How To Make Dried Orange and Cranberry Garland

December 19, 2020

Today I'm sharing how to make a dried orange and cranberry garland.

dried orange slices cranberry twine Christmas garland silver tray

I've always wanted to make a dried orange and cranberry garland, and this year was the year for it. Ironically it was my daughter who suggested it and I was happy to oblige!

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dried oranges cranberry garland lamb's ear

My husband also had a big hand in the making of this garland. He was sweet enough to pick up a 5 pound bag of navel oranges. He sliced them with an adjustable mandolin slicer and then put those slices on a rack in our combination toaster oven - deep fryer - dehydrator (similar toaster oven combo here). We haven't had it very long so this was somewhat of a test. And I'd say the appliance passed with flying colors.   

dried orange slices large bowl plaid table runner

He ended up with 50 orange slices. Overall it probably took the slices somewhere around 8-12 hours to completely dry in the toaster oven/deep fryer -- with the setting on dehydrate. Regular oven drying takes a lot less time, maybe 3 hours.

two dried orange slices thin thick Christmas plaid table runner

The slice on the left was cut with the mandolin slicer set on a thin margin, while the one on the right was cut with the slicer set on a thicker margin. The thicker the slice, the darker it looks after its done drying (and obviously the lesser number of slices you get out of the oranges). I think it's really just whatever your preference happens to be. 

large silver baking pan dried orange cranberry garland twine

Using a plastic embroidery needle and jute twine, my daughter strung six fresh cranberries for every orange slice. The needle was placed straight through the middle of the cranberries and then through the oranges near the tops of the slices.

The twine we used was 88 inches long (based on the size of our fireplace mantel), and we strung 16 oranges and 108 cranberries,  leaving ample twine on either end for hanging. That also left me with plenty of dried oranges to decorate with -- I think I'll either make simple ornaments for the tree or place them in a bowl with essential oils.

dough bowl dried oranges cranberry garland

And while the orange and cranberry garland was beautiful as is, I had an epiphany and realized that it would look even better mixed in a dough bowl with my faux lamb's ear garland.

bottle brush trees lamb's ear garland dried oranges berries

So I brought out my vintage-inspired dough bowl (similar one here)  and combined my faux lamb's ear garland with the new dried orange and cranberry garland. I'm a huge fan of combining real with faux whenever I can.

gold silver white bottle brush trees

Bottle brush trees are, in my opinion, the quintessential Christmas decoration.

colonial style dried fruit Christmas garland

Just a note about the cranberries: I initially put them in the refrigerator but that was a mistake! Moisture condensed inside the bags (despite the holes in the bags) and many of the cranberries went bad. Just leave them out on the counter. I've decorated in the past with cranberries (without refrigerating them) and they remained in good shape for weeks. Lesson learned. 

threaded cranberries dried oranges

One other note: All the online instructions I read for how to make dried oranges said that the process makes your house smell divine. Sadly, our oranges didn't smell at all. All I can figure is that the dehydrating process is different than the oven-drying process and doesn't produce that fruity smell while drying. One way you can remedy this if you'd prefer some scent is to put some citrus essential oils on the orange slices, just like you're making potpourri.

dough bowl dried oranges cranberry garland

Right now the garland is in the dough bowl sitting on the living room mantel. But eventually it will get moved and hung on the mantel in the family room where I've draped a huge, live cedar garland. I think the orange and red colors will really pop against the dark green cedar branches. Something tells me that this dried orange cranberry garland will become a Christmas tradition in our house from now on.

Well, that's it until next time, friends!

 I hope you enjoyed reading about 
How To Make Dried 
Orange and Cranberry Garland 
 and that I've inspired you in some way. 
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dried orange slices cranberry twine Christmas garland silver tray
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Leave a Comment!

Carol said...

I will bet that the garland smells absolutely amazing!

Kathy said...

Lovely project. Wish I had a dehydrator/oven thingy like yours. No counter space, anyway. I wonder if using dehydrated cranberries would make it "everlasting"? Not as pretty as the plump berries, tho! Last batch (Of a trash bag 3/4 full) of Chex mix is in the oven--hurrah! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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