Dried or dehydrated orange slices are easy to make and really help take your decorations to the next level. We love that dried orange slices give off a vintage vibe, plus they are a super inexpensive way to decorate your home for the holidays. Here's how to make them, plus how to turn them into garland or ornaments.
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threading dried oranges on string to make a garland
Credit: Photo by: Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D.

Dried orange slices have been a classic holiday decoration for ages and are making a comeback in 2020. With the year that we've had, we're all looking for fun ways to stay entertained and savor the holiday season at home. Whether you string them together to create a garland or make individual ornaments with each slice, they're a beautiful addition to your holiday decor. Plus, they're really easy to make. Here's how to make your own dried oranges and how to turn them into a vintage-inspired garlands or ornaments.

1. Cut oranges into slices

citrus slices
Credit: Photo by Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D.

Start by preheating your oven to 250 degrees F. Cut your oranges (or grapefruits or lemons) into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Any thicker and it will take longer for them to dry out and any thinner, they can break easily.

2. Place orange slices on a lined baking sheet and pat dry

Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a reusable silicone liner (like this one from Silpat, $27) and space out orange slices evenly. Take a clean dish cloth and gently pat both sides of each slice to get rid of excess liquid.

Bake, turning slices every hour

Bake oranges for one hour, then turn each slice over. Bake for another hour. After the second hour, remove any slices that feel dry or are beginning to brown. Continue to bake the remaining slices for another 30 minutes.

3. Place slices on a cooling rack

dried orange slices
Credit: Photo by Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D.

Remove orange slices from baking sheet and place on a cooling rack (like this one from OXO, $15). If any slices still feel sticky after cooling, allow to sit for a day or two (near a heating vent, if possible) until dry. This will help keep the orange slices from growing mold.

4. Thread dried slices onto kitchen thread

threading dried oranges on string to make a garland
Credit: Photo by: Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D.

Using a large needle or a toothpick, create two small holes at the top of each orange slice and thread kitchen twine through both, like in the picture above. This will help keep the slices in place. continue threading oranges until you've reached your desired length. Cut the twine and tie loops on each end to make hanging on curtain rods or Christmas tree branches easy.

5. Have slices leftover? Make ornaments or use as cocktail garnishes!

dried orange ornament
Credit: Photo by Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D.

Cut about 6 inches of twine for each ornament, thread through the center of the slice and tie the two ends together to create an easy, beautiful ornament. These pretty ornaments also make for a simple, yet impressive gift. You can also use any remaining slices to garnish cocktails, along with cinnamon sticks, like in this Hot Bourbon Cocktail with Maple Syrup & Apple Cider.