Christmas is the perfect time of year to implement new and meaningful traditions. It’s also the time of year when we want our homes to feel warm and inviting. This DIY dried orange garland is a great way to do both!
Take a peek at this simple tutorial to learn how to make a DIY orange garland for your home.
ORANGES AT CHRISTMAS TIME
ln elementary school one December, the other third graders and I pressed whole cloves into an orange that was topped with a ribbon for hanging on a Christmas tree. The spice of the cloves mingled with the sweetness of the orange is a scent that will forever remind me of Christmas.
But why are oranges associated with Christmas?
A few different theories have been circulated as to why oranges are traditional at Christmas. One theory holds that St. Nicolas was tossing golden coins through the window of a downtrodden girl, and that one of them landed in a stocking that was drying by the fire. Word of this happenstance spread, and adding an orange to a Christmas stocking became an homage to the coins.
But the most widely accepted theory is that oranges were considered a luxury in centuries past making them a rare and special gift to loved ones.
In Britain, oranges are an essential part of the Christmas dessert and can be found in cakes in particular. I’ve adopted this practice, and I love to bake a Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake come December.
But a recent trend has oranges appearing in Christmas decor rather than just in stockings or on dessert plates.
Dried oranges are a festive way to nod to the age-old tradition, but in a manner that doesn’t require any extra storage bins in the garage. And drying the oranges themselves requires very little effort; however, you’ll want to begin the process a couple days prior to decorating.
This simple garland makes the room feel oh-so-Christmassy while nodding to a centuries-old tradition.
SUPPLIES FOR 5 FEET OF GARLAND
— 3 medium Navel oranges
— Cream-colored twine or string cut into 20” pieces
— Wooden Beads (we went with 16 medium beads of ½” and 32 small beads around ⅓”)
— 1 darning needle
DRYING THE ORANGES
- Slice each orange into 1/4” pieces (you should get ~6 slices per orange)
- Press the slices with paper towels to remove excess moisture
- Place the slices onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in a 225-degree oven for 1 hour, flip the orange slices over and bake for another hour. Turn the oven off and let the oranges cool in the oven to allow more drying time and prevent burning.
- (OPTIONAL but ideal) find a dry place in the house such as the top of a bookshelf near a heating vent and let the oranges continue to dry out overnight
STRINGING THE ORANGES AND BEADS
- Cut your twine into 20” pieces until you have 16 pieces, and lay them out on your working surface.
- Take two small beads and place one large bead between them. String this cluster of three beads onto each cut piece of the twine. In other words, this step will occur 16 times.
- Take hold of one end of a beaded piece of twine, and thread it through the darning needle, then pull the twine through the top of an orange slice where the rind meets the flesh of the orange. Allow about 6” to pass through to the other side of the orange.
- Using the same orange slice, pull another piece of beaded twine through about ½” away from the first entry point–again, pulling through about 6” of twine.
- At this point, you will have two 6” pieces of twine pulled through the front on one orange slice. Tie the two pieces together to create a little bow at the front of the orange.
- Repeat this process for all of the remaining twine and orange slices until your garland has stretched to its 5’ completed length.
NOTE: The two ends of the garland will have beads unsecured by oranges, so a simple knot will keep them from slipping off.
PLACING THE GARLAND
Now is the really fun part: you get to decide where you will hang the garland in your home!
- Swooping behind the stockings on the fireplace mantle
- Running up a staircase banister
- Framing a window near the dining or living room
- Adorning a holiday table as the running centerpiece
A FINAL NOTE ON TRADITION
Traditions are comforting. Traditions create community. And when better to embrace a tradition than when we celebrate our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?
WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRY OUT ANOTHER DRIED ORANGE DIY?
OUR ADVENT TREE WITH DRIED ORNAMENTS IS A BEAUTIFUL AND SPECIAL WAY TO CELEBRATE ADVENT SEASON!
Advent Tree with Dried Orange Ornaments Printable
Our team has put together this printable so that you can create this fun DIY at home! Sign up below and we’ll sent this free tutorial your way!
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