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How to dry orange slices for crafts

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How to dry orange slices for crafts
April 14, 2019 Carefree Crafting 4 comments

One of my favourite things to use for decorating at Christmas are dried orange slices.  They are perfect for Christmas Crafts, Decorations, Wreaths and Floral Arrangements.  This is our step by step guide to making your own!

In my spare time I love to make things – floral arrangements, wreaths, decorations, curtains etc!  I have even been trusted enough to do all the flowers for both my sister’s and brother’s weddings (they were very brave asking me to that for them!!!). Usually I but most of my supplies from a wholesaler but recently I started to think about making my own supplies.

I love to use fruit and vegetables in my displays and dried orange slices are a favourite of mine to use at Christmas. They are also really easy to make and a lot cheaper than buying ready made ones.  For a step by step guide to a simple way to use your dried orange slices take a look at our post about how to make dried orange and cloves Christmas decorations.

How to Make Dried Orange Slices

What you need:

What you do:

  • cut the oranges into slices approximately 2cm thick.
  • place the slices onto an oven rack – not a baking tray as they will stick and burn!
  • place in a cool oven – I use 120 degrees celsius
  • allow to dry for about 2-3 hours – cool and slow is key
  • leave in oven until cool
  • use in garlands, wreaths, decorations, potpourri etc.  I often attach them to a wire to be used in floral arrangements.

Be creative!

Ciara x

I have ALOT  of Christmas boards on Pinterest, this is only one – ideas that I will be using to decorate Our Little House in the Country this year!

Like this:



 I've spent the past few weeks perfecting my oven dried orange slices and hope this will encourage you to try it out at home. Doesn't the words "I made them" sound so much better than "I paid x amount of cash for these".  Making dried orange slices is one of the easiest decorations you can ever make.

Here are a few ideas for using your dried orange slices -

I use different methods (plain, icing sugar and gelatine powder), which all give beautiful results.

You will need

 oranges (very important ), any size will do.
sharp knife & chopping board
tea towel or kitchen paper
wire rack
most importantly, an oven, preheated to 100C  or Gas 1/4
(even lower if your oven allows)
My oven is gas. Other appliances may vary
Drying time in oven, approx 2-3 hours (possibly longer)
Placing finished slices on a radiator will also help to complete the dying process.
optional - fork, icing sugar, powdered gelatine, whole cloves

 Let's start with the basic 'plain' method.

Oven Dried Orange Slices

Using your sharpest knife, cut oranges into thin slices, but no more than 1cm thick. 

The thinner the slice, the quicker it will dry and the more opaque it will become. 

I usually insert a fork at one end of the orange, because I love my fingers very much.


  Place orange slices between two tea towels or kitchen paper to blot out excess juice.
The more juice you remove, the better they will dry! 

Place directly onto a wire rack (add any orange scraps as these can be used for potpourri) and leave to dry out in the oven for around 2-3 hours. Timing will depend on your oven and thickness of the slices.
I tried placing slices onto greaseproof paper, but they took much longer to dry out.
Turn often to prevent slices sticking to the rack and enjoy the aroma every time you open the oven.
Slices will shrink and darken in colour. When ready, remove from oven, cool and use to decorate your home.

 Please note: Slices may still be slightly sticky, but they are usable and should not go mouldy.

Oven Dried Orange Slices with Cloves

 If your slices are thick enough, make small holes in the skin with a cocktail stick and insert whole cloves. Do this before you put them into the oven. This can be a little fiddly, but the end result is so pretty. As the slices are thicker it will take longer to dry out.

Any scraps of oranges can also be dried and used as potpourri, add cloves to any thick pieces.

Oven Dried Orange Slices using Icing Sugar 

Generously sprinkle icing sugar onto both sides of the slices. The thinner the slice, the better. 

The sugar gives a shiny candied effect as the slices dry.

The slices may stick (mine didn't), so do turn every now and then, just in case.

 Frosty Oven Dried Orange Slices

Generously sprinkle gelatine powder onto both sides of the slices. 

This gives them a very pretty frosty effect when dry.

These will need to be turned often as they are likely to stick. 

I turned mine every twenty minutes or so, gently prising them off the rack with a spatula, but it' really worth it. When ready, remove from oven, cool on the rack and use to decorate your home.

The orange slices may still be moist or sticky, but will eventually dry out. I recommend trying a small batch first, to see how you go. Remember gelatin powder isn't always vegetarian. 

  Leave on a tea towel (not a fluffy one) or on the radiator.


