Homemade Christmas orange decorations
A warmth filled home, citrus scents and maybe some mulled wine? Just delightful. Enjoy getting creative with this super simple and affordable way to decorate your home, your tree, your Christmas table or even adorn your gifts with them.
- 3 oranges
- 2 grapefruits (optional)
- 2 apples (optional)
- Rosemary (optional)
- Bay leaves (optional)
Note: the more fruit etc that you have, the more you’ll have to play with. By using a variety, you’ll end up with some really nice different colors, shapes and scents too. Any citrus fruits can be used.
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- Wire rack or parchment paper
- Tissue / tea towel / rag
- Ribbon / twine or left over string (anything in your house you already have that you might be able to use)
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Slice the fruit really thinly (if you do thicker like we did, you’ll need to allow longer to cook, sometimes up to 6 hours)
A serrated knife will make slicing them thinly easier, but if you happen to have a mandolin hanging around in your kitchen - now’s the time to get it out.
One thing to think about is that the slices will need to be cooked in a single layer (no overlapping) so consider how much time you have and the space in your oven/rack.
The secret to the best dried fruits for your decorations? Removing excess moisture.
For doing this, it’s best to again have them in a single layer and you can use any rag / paper towels you have in the house to dab the slices (ideally on both sides) to remove any excess moisture.
You’re now ready to get your bake on. Ideally pop your wire rack over some parchment (to help catch any juices) and lay your slices out in a single layer.
The best case scenario is to then turn them every 30 minutes to ensure even baking, however we did hourly turns and that worked too. Try both ways and see what works best for you and your oven.
Bake for 2-3 hours.
Once your slices are starting to look slightly translucent (think chopped onions beginning to cook) then they’re ready. You’ll see our batch of slightly over cooked slices below (and while we’re still going to use them, we do prefer the slightly non-charred versions).
Some of your slices may have a brighter color than other slices, and potentially some stickiness to them. Don’t fret. They’ll continue to dry out over the coming weeks (there may be a couple of casualties developing mold but don’t worry, it’s super normal and you’ll soon know which ones are going to be pesky mold-growers).
Admittedly, we didn’t quite nail this due to the thickness so we had a second round of drying them out near the boiler… we live and we learn.
Now it’s time to unleash your creative side! If you’re unsure on how you’d like to use them, then we highly recommend heading over to Pinterest and taking a look. From tree decorations, to garlands, tablescapes, wreaths or maybe even adorning your gift wrapping. The many ways you can use them are endless. We did actually make them into a garland first and then dry them out, so that’s an option too.
We kept some loose ones to scatter around our Christmas table, and others made it onto some twine, complete with some sprigs of rosemary and bay leaves for some additional colour.