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How to Dry Oranges for Decoration

How to Dry Oranges for Decoration

 

My inspiration for this project was the Holiday Spice tree from RAZ Imports.

 

I just love this tree! It just seems like it would feel the room with a Christmasy, spicy, citrus scent. 

We do have a few items in stock that RAZ used on this tree, but not the orange garlands. They were just simply too expensive to stock! 

So, I had this thought that I might could create something similar. You know how you always get big ideas.....and realize you have had a good idea, but in practicality, it was overreach. Well, that happened here, but I still love the way the dried oranges turned out!

The only problem is, had I created enough dried oranges to make even one garland, I would have had to started back in January!

My Experiment

I bought a bag of Mandarin oranges. I'm sure I could have used navel oranges, but the Mandarins were a bit smaller so I gave them a try.

Make slices of a little less than a half-inch.

how to dehydrate orange slices for decoration

 

 

Discard the end pieces. Take a couple of folded paper towels and gently press to remove some of the juice. Don't press so hard that you distort the orange slices.

For the whole oranges, make cuts about a half-inch apart, leaving the top and bottom intact. 

 

how to dry oranges

Place the oranges and slices on parchment paper. You can use your oven, but I used a Ninja Air Fryer set to "dehydrate" which is a temp of 150 degrees for 6 hours.

drying orange slices

I didn't keep up with the number of times I reset the air fryer. I just tested the slices and if they were still damp, I ran them again. Of course, my drying got interrupted a few times when my husband needed the air fryer for something else! His patience ran a bit thin with my project)))

The color does darken a bit with the drying and the pulp is still just a bit sticky, but the edges are nice and dry. 

how to dry orange slices in a ninja air fryer

 

I had purchased a bag of Christmas potpourri and it had some orange slices in it. I think the homemade look better!

 dried orange slices

 

After I had sliced up a few oranges and starting the dehydrating process, it was quickly apparent that this would have to be a much smaller project than I had anticipated.

My plan had been to string the whole oranges and slices on jute string, sandwiching cinnamon sticks in-between. It was a lovely plan.

Instead of beautiful garlands that would last from fall through Christmas, I had to settle for a wooden bowl full of potpourri. And I added a couple of small painted pumpkins and some animal print ornaments

dehydrated orange slices

 

I'm not disappointed though! I love the way they turned out. And, if you position some tiny little battery lights behind the slices, they really light up pretty!

These tiny battery lights are perfect for small projects. The battery box can easily be tucked away and hidden, and it has a remote!

LL600226-battery lights

Lights come as a 16' strand with 40 lights or a 40' strand with 100 lights. They are powered by AA batteries and have a remote that has 8 different light settings and a timer. 

The lights are warm white and are on a thin wire.

place tiny lights behind dried orange slices

 

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