Make Dried Orange Garlands For a Foolproof DIY Inspired By Nature
This time of year I find myself walking the holiday isles and checking out the decor just in case I find something new that I must have - as if I need a single thing more (I DON'T!). This is only compounded when the kids are with me because they can convince me of almost anything with those fake pleading eyes. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem telling my kids "NO", but I'm an easy mark this time of year because I love decorating for the holidays and they know that. I can usually talk myself off the ledge because we have tubs of holiday decorations in storage and I flash forward to thinking about the dump where all the junk goes which sucks the wind out of my sails almost immediately. But, there is always a spot that could use just a touch more this time of year, don't you agree?
Well, if you are like me and looking for an easy, guilt-free way to spruce up your space for the holidays then follow this simple approach to making garland. And here's the good news, you probably have many of the items needed already at home!
You will need:
Bag of conventional navel oranges
String of some sort - I use kitchen twine
A needle that will accommodate the string you choose
Parchment paper and baking sheets - if you're drying your orange wheels in the oven
Beads - I like using wooden beads in varying sizes, colors
Pine, spruce, or rosemary sprigs
Really anything else you want!
First, you will need to thinly slice your oranges into wheels, about 1/4" thick. If you are drying your orange wheels in the oven then I would suggest lining your baking sheets with parchment paper, keeping the temp below 250 degrees, and slow cook them for 2-3 hours. You may flip the orange wheels about halfway through your cook time but overall cook time will depend on your oven, the temperature, and how thinly you slice them so just be sure to keep an eye on them to avoid burning.
Pull your orange wheels from the oven once they are finished. They will continue to dry as they cool. Gather up your string, scissors, needle, and anything else you'd like to include in your garland. The rest is simple - just begin threading your orange wheels, beads, etc. This is a simple activity that won't eat up the whole day and that the kids can help with because there is really no way to mess it up. Your garland will generally last the entire season and best of all - you may reuse the beads and the rest is eco-friendly once you are finished. You may even find that you have fruit-eating birds right outside your door. Merry making!