Make: Dried Orange Slice Ornaments

Hey folks, welcome back for day three of our Handmade Christmas, if you missed the first two projects, have a peek at our last couple of posts to check out what we’ve been up to. We’ve been pretty darned busy mixing, cutting gluing and baking all sorts of Christmas fun over the last few days, and are super excited to share them with you all as we get them finished. Also before we begin, a big shout out to all our new readers who found us on Craftgawker! We’ve been a bit overwhelmed by the amount of traffic our little Christmas projects have been getting but appreciate all the kind comments.

Now for today’s project! We have some non-tree related ornament crafts in the pipeline, but we’re back to decorating the tree today. As we chatted about a few days ago, we don’t really own any tree decorations of our own (we haven’t even had a Christmas tree at our apartment before!) so needed to get cracking with ornaments first to make our little tree look more festive. Those of you looking very closely will see that from blog post to blog post the tree is slowly being adorned with more and more pretty things as we finish each project.

Today’s additions (dried orange slice ornaments) are one of those things which is so simple you wonder why everybody in the world is currently forking out their hard earned cash on mass produced decorations. All in, these can’t cost more than about £3 ($5 according to google) for about 20 ornaments!

Once dried, the orange slices not only make the room smell great (like natures own little air fresheners) but look like mini stained glass windows with the fairy lights shining through.

Dried Orange Slice Ornaments

All you will need is:

1 or 2 large oranges

1/4 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)

Some festive ribbon

A sharp knife (to slice the oranges)

A sieve (for the powdered sugar)

1) Slice the oranges into 1/8 inch slices, or as thin as you can manage without endangering your fingers (this part is not so kid-friendly). Make sure to cut across the segments, so that each slice matches.

2) One you have a set of orange slices you are happy with (a couple of oranges should be more than enough to decorate even a huge tree), pat each slice dry on some kitchen towel and then place in a baking sheet on some parchment or grease proof paper. The parchment is super important to make sure the acid in the oranges doesn’t react oddly with the metal pan and discolour our cute little slices..

2) Once all of your orange slices are arranged on baking sheets, use the sieve to dust them lightly with the powdered sugar. Once all the slices are covered, flip them over and sugar the other side. The sugar lets the center of each slice become slightly candied as they dry, turning them into little mini orange stained glass windows on your tree.

3) Place the baking sheets in the oven at 100ºC (or around 200ºF) for 2 to 3 hours. Rather than trying to cook the slices, we’re really just trying to dehydrate them and dry them out, so this is a bit of a slow process. About half way through (or more often if you find yourself getting a little restless while you wait) turn each slice over. This will help the slices to dry out evenly.

4)  Once fully dried and cooled the slices will have shrunken slightly, and be quite brittle. When they are done, take them out of the oven and leave for half an hour, then take each slice in turn and with a sharp knife make a small slot between the peel and the center, for the ribbon to slip through. Next take a short length of your ribbon, about 6 inches long, and string it through the hole you made. Finally, knot it to make a loop for it to hang from.

There you have it really simple, looks great and smells delicious!

Don’t be a stranger now, we’d love to hear about how your Christmas craft projects are going too!

About Cook Quilt Make and Bake

Hi, I'm Sam, he's Phil. Welcome to our blog where we share our fun down time projects. We're just a young couple, happily cooking, making, quilting and baking our way through life and love. You're welcome to stop by and share the good times!
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20 Responses to Make: Dried Orange Slice Ornaments

  1. yumscrub says:

    It’s been a long time since I’ve made ornaments, but you’ve inspired me to try this and pass on to my daughter who has her put up her own Christmas tree for the first time.

  2. Richard says:

    lovely photos – beautifully composed technically and very artistic !

  3. dorothy kitson says:

    never mind the tree I wonder what they would be like to eat Yummy I would think.

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  5. joyce king says:

    well i though that it was very interesting , i would like to know if you have any more crafts to pass on i would love so much to to get them i`m 66 years old and i love doing things and crafts and painting . so thank you so very much .

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  8. Kayla says:

    These are lovely! I may try them with other citrus as well for more colors!

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  10. Romy says:

    Hi these look fabulous and something different for me to do than just sewing ornaments! 🙂 but I do have one question, how long do these usually last for once they’ve been dried? thanks

    • Thanks, we glad you like them! The orange slices actually last remarkably well. If you box them up carefully in a dry place you can keep using them for years. I had a peek and ours from last year still look as good as new 😀

  11. Janet says:

    Hello, I came across your blog and I have been really inspired. I made a very large snow flake/star out of white card and thread LED lights through it. It looks so pretty hanging from the window, I am going to decorate the house using different coloured card for these. I am also going to try using plastic so that I can hang them outside and they will be weatherproof. I haven’t tried the orange slices but I am going to so that I can put them on fresh xmas wreaths I am making.

  12. Tony says:

    Many thanks for this article, it’s great, easy to follow and helped me make lots of dried orange slices for Christmas arrangements. The frosting effect using sugar did not work for me but maybe I did not use enough, will us more with the next batch I plan to make. Also hoping to dry whole clementines so if you have any tips… :). Thanks again!

    • Hi Tony,
      I’m glad the oranges mostly worked. Whole clementines sounds super cute. We have never tried drying a whole fruit but we might give it a go … our only tip would be to dry it low and slow in the oven, giving it plenty of time. Let us know if it works and if you have any good hints after 😀 Sam xx

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