For the last few months I've really been trying to be more conscious about what I bring into my home. I want to live a simpler life with fewer things and less clutter. One of the ways I decided to do that this holiday season is by decorating with things that come from the earth and can go back to the earth when I'm done with them. This dried orange garland is a super way to do that as their are no preservatives or chemicals and even the cotton string will break down!
As long as you don't burn the oranges to a crisp (*ahem*) this garland is super easy to make. Two recommendations - one, set the oven to the lowest temperature possible. I did read that on a number of sites but I didn't totally take it seriously the first time... It was still low, just not as low as it could have been. Two - slice the oranges thin, but not tooooo thin. If they're too thin they burn, if they're too thick they won't dry out.
- a few oranges
- parchment paper
- cookie sheets (or cake pans if your oven is teeny tiny like mine)
- cotton twine
- an embroidery needle.
- cut your oranges into thin slices (roughly 1/3-inch thick)
- arrange the slices on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (I didn't use paper on the first batch but ended up having to scrape the burnt pieces off so I opted to use the paper on the second batch)
- set your oven to the lowest possible temperature. Bake for 2-4 hours, flipping every 45 minutes or so, until dried. I took mine out a bit early but it was fine because the orange slices finish drying once they're hung.
- string you needle, poke it through each side of the orange slices, continuing until your garland is as long as you want it.
I also used some greenery that I gathered from a park down the road to create a little window display under the garland with my candle sticks from Value Village.
There's something so satisfying about making decorations with your own hands, getting to appreciate them, and then sending them back to the earth knowing they're not doing any harm.