. It’s an unexpected style that is so easy to love. I love how the garland looks in our breakfast nook paired with our new furniture. It looks coastal and chic with the bistro chairs.
How to Dry Orange Slices
The prep only takes about 15 minutes and then you’ll just need to wait for them to dry for several hours in the oven or air fryer. This is a great weekend project for a rainy day, for bored kids, or while you’re working for the day at home and need a break.
For this simple DIY garland, you’ll only need a few inexpensive items. First, you will need a way to dry the citrus slices. I’ve tried two methods for drying: the oven and the air fryer. After trialing both processes, I prefer the air fryer because it’s compact, less heat produced for the house, and easier to operate. The only downside is the size. If you’re drying a lot of orange slices, you’ll want to use the oven to fit more slices at a time. You can also use an actual dehydrator for the project if you have one available to you! I’ve found several of the supplies in our home that I purchased from Amazon recently.
Slicing Oranges to Dry
When slicing the oranges, you will need a sharp knife. Pro tip: use a steady surface like a thick wood cutting board to secure the orange while slicing and to avoid any injuries. Cut the slices in 1/6 inch slices. You will need to avoid cutting them too thin because as they dry, they will crack along the edges. Also, avoid slicing too thick as it will take much longer to dry. I made this mistake early on and found that the thicker slices take double the amount of time to dry. If you are doing this project with kids, I would suggest that the adult is the one doing the cutting.
Drying Orange Slices
Place in the air fryer at 125 degrees for 6 hours. You can up the temp to 200 for 4-6 hours, however, check the slices frequently to make sure they’re not burning. You want to dry them slowly for the best results. Some people recommend using the oven at 125 degrees, I prefer the air fryer as it requires less attention and the big oven is not running all day as less heat is produced with an air fryer. If you have a dehydrator, these work great. Our air fryer has a drying option as well. Again, the only downside I’ve experienced with using an air fryer is only being able to do so many oranges at a time vs oven.
- For the air fryer: line the orange slices in a single layer on racks. Make sure none are overlapping or they will not dry.
- For the oven: line a sheet with parchment paper and place slices directly on the sheet. Make sure none are overlapping or they will not dry.
Making the Dried Orange Garland
You can use several methods for making the dried orange garland. From wire to fishing line and ribbon to twine, you can use your imagination and the supplies you have in your home on hand already. Why not save money by rummaging through your drawers to find what you need instead of going shopping?
For this project, I used leftover twine that I use for gift wrapping. I start by poking a small hole in the orange slice near the edge before the rind. Then, I slide it to the end of the twine, leaving enough twine to hang later. Next, I knot the twine around the orange slice to keep the slice in place. Moving down the twine every 4-6 inches (or whatever length you prefer), I repeat the process until the garland is the length you prefer.
Tips for Making Orange Slices Last
When the holidays are over and it’s time to take the garland down, don’t throw it away! Dried orange slices will keep approximately 2 years when dried and stored the right way. The key is to make sure you’ve dried and dehydrated your orange slices correctly to prevent any mold buildup causing them to expire quicker. When the holidays are over and you’re storing your orange slices, there is a certain storage method you should follow so keep reading.
How to Store Orange Slices
If you are planning to reuse your orange slice decor for the next holiday, you’re in luck since the slices can last a couple years. That is…. if they are stored the right way. To collect any moisture buildup from the fruit slices between holiday seasons, store the slices between newspaper so there is no mold growth. You can use your orange slice decor year after year, however, if it does expire or mold has grown, the DIY is simple enough to do the project again.
Other Uses of Dried Orange Slices
You can use the leftover orange slices to make a variety of Christmas decor. They are beautiful on a tree as ornaments, with a simple twine string. They’re also beautiful in a bowl or as a vase filler. Finally, I’ve seen them used as potpourri with cinnamon sticks and cloves.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How long does orange slice garland last? It can last for two years when stored the correct way.
- Does orange slice garland attract bugs? If they’re completely dry, they should not attract bugs.
- Can you reuse orange slice garland? Yes, as long as you dehydrate and store your orange slice garland the right way, you can reuse it for the next season.
- Do dried orange slices smell? They smell lovely when they’re drying in the oven. You can add cinnamon and cloves for a cozy seasonal scent.
- Can I just buy the orange slices already dried? You can absolutely purchase dried orange slices and significantly cut down on the time needed to make this garland.
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- 2 large oranges
- 2 mm thick jute ribbon or twine
- cutting board
- oven or air fryer
- Preheat airfryer or oven to 165°F.
- Slice oranges at 1/6-in thickness.
- Place oranges in single layer on baking racks.
- Bake for 6 hours, rotating slices every 2 hours, and bake until dry to touch.
- Let cool.
- Cut 5' twine.
- Using a small knife or scissors, poke a small hole on the outer edge of the orange slice, just below the rind.
- Thread twine through the hole and slide orange to end of twine, leaving 6 inches of twine at the end.
- Knot the twine around the orange rind.
- Repeat every 4-6 inches until 6 inches from opposite end of twine.
- Hang and enjoy!