Aging Dried Orange Slices

Going clockwise you can see how the slices continue to dry out and darken over time. The lightest coloured slices (top right) are fresh from the oven, bottom right are a week old, bottom left, around three weeks old and top left were made last year. I love the mix up of shades!

Please note: Slices may still be slightly sticky, but they are usable and should not go mouldy.

 Useful Tips

 I stored last years decorations in a sealed food bag and they were fine. Other sources have recommended storing in paper bags or a towel. This year I will store mine in different ways to find the best method for storage.
 Update: November 2014
I stored some slices in a paper bag and some in a plastic bag, both with cinnamon and cloves.
Some still had a slight stickiness to them, but ALL were mould free! 

Dry scrap pieces of oranges, including peelings, to use in Potpourri.

add clove, dried cranberries and cinnamon sticks to the mix.

 Here are a few more ideas for using you orange slices -

The 'Plain' and 'IcingSugar' methods are both edible, so don't worry too much if the children try to bite into those.

If you are vegetarian you may not wish to use gelatin. I'm not sure if you can get a vegetarian option or whether it would have the same effect. Here's your chance to experiment.

Try using lemon and grapefruit slices to jazz things up a bit. Sliced lemons look great in potpourri, especially if they still have their seeds.

dried lemon

Apparently the acid may discolour the metal rack, but mine are already discoloured so I'm not bothered, but if you're bothered then use old ones.

Always use a clean rack for each batch, you wouldn't want any brown bits on your slices.

Soak metal racks in hot water using washing powder and give them a good scrub.

Hope this guide has been useful!

Any questions, do ask and I'll try my best to answer them.

Barrina xx 

I have always loved the look of dried orange slices and there were plenty of them used in decorations at York Christmas Market when we.

A very quick craft for you – how to dry orange slices for Christmas. I love the “rustic” look of dried oranges – they are so simple and yet so cheerful and Christmassy (many more Christmas Ornament DIYs for you here). I have only really had time to dry our slices and to hang them by a ribbon (I do actually think this looks quite lovely that way), but I have also selected some orange slice crafts below for you to be inspired by!

This how to dry orange slices how to was published in Nov 2011 and updated for your convenience!

These fabulously traditional orange slices are also included in our practical, easy to download and print out Christmas Ornament Book. Each craft is shared on one page – making the perfect worksheet print outs. Lovely to have them all in one place too!

Only $7.99

Get yours today and keep it forever!

But first to the quick “how to make dried orange slices” – it is really straight forward.

How to Dry Orange Slices – Materials

  • Oranges (haha),
  • an oven (really?) and
  • a knife (of course)!
  • An oven rack (the big secret!)

How to Dry Orange Slices – How to

1) Slice your oranges approx 1cm wide

2) Place on a rack (if you put them on a tray they will *really* stick) in the oven at approx 120C (250F)

3) Leave for 2-3 hours. Turn 2-3 times and keep checking on them. I had to make two batches as I burnt the first lot (the oven was too hot). Turning (especially at the beginning) them will prevent them sticking from the rack.

Once cooled, add a ribbon and hang! Add fairy lights as a “back light”:

I found my were still slightly moist, but ready for crafting with and that over time they dry out completely.

Here are some great ways to use your homemade dried orange slices for ornaments and decor!

1. A GORGEOUS garland by Design Megillah

2. A traditional advent kranz (version 1) select tab 21 by Wunderweib

3. Traditional advent kranz (version 2) by Bastelspass

4. Gypsy Daisy makes another easy and fun garland. Combine it with berries

5. A wreath by

6. Simple table decoration by Bastel Elfe – collect and scatter!

7. Anis Decoration from Canadian Country Woman

8. Cinnamon & Orange Decoration by

9. Gift embellishment by Lea

Oooh and a lovely tree from a reader on twitter (

So… aren’t all these orange slices simply divine? Fancy giving it a go? Why not make it part of your advent activities with your kids?

Don’t forget to grab your copy of the Christmas Ornament Book.

Only $7.99

Get yours today and keep it forever!

Dried Orange Slices DIY

Learn how to make dried orange slices for crafting and decorating this Christmas. Easy homamde orange ornaments!



    • Slice your oranges approx 1cm wide.
    • Place on a rack (if you put them on a tray they will *really* stick) in the oven at approx 120C (250F)
    • Leave for 2-3 hours. Turn 2-3 times and keep checking on them. I had to make two batches as I burnt the first lot (the oven was too hot). Turning (especially at the beginning) them will prevent them sticking from the rack.
    • Once cooled, add a ribbon and hang!


