This dried orange garland project made with bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks are easy to create and make 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 during in the fall and for your Christmas decor.
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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. Start by slicing oranges about 1/4 inch thick and placing them 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 ornament project.
The same process works for apples. You can string them too or just make a pretty bowl of potpourri.
Creating the 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, string them all together. It is helpful if you have a large embroidery 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, 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 an orange Christmas decoration.
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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