There is something about the holidays that always gives me the urge to craft and just make things, whether I'm any good at it or not! I say every year that I want a handmade Christmas... you know, where all the gifts I give out are handmade or at least hand assembled by yours truly. This is not that year, but I do feel like I'm getting close guys! It's coming!
This is our first holidays in our new home and I didn't go nuts on the Christmas decor because we are actually going to be spending Christmas in Iceland with my in-laws. I did however finally try my hand at drying orange slices for a few simple garlands around the house and they turned out so good that I had to share! I will come out and tell you this is a two day process if you really want them to turn out well but there aren't that many steps so it will be a breeze. So, patience is the key to a beautiful garland!
What you will need:
- Large Navel Oranges (try to pick ones that are the same size so your slices will be similar sizes)
- Cookie sheet
- Parchment Paper
- Paper towel
- Wire rack for cooling
- Large needle (get one that can accommodate the thickness of your twine)
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees
- Line your cookie sheet with a sheet of parchment paper
- Slice your oranges into 1/4 slices
- Take some paper towel and blot both sides of the orange slices as much as you can
This is a great step to get the kids involved. Mía had a blast helping with this step
- Bake the orange slices in the middle of the oven for 3 hours (your house will smell devine!)
- I flipped them every hour to ensure even baking
- Once they are browned on the edges and dried in the centre, they are ready to be taken out
- Place the slices on a wire drying rack overnight to make sure the centres are perfectly dried. This is important because if they aren't, they will rip easily when you are threading them together
You may want to keep a close eye on them for the last 30 minutes because depending on thickness of your slices, they may start to burn
- Thread your twine through your needle end
- You will make two holes, opposite of each other per each orange slice
- Move the slices down as you make your garland longer. I kept about 1 - 1.5 inches between my slices
Try to thread in the same direction as you are moving along the garland (i.e.. over and under or over and under)
My first few batches turned out perfectly but the last batch I forgot to check on them as often and most of the slices "burnt" but when I laid them all out on the table... I actually really loved the colour variations and it gave my garland lots of character.
I enjoyed making these so much and I'm excited to make them for holidays to come with the family. Maybe next year Mía will be able to thread her own tiny garland for her tiny tree. I certainly can't wait to see your garlands so make sure to tag me in any of your projects!