By Lisa Archer
Having spent the majority of my adult life in too-small apartments with little-to-no closet space, I created a rule for myself that all holiday decorations had to fit in one small box. The caveat to this rule is that I could decorate with as many recyclable/compostable materials as my heart desired. I would make paper chains and ornaments, forage for pinecones, and craft rosemary and lavender wreathes for the front door. These last few years I’ve enjoyed adding a bit more color to my tree and mantle with dried citrus wheels.
I’m not sure where I saw the trend first, but decorating with dried citrus has been all the rage on Pinterest and IG for a few years. You can use any citrus; oranges are a great staple, but consider adding a grapefruit, blood orange or lemon for color. I like to save a few handfuls of cranberries from Thanksgiving to add to my garland and cinnamon sticks are a fragrant addition. I’ve also like to include wooden beads and sparkling ribbon — items that will fit in that one small box and can be re-used each year. I’ve even given these ornaments away as mini pre-holiday gifts.
Dried Citrus Ornaments & Garlands
- a mixture of citrus, blemish free
- a chef’s knife
- cookie sheets
- parchment paper
- twine, thread or ribbon
- a large needle
- fresh cranberries
- cinnamon sticks
- wooden beads
Preheat oven to 170F. Line cookies sheets with parchment paper. Thinly slice citrus into wheels and place on cookie sheets. Bake 4-5 hours, turning slices over every hour until rinds have wrinkled and are dry to the touch. Remove from oven. At this point, the flesh of the fruit will still be tacky. Loosen citrus wheels from parchment paper and allow to dry overnight. The next day, measure and cut twine, ribbon or thread to desired garland or ornament length (you’ll need to double up the ribbon when making ornaments). Thread your large needle with your ribbon and pierce through the flesh of the citrus just where it meets the rind. String for a garland or create a lop for an ornament. Thread on wooden beads or cranberries or tie ribbon around a stick of cinnamon. Repeat process using various materials and patterns!