Citrus Ornaments with Dehydrated Fruit
Updated: Nov 21, 2022
My daughter and I made the most beautiful garland for my sister-in-law. We are visiting her family in Kansas for Thanksgiving and wanted to give her a hand-made hostess gift.
When we finished the garland, we had a lot of dried oranges left, (not going to lie, I ate the rest of the apples!), so to use those oranges, I made these ornaments for our tree, and a smaller garland for a friend. I estimate we spent about $40 on all supplies needed, and came away with a product worth several times more. Best part of all is that we did it together, (she is eight), and she didn't argue. That is a mom-win!
Let me preface by saying this:
My mandolin didn't do a very good job of slicing the oranges evenly. Probably something I did wrong, but it didn't work for me. It worked GREAT for the apples.
I got about four or sometimes five good slices out of each orange.
You want the slices to be as thin as possible because it takes longer to dehydrate a thicker slice. I sliced them about 1/4" thick, and it took me about four hours at 200 degrees Fahrenheit to dehydrate them.
I used my oven. I thought it would be easier than borrowing a dehydrator because I could put a lot in there at once. I'm not sure that it was any better. I am pretty sure the energy usage was a lot higher.
I lined my pans with parchment paper, but it wasn't necessary. It is an optional step.
I did dry some Silver Dollar Eucalyptus at the same time. I have three trees in my yard and thought it would be nice to add to the fray, but it was pretty brittle when it dried. I ended up not using it. Those apple chips were so stinking good... I wondered if I'd eat them all before I even got started.
As you can see, my supplies were as follows:
Cinnamon sticks (Amazon)
25mm Wood Beads (Amazon)
Rosemary clippings (from my garden)
Jute string (Amazon... noticing a trend here...)
Glue gun (Amazon)
Embroidery needle (ahem... Amazon)
Box of miscellaneous beads, ribbons, decorations... just in case.
Now, let's get down to business.
I started by hot gluing my cinnamon sticks together, just to be on the safe side. After adhering three cinnamon sticks, I added a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary from my garden.
I cut a piece of jute about 18" long, because I'd rather have too much than not enough string, and went through my orange meat. I then did sort of a whip stitch over the peel (to add some stability to the ornament) and came back through the meat again.
I left the needle threaded, but used the strings to wrap snuggly around the cinnamon sticks. I tied the string at the top of the rosemary. Be careful to make it snug, but not so tight that you damage the orange peel.
I then threaded the second strand of jute through the needle, and threaded both through the wood bead. I tied that off to keep the bead in place, and removed the needle. I made a second knot near the ends of the string to form a loop for hanging.
Once you have the hang of it (and it's about as easy as a Christmas craft project can be) you can make all sorts of goodies, like the petite garland below, which I made for a friend.
If you decide to give it a try, I'd love to hear how it went, and, as always, I want to see photos, please!!
**Materials: Below are links to the tools and products that I use, but you can use any brand. Hot Glue Gun with 30 glue sticks: https://amzn.to/3E3RM2W 25mm Wood Beads: https://amzn.to/3AcpbqT Jute Twine: https://amzn.to/3O7BzhO Cinnamon Sticks: https://amzn.to/3V0leOj Embroidery Needles: https://amzn.to/3E9VJTL **By using our website, you hereby consent to our disclaimer and agree to its terms.**
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