Try This: Dried Citrus Ornaments

a dried citrus ornament hanging on a Christmas TreeCitrus season is upon us! You know what that means, don’t you? Elsie will be whipping up some tasty cocktails featuring the tart fruit, and I’ll be over here butchering oranges and lemons for holiday home decor.

That’s right, I’m getting au naturel and turning food into Christmas ornaments. They smell great when you make them, and you can eat the leftovers. Sounds like my kind of craft!

someone cutting lemons and limes on a cutting boardStep One: Slice the fruit into 1/4″ slices and carefully remove the seeds. Use a wide blade knife (this knife set is so cute!) to ensure uniform thickness of individual slices.

slices of oranges, lemons, and limes on a paper towelStep Two: Arrange the fruit slices onto a baking sheet and place in a warm oven set to about 150-170°F. Bake for 3-4 hours, flipping every hour until the fruit is dried, though not completely shriveled up.

You want the slices to retain their color and not look brown around the edges.

someone taking a baking sheet of sliced oranges, lemons, and limes out of the ovenI also tried a technique of air drying the citrus slices and was surprised at how quickly they dried out.

It took about 4 days for them to get to a nice stiffness, though the orange slices curled up rather than staying flat as they did after baking them. (The lemon and lime slices didn’t curl.)

a dried citrus ornament hanging from a Christmas TreeStep Three: Pierce the dried fruit slices with ornament hangers.

several dried citrus ornaments hanging from a small Christmas Tree in a vase on a bedstandI love how the slices are a bit like little pieces of stained glass. The light shines through them creating a pretty orange glow.

These citrus ornaments work great with an amber vase of evergreens, hung on a Christmas tree (these little trees are great to use year after year), or even strung up for a beautiful garland in front of a window (maybe mixed in with one of these?) and I love how they look next to my DIY porcelain tree lights.

And if you’re pressed for time, you can also buy your orange slices already dried!

We’ve got a ton of fun holiday decor and recipe inspiration in our holiday archives so find something fun (and delicious!) to make this holiday season!-Mandi

P.S. Check out more home decor and holiday favorites on our wishlist and shopping pages!

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. 

Dried Citrus Ornament DIY

Make your own dried fruit ornaments using lemons, orange, or limes
Keyword ornament diy

Equipment

  • wide blade knife
  • Baking sheet

Ingredients

  • Citrus fruit lemons, oranges, or limes
  • ornament hangers

Instructions

  • Slice the fruit into 1/4″ slices and carefully remove the seeds. Use a wide blade knife to ensure uniform thickness of individual slices.
  • Arrange the fruit slices onto a baking sheet and place in a warm oven set to about 150-170°F. Bake for 3-4 hours, flipping every hour until the fruit is dried, though not completely shriveled up.
    You want the slices to retain their color and not look brown around the edges.
  • Pierce the dried fruit slices with ornament hangers. Happy decorating!

Notes

I also tried a technique of air drying the citrus slices and was surprised at how quickly they dried out. It took about 4 days for them to get to a nice stiffness, though the orange slices curled up rather than staying flat as they did after baking them. (The lemon and lime slices didn’t curl.)
  • Thank you for this great idea and detailed explanation.

    Do you think it is a good idea to spray the dried fruit slices with hairspray to preserve them for longer?

    Thank you in advance for your reply,
    Marina

  • I made orange slice ornaments for my Christmas tree two years ago. I had a completely edible tree: popcorn garland, cranberry garland, orange slices, candy canes, sugar cookies in the shape of snowflakes. I even topped it off with a giant snowflake sugar cookie at the top. It was time consuming to make everything, but decorating is half (ok, 3/4) the fun!

  • awesome! does it make the room smell as good as you think it would?

    www.waterlilyshop.com
    @waterlilyshop

  • the hint of citrus scent in the room would be really refreshing, how long would they last?

  • These will not mold if you have dried them according to the instructions. If they are not dried all the way, the may possibly mold eventually, though certainly not within a month. -Mandi

  • I saw these somewhere else this week, I like the look of them. I may just make some and use them on a big sprig of rosemary or in a wreath x

  • Another great idea. What I love about your craft projects is that they are simple and do-able. They don’t need a huge list of ingredients or supplies. Thanks for making being creative that little bit easier!

  • They are beautiful! Will they mold or go bad, though? That would be my only concern. I don’t have time to be checking my tree every day for mold.

  • What a cute idea! I’ve never done this before, but it looks so easy! Perhaps I’ll give it a try 🙂

  • I’m determined to make these this year, they just look so traditional and festive! And to have the smell around the house will make everyone feel christmassy 🙂

    Jenna || Jennafifi.co.uk

  • These look beautiful and super easy to make too! I love the idea of stringing them up as a garland.

