This dried orange garland project made with bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks are 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 pretty easy to make. My sister and I used to make these for our herbal shop with different dried fruits, and other botanicals, like dried red hot peppers. Very pretty in the fall and you can use it again at Christmas time.
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How to Make a Dried Orange Garland
How to Dry Oranges 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 fruit.
- Start by slicing oranges about 1/4 inch thick with a sharp knife.
- Blot off all the excess 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.
Creating the Orange Slice Garland
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.
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.
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.
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 use any combination you'd 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 Garland Last?
If you store it in a well-sealed plastic bin the garland should last for years. It will lose some of the fragrance and the orange slices may turn a little darker but otherwise, it will look great.
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, it is a little 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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for more great project ideas.
- Oranges (see below how for to dry your own)
- Whole Bay Leaves
- Cinnamon Sticks, 2.75 Cut, 1 lb
- Drill (optional)
- Large needle (embroidery or yarn)
- 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 holes 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.
You can buy dried orange slices to save time. Packed in a well-sealed plastic container will keep this garland for years. The oranges may darken some after a while but it still looks pretty.