How to make your own dried orange garland, with just orange slices and time. You can use a dehydrator, oven, or even a fireplace for this. Dried orange slices make such a beautiful winter decoration and they're inexpensive, easy, and completely zero waste!

If you want to make some more plastic-free holiday crafts, try my orange pomanders and Christmas potpourri. Find more how-to guides and recipes in the zero waste archives.

Finished orange slice garland on a red and white striped cloth.
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What You'll Need

You can use any type of orange, or any citrus fruit for that matter. I prefer the look of oranges over thinner-skinned varieties like clementines, but they can be beautiful too.

Items needed for a dried orange garland with labels.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Oranges: choose fruit without soft spots, as any will cause misshapen rounds. Slightly hard, dry fruit that isn't so good for eating is ideal for an orange garland.
  • String: any embroidery-weight thread will work! Jute string is a common choice, and red and white striped is pretty and festive.
  • Needle: a standard sewing needle is good and a darning needle will work too.

How to Make an Orange Garland

Orange garland steps 1 to 4, slicing, before and after drying, and stringed.

Step 1: slice oranges into rounds with a sharp knife.

Step 2: place the slices on a baking sheet or dehydrator tray, and dry with a cloth.

Step 3: dehydrate for about 12 hours or bake for about 3, until fully dry.

Step 4: string the orange slices onto thread with a needle to make your garland.

Top Tips

  • Add to your garland: string beads between orange slices, or tie cinnamon sticks, pine cones, or add ribbon or bows.
  • Dry completely: make sure they're completely dry to the touch and not tacky or sticky at all, or they might go mouldy.
  • Turn the fruit: rotate the oranges a little bit after each slice to avoid pressing too much on one side as you cut. This will make for more evenly round slices.
  • Use a fireplace: if you have a mantle over a fireplace, you can dry the oranges on that (not on the metal of the fireplace). Use a drying/cooling rack, like for cookies, and it takes 2-3 days if using the fire regularly.

How to Store

For use: keep your garland or orange slice decorations in a relatively cool and dry place, not somewhere that gets a lot of humidity, like a bathroom or above the oven. It should last well over a month.

To store: the dried orange slices can last up to a year if kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

How to Use Dried Orange Slices

  • Tie a loop of string onto individual slices to use as tree decorations
  • Use string to make a line to hang like garland
  • Hang in rows in a window like a beaded curtain
  • Hang a garland over doorways or around windows, with or without greenery
  • Add to door or advent wreaths
  • Use them as a cocktail garnish – remember they're completely edible!
  • If you have extra, dip them in chocolate and have as a lightly sweet dessert
An orange garland with greenery over a window frame, hand holding a drink in foreground.

FAQ

What does orange garland symbolize?

Orange symbolize the sun, and are often used in garlands to indicate the lengthening of the days again after winter solstice.

How long does orange garland last?

Your orange garland should last for at least a year, if not longer, if kept in a cool, dry place. They will lose their colour over time, and that's when it's time to make a new one!

Does dried orange garland smell good?

Dried oranges smell like orange, and you can add other scented items like dried spices and greenery to make a stronger winter scent!

If you make this Orange Garland or any other eco-friendly DIYs on Wholehearted Eats, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more WHE, follow along on Instagram or subscribe for new posts via email.

Finished orange slice garland on a red and white striped cloth.
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5 from 2 votes

Dried Orange Garland

How to make your own dried orange garland, with just orange slices and time. You can use a dehydrator, oven, or even a fireplace for this.
Prep Time10 minutes
Drying Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 1 garland
Author: Sophie

Equipment

  • Needle
  • Embroidery or thick thread

Ingredients

  • 3 oranges or as many as you'd like

Instructions

  • Slice the oranges thinly with a sharp knife. Lay the slices onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet or dehydrator tray.
    3 oranges
  • If using an oven, bake the slices at 200°F (90°C) for 2-3 hours, or until fully dry. Flip the oranges every 30 minutes and move them around as the oven or baking sheet might have hot spots. Take the individual slices off the sheet as they dry to prevent browning.
  • To use a dehydrator, dry the slices on the lowest setting for 12-24 hours. You don't really need to worry about discolouring or browning if using a dehydrator.
  • The oranges need to be fully dried, not gummy or sticky at all. Once dry, use a needle to string the thread through in any way you'd like. The garland should last months if kept in a cool, dry place.

Notes

3 oranges is a good starting point, and you'll get a garland long enough to use for most windows and doors.

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