  • Hi Audrey! They don’t really emit much of a fragrance, which was disappointing— I had hoped for that! Of course, they smell great when you make them, but once dried, you really have to get up to it with your nose to smell anything. Of course, like other commenters have mentioned, adding cloves would add a nice aroma! Oh, and about the ants— I unfortunately have some ant issues at my house, but these don’t attract them. Even when I laid out some to dry (rather than baking them), the ants left them alone and went after toddler crumbs instead. 🙂 -Mandi

  • This is such a great idea! I think I would love to do it just for the awesome smell that would fill the apartment. It looks cute too!

  • What a great idea!! My orange tree has a ton on it right now and I’ve been trying to think of what to do with them b/c they are a tad too tart for my liking.

  • I love it, I am so going to try it this year. I love organic ornaments; I am a huge fan of pine cones (real ones that you gather yourself in the fall) in a Christmas tree.

  • I made some of these in the oven with orange slices last year – the smell that filled the house was divine 🙂 going to try some other citrus fruits good idea 🙂 xx

    http://joagepamplemousse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/what-my-tree-wore.html

  • Lovely idea! I must try this out. Also if you add cloves into the oranges, It will create a lovely scent.

    www.herdesignworld.com

  • Lovely idea! I must try this out. Also if you add cloves into the oranges, It will create a lovely scent.

    www.herdesignworld.com

  • This is an amazing idea, and so beautiful!! 🙂
    XOXO,
    Isabella
    http://jarofturquoisesunshine.com

  • I’ve never seen anything like this before with citrus. Such a genius idea. I love it! Thank you for sharing! <3

  • Mandi this is such a cute idea! I love the thought of using something that looks pretty AND smells good (and you can eat along the way, haha!) and citrus is always a great scent to have in the house!
    xo
    Kristina
    www.eccentricowl.com

  • Such a cool idea. My mom and I would love to do something like this! http://sadityinthecity.com

  • I love natural Christmas ornaments. They’re also about the only ones my boyfriend will go for as he feels the store-bought ones miss the point. We’ll have to try this!

  • One Christmas tradition I haven’t tried. Looks fun. Love the styling on the branch in the last photo.

  • This is awesome! And it’d be so great to have the house smell citrus-y! How long would this keep though? I guess since it’s dried out it should last awhile… but it wouldn’t attract ants or anything? -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • Seriously genius, and so simple! I love the way they look, and I bet they smell just as amazing!!

  • I just tried to dry oranges and apples a couple of weeks ago… And it didn’t go well at all!
    This post would have come in handy then… I guess I’ll have to try again 🙂

  • These are absolutely lovely! Mandi – one thing I always appreciate about your posts is that your projects are always affordable and/or you’re transparent about the budget. These are a great and affordable way for students to decorate a bit before going home for the holidays.

  • I love the smell of citrus at Christmas, it reminds me of tangerines in my Christmas stocking when I was small. I might have to make some.
    Thank you
    Jill

  • Ah I used to make these all the time as a kid! You’ve just brought back a whole raft of memories! Maybe that should be our decorating plan for this Christmas?
    xxx
    Chambray & Curls

  • These are so pretty! Since we’re still building a good collection of ornaments, I could definitely fill in some spaces with these. They look elegant but simple and sweet at the same time. My toddler would love turning food into ‘ormaments!’

  • I forgot about those adorable white star christmas tree thingys. (I’m sure you guys have a better title for them). So cute! Have to look those up on your blog and make this season.

  • So gorgeous, they look like dainty circles of stained glass! I love bringing dried fruits into home decor to feel a bit festive!

    Emma xo http://thewallflowerwardrobe.blogspot.com/

  • What a lovely idea! It’d smell lovely!

    GRWM: Everyday Make-up routine + IPAD MINI GIVEAWAY

  • I make them every year for my tree! They make beautiful imitations of stained glass ornaments when the tree lights are on 🙂 Although I don’t bake mine. I let them dry on my radiators and fill the house with gorgeous scent. For the best christmas aroma you should try sticking some cloves in a fresh orange. You can get super creative with the patterns. They look and smell beautifully 🙂 see example: http://upload.polskawita.blue.pl/_files/documentsgalleries/13225714495134-62-pomander-cpr.jpg

    Happy Christmas from Poland you guys!

  • They won’t stay pretty for longer than a month, usually, so you’ll want to toss them after the holidays. They’re so easy to make— and you really don’t need to bake them, either! If you plan ahead, you can lay them out to dry. -Mandi

  • These are so bright and warm, which I love as a contrast to all the cold and winter-themed ornaments you normally see. They look like little mini suns 🙂

    Cat
    http://oddlylovely.com

  • They are so pretty! Can you re-use them year after year? Or should you make new ones each holiday season?

  • Love the way you have styled it on a tiny tree…so pretty…

    xo
    Hems
    agoldentulip.blogspot.com

  • The crazy cat lady in me immediately fell in love with this. Not only is this beautiful but functional. Have a real tree in the home with a cat is dangerous because cats will eat the needles and hurt their insides, and pine is also a toxin to cats (DONT let them drink the water!). Citrus is a natural cat repellent! While it doesn’t work all the time, most cats don’t like the scent of citrus. Thank you for sharing this great project!

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.