Dried orange slices are a great snack and decoration to have on hand. They are easy to make, healthy, and have a long shelf life. Whether you are looking for a healthy snack or want to add a pop of color to your home decor, dried orange slices are a fun and easy DIY project that everyone can enjoy.
It has been on my list for such a long time to make my own DIY orange slices. Also, I drool over those gorgeous rustic orange slice ornaments as Christmas decorations and tucked into Christmas wreaths every year.
So, this year I was determined to finally try my hand at creating dry oranges. And it turns out it’s actually a really simple drying process.
In this post, I’m going to show you how to make dried orange slices in your oven or dehydrator, tips for selecting the best oranges, as well as storing the finished product.
Adding a Pop of Color to Your Holiday Decor
Dried orange slices are a beautiful addition to any holiday decor and can easily be made at home using a few simple steps. Here’s how to make dried orange slices for a perfect way to add a pop of color to your Christmas tree, wreaths, ornaments, and garlands.
Ingredients & Supplies
- A Bag of Oranges (Navel Oranges, Blood Oranges, Cara Cara Oranges, etc.)
- Cinnamon sticks*
- Star anise*
- Wire rack, Baking Rack
- Paper towel
- Sharp knife
- Parchment paper (optional)
- Twine. Yarn, Embroidery Thread, or Ribbon
- A large Embroidery or Yarn needle or glue gun*
How to Make Dried Orange Slices – Step by Step
Slicing the Whole Oranges
Using a sharp knife cut your oranges into slices. Whether you do thinner slices or thicker slices is a personal preference. Thinner than 1 cm causes them to curl and warp. So, I opted to slice mine into thick slices (1/8 inch to 1/4 inch), and they dried beautifully.
Notice how I have my orange positioned for the prettiest orange slices.
Drying the Orange Slices
If using the oven method, place a single layer of slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. This allows the heat to circulate. Bake them at 200 F. degrees (or lower) (93 C.) for 4-6 hours or until dry to the touch. Or the lowest temp your oven will go. Flip them every hour.
Stringing the Center of the Oranges
Once the drying process of the oranges slices is done in the oven allow them to sit on a cooling rack for 20-30 minutes.
Thread your needle through the citrus slices.
Then add additional embellishments like evergreen sprig, rosemary, star anise, or cinnamon stick*.
Creating an Orange Decoration
To make a dried orange slice garland, you can thread twine or yarn through a large needle. As well as poke a small hole in each slice and use hot glue to attach it to the twine. Then optionally, add cinnamon sticks, star anise, or wooden beads for an extra touch of embellishment.
Which Orange Should You Pick?
When I think of dry orange slices I’m imagining the common navel orange. However, there are definitely other options. But which one should we pick?
- Navel Oranges. Navel oranges are a good choice for drying because they have a thick, easy-to-peel rind and sweet, juicy flesh.
- Blood Oranges. Blood oranges have a unique, sweet-tart flavor that makes them well-suited for drying.
- Valencia Oranges. Valencia oranges are another good option for drying because they have high water content and sweet, juicy flesh.
- Mandarin Oranges. Mandarin oranges, also known as tangerines, have a thin, easy-to-peel rind and a sweet, juicy flesh that makes them ideal for drying.
In fact, you can use any citrus fruit in the same way. A few other options like Lemons, Limes, Clementines, and Tangerines.
Note: Choose firm, ripe fruit for best results. Avoid using overripe or moldy fruit for drying, as it may affect the quality and flavor of the final product.
Different Ways to Dry Oranges
No matter what kind of equipment you have available you can dry orange slices. Simply pick the method that works best for you and begin! But first, prepare Oranges by slicing them about 1/4 inch thick and removing any seeds.
Using a Dehydrator
If using a dehydrator, place the slices on the drying racks and set the temperature to 145°F. Dry for 2-3 hours or until the slices are dry to the touch.
Once dry, place the slices in an airtight container and store the dry orange slices at room temperature until ready to use.
Place sliced oranges on a wire rack and let them dry in a warm, dry place for 2-5 days. If you have the ability to use the sun to your advantage, it can help the process.
Place sliced oranges on a microwave-safe plate and then dry them in 30-second intervals on high power. Also, flip them every 30 seconds, until they are dried to your desired texture.
Place the slices on a baking sheet and dry them in a low-temperature oven (150-200°F) for 4-6 hours, flipping them every hour.
Note: Drying times may vary depending on the method used and the desired level of dryness. So, keep an eye on the slices and adjust the drying time as needed. Also, store dried orange slices in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
The Many Uses for Dried Orange Slices
I think most of us see dried orange slices and immediately think of orange slice ornaments and Christmas decorations. However, we forget oranges are of course edible and can be used in various ways when dried!
Here are a few ideas to get you inspired.
- Decoration. Use dried orange slices as a natural, festive decoration for Christmas wreaths, or a simple garland, handmade ornament, and other crafts.
- Snacks. Eat dried orange slices as a sweet and healthy snack.
- Teas. Use dried orange slices to flavor tea, either alone or in combination with other herbs and spices.
- Baking. Use dried orange slices in baking, such as in cakes, breads, and muffins, for a burst of citrus flavor.
- Potpourri. Mix dried orange slices with other dried botanicals, such as lavender and cinnamon sticks, to create a fragrant potpourri.
- Cocktails. Use dried orange slices as a garnish for cocktails, such as gin and tonics, for a touch of flavor and color.
More Great Handmade Home Decor Projects to Enjoy!
- A Lovely Neutral Rag Wreath
- Floating Frames with Pressed Flowers
- Simple Beeswax Candles for Beginners
- A Simple Elegant Cedar Wreath
- Age Terra Cotta Pots with a Wash
Making dried orange slices is a great way to use up any citrus fruits and reduce food waste. They are a classic and easy DIY project that can be dried in a variety of ways. And though the oven method is the preferred method for many, a dehydrator can also be used for the best results.
Whether you add them to your fireplace mantel, Christmas tree, ornaments, or wreaths, dried orange slices are a simple way to bring natural elements and a beautiful pop of color to your holiday decor.
Try this easy project this holiday season and enjoy the benefits of dried oranges all year long.
- A Bag of Oranges (or Citrus of Choice)
- Embroidery Thread, String, Twine, Yarn, or Ribbon
- Parchment Paper
- Star Anise*
- Cinnamon Sticks*
- Rosemary, Pine, or Cedar Sprig*
- Sharp Knife
- Wire Rack
- Large Embroidery Needle
- Slice oranges into thin or thicker slices, depending on your preference. Remove any seeds.
- Place a single layer of slices on a wire rack, and let the excess juice drain onto a paper towel.
- If using an oven method, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the slices on top. Bake at the lowest temperature (around 150-200° F) for 4-6 hours or until dry to the touch.
- If using a dehydrator, place the slices on the drying racks and set the temperature to 145°F. Dry for 2-3 hours or until the slices are dry to the touch.
- Once dry, place the slices in an airtight container and store at room temperature until ready to use.
- To make a dried orange slice garland, thread twine or yarn through a large needle or poke a small hole in each slice and use hot glue to attach to the twine. Add cinnamon sticks, star anise, or wooden beads for an extra touch.
You can use any type of orange or citrus fruit in the same process: Navel, Mandarin, Cara Cara, Blood Orange, Lemons, Limes, or Tangerines.
Let the dried orange slices rest for 24 hours before stringing them. If they're still damp coming out of the oven it's fine, they will continue to air dry.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Meet the Author
Hi, I’m Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→