    Part of our Christmas Ornaments ebook, available for $7.99.
    Did you like this? Share it:

    Filed Under: Christmas, How To's86 Comments

    DIY Dried Orange Slices

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    Here’s how to dry apple slices and orange slices for use in swags, wreaths and fragrant potpourri.

    Dried fruit slices and peels are a great way to give your home a country prim look. They are fragrant and can be added to potpourri blends, fixings blends, wreaths or swags. They also make pretty and fragrant gift package decorations. When they are placed around candles, especially bakery candles, they give a nice country prim look.

    The picture shown at right is an orange fixings blend. It combines dried orange slices and orange peels with fragrant spices like cinnamon sticks, allspice, and cloves. The look and smell is very seasonal and makes a great addition to country prim home decor.

    The easiest way to dry fruit slices is to use a dehydrator using the instructions that come with your machine.  If you do not have a dehydrator, you can use the standard oven method.

    How to Dry Orange Slices in the Oven

    For oranges, slice them about 1/4 inch thick and gently squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible without squeezing and misshaping the slices. Then place the slices on a cookie sheet and dry for about 6 hours at 150 degrees. As with the apples, keep the oven door slightly ajar for air circulation.

    I like this short video (no narration and 1.25 minutes long) because it includes a variety of colored citrus fruits. I also like the little tip of cutting star shapes from your citrus fruit peel and drying those along with the fruit slices.

    How to Dry Apple Slices

    To dry apple slices using the oven method, core your apples and slice them about 1/4 inch thick. In order to prevent them from oxidizing and turning brown during the process, dip the slices into a solution of 2 cups lemon juice and 3 tablespoons salt. Make sure the slices are well soaked for about 15 minutes. After you remove them, pat them dry with paper towels and place them on cookie sheets and dry for about 6 hours at 150 degrees. Keep the oven door slightly ajar to ensure good air circulation. Turn the slices when they start to curl.

    Filed Under: Crafts and Hobbies

    Sounds like my kind of craft! I also tried a technique of air drying the citrus slices and was surprised at how quickly they dried out. to a nice stiffness, though the orange slices curled up rather than staying flat as they did after baking them.

    Scented orange slice tree decorations

    I know it is still a looooong way from Christmas, but this homemade orange spice potpourri does make an excellent Christmas gift.  But, since it has an awesome spicy fragrance that is reminiscent of the scents of Fall, it’s great for Autumn holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving as well.  Package it in a pretty glass jar, in a simple drawstring bag from the craft store, or in a nice simple box and you have a great hostess or teacher gift.  But be sure you double the batch, because you will want some to scent your own home as well once you smell it!


    Homemade Orange Spice Potpourri


    Fresh Oranges
    Pine Cones (I like the scented type from the craft store, but regular from your yard are FREE!)
    Star Anise
    Cinnamon Sticks
    Whole Cloves

    Winter woods Cinnamon Scented Pine ConesStar AniseCinnamon SticksWhole ClovesMrs. Anderson’s Baking Professional Half Sheet Baking and Cooling RackGodinger Shannon Square Bowl


    The part of the potpourri that requires just a little work on your part is to dry the oranges.  Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Slice the oranges approximately 1/4″ thick (see above).  Place a baking rack on top of a rimmed pan or cookie sheet and arrange the oranges in a single layer.  Bake approximately 3 hours or until mostly dry, turning every 45 minutes.  The oranges will continue to dry after you remove them from the oven, so they don’t have to be completely dried out when you’re finished.

    Next comes the fun part – mixing up your own potpourri concoction!  Using the selection of dried spices, mix them in with the dried oranges to make a combination to fill a room with wonderful scents.  No specific amounts of the spices are required – any combination is fine and you can create your own favorite blend.  If you want to amp up the scent, you can also sprinkle on allspice or nutmeg.  (If you have problems finding pine cones, you can substitute wood chips.)

    Find more recipes here!

    Filed Under: Crafts, Gift Ideas, Recipes

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    how to dry orange slices for crafts

    WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Oven Dried Lemon Slices

    Sounds like my kind of craft! I also tried a technique of air drying the citrus slices and was surprised at how quickly they dried out. to a nice stiffness, though the orange slices curled up rather than staying flat as they did after baking them.

    how to dry orange slices for crafts
    Written by Gagul
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