This dried orange garland project made with bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks is easy to create and makes a beautiful statement in your fall, holiday, and winter decor.
Have you ever made a dried fruit garland? The drying process takes some time, but overall it's a pretty easy project.
My sister and I used to make these for our herbal shop with natural elements such as different dried fruits, and other botanicals, like dried red hot peppers. Very pretty in the fall and you can use it again during the holiday season. It could also be a beautiful addition to your Christmas tree.
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How to Dry Orange Slices
You can buy dried orange slices but it's more fun to make your own. This process works great with lemons, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits.
- Start by slicing oranges about 1/4 inch thick with a sharp knife.
- Blot off all the excess juice and moisture with a paper towel.
- Place them in a single layer on a baking rack or straight on the oven rack.
- Bake at 200 degrees (F) for about 4 hours, turning every hour or so.
- I made them in two batches in the evening and after 4 hours turned off the oven and let them sit there overnight.
I tried something similar with whole oranges and little clementines but it did not work as well. You can read more about that in this dried citrus Christmas ornaments post.
The same process works for apples. You can string them too or just make a pretty bowl of potpourri.
How to Make a Dried Orange Garland
Step 1. Gather your bay leaves in a bowl. I bought a big bag of bay leaves. Many were not big enough to string on the garland so it helped to weed through them ahead of time.
Step 2. Drill holes in the middle of the cinnamon sticks. You can also just wind the cinnamon sticks around the twine as you go. I did this for half of my garland then switched to drilling holes. Drilling takes more time, but the cinnamon stick stays in place better.
Step 3. Next, thread them all together. It is helpful if you have a large embroidery or yarn needle, but you can always use a paper clip or even a piece of wire.
Step 4. I started with a cinnamon stick, then an orange slice. Then I added 8 bay leaves, another orange slice, 8 more bay leaves, and a final orange slice, and repeated this combination until the end.
Of course, you can make it in different ways using any combination you like. To give you an idea, the garland above is about 4 feet long. For this, I used approximately 11 oranges, 18 cinnamon sticks (2.75 in), and 250 bay leaves.
How Long Will This Orange Slice Garland Last?
If you store it in a well-sealed plastic bin in a dry place the garland should last a long time, perhaps for years. It will lose some of the fragrance and the orange slices may turn a little darker but otherwise, it will look great.
How Long Does the Orange Fragrance Last?
Depending on the space it's in maybe a week but it's so pretty you won't care.
How Do You Keep the Bay Leaves from Breaking?
Try soaking the leaves in some water for 30 minutes. Then dry them with some paper towels. This should help with the brittle nature of dried bay leaves.
Can You Dry the Oranges in a Dehydrator?
I haven't personally tried it but I don't see why you couldn't.
Can You Use Apples Instead of Oranges?
Absolutely. That would be beautiful and the apples would weigh less for those having trouble with the overall weight of the orange slices. You can see how dried apples look in my homemade potpourri post image above.
I think in the future I might add more cinnamon sticks and some apple slices. It makes a really nice fall garland for our family room mantel. I just might leave it up or use it on the tree as part of my natural Christmas decor.
Overall, this beautiful dried orange garland is a bit time consuming but totally worth it and I got to enjoy the smell of oranges, bay leaves, and cinnamon while I worked.
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DIY Dried Orange Garland for Your Holiday Decor
- Drill (optional)
- Large needle (embroidery or yarn)
- Dried Oranges see below how for to dry your own
- Whole Bay Leaves
- Cinnamon Sticks 2.75 Cut, 1 lb
- Dry oranges. Start by slicing oranges about 1/4 inch thick, blotting excess moisture with paper towels, and place them straight on the oven rack or baking rack.
- Bake at 200 degrees (F) for about 4 hours, turning every hour or so. I made them in two batches in the evening and after 4 hours turned off the oven and let them sit there overnight.
- Gather your bay leaves in a bowl. Weed through them to find the best whole large leaves.
- Drill a small hole in the middle of the cinnamon sticks. You can also just wind the cinnamon sticks around the twine as you go.
- Next, string them all together using a large embroidery needle, a paper clip, or even a piece of wire.
- Create any pattern you want. This one starts with a cinnamon stick, then an orange slice. Followed by 8 bay leaves, another orange slice, 8 more bay leaves, a final orange slice
- Repeat until you reach your desired length.