Easy Dried Orange Garland For Your Holiday Tree!

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We try to marry our Christmas tree themes with the feel of our house to keep everything connected even through the holidays. Last year we did a crochet garland to add some rustic charm to our tree because we were in a tiny little 100-year-old farmhouse and it fit the house perfectly.  This year we’re in 1865 Victorian and we felt we wanted our decorations to “fit in” a bit more with the age of this house and went bit more natural. We started with this super easy dried orange garland and we’re so glad we did!  It turned out better than we had hoped. 

A dried orange garland dangling from a wooden box of Christmas ornaments.

Natural Christmas Decorations are Easy, Inexpensive, and Lovely

There is something about natural decorations. They are always easy to make (generally), have an old-world feel to them, and add that cozy extra feeling during the holidays. If you’re into all of that we have several holiday posts that fit nicely into that theme that you may want to check out:

Materials required to make an orange garland for your tree

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We only used 3 very simple items to make our garland:  twine, navel oranges, and little heart-shaped wooden button, but you can use any kind of string you want and add more or fewer embellishments you want.  We added the buttons for texture and charm and think it was the perfect balance with the dried orange slices.  

Sliced oranges, twine and mini wooden button hearts on a white background.

Tools Required 

  • Dehydrator, or an oven or kitchen appliance that can go as low as 135F *
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Paper towel or clean dry dishcloth
  • A small dab of glue from a hot glue gun – See our complete guide on craft glues!

A Note about American Harvest Dehydrators

I’ve had my cheap Neco American Harvest Dehydrator for +20 years. I’ve used it from everything from sweet potato jerky for the dog to sugar-free dried cranberries, dried flowers, and everything in between. It’s never failed me and if you’re looking for a dehydrator for crafting (or snacking) I highly recommend it as an entry-level dehydrator.

Dried orange garland against a bright white table top.

Step 1 – Clean and Thinly Cut Your Orange Slices

We recommend using seedless navel oranges because they slice the best and have the best look once dehydrated, but you can try to use any citrus you want. Lemons, tangerines, and even limes will dehydrate just fine.

Cut your oranges into 1/4-inch slices. Try to make the slices as uniform as possible so they dry evenly. You will want to discard any slices that are too thick or too thin. You will also discard the ends.

Fresh cut orange slices on a white plate with a tray of orange slices in the background.

Step 2 – Place The Sliced Oranges In a Dehydrator At 135F for 6 Hours

For this step, you will need a dehydrator, oven, or kitchen appliance to dehydrate. 135F is an excellent baseline for dehydrating fruits. You can go higher (150F-170F), but you must keep a close eye to ensure that the slices do not over-dry.

Pat your slices gently with a paper towel or clean dishcloth to remove some initial moisture.

Place slices in your dehydrator in a single layer with edges not touching any other slice.

Turn on the dehydrator to 135F for 6 hours.

Fresh orange slices on a dehydrator tray.

Step 3 – At the 6 Hour Mark Check The Oranges for Dryness

At the 6-hour mark, check to see if the orange slices are dried. They should not be tacky or sticky and should feel fairly crisp. The orange color should still be very vibrant, and the inside of the orange slice should look like beautiful orange stained glass.

Remove the slices from the dehydrator and set them aside.

Dried orange slices illuminated from behind.

Step 4 – Begin to Build Your Garland With Twine and Hot Glue

Add a small dab of hot glue at the end of your twine and twist it to make it easier to thread through the dried orange slices and wooden heart buttons. Do not attempt this step without gloves on!

Tie a large knot at the opposite end of your twine.

Hot glue being applied to the end of a piece of twine.

step 5 – Alternate Wood Beads and dried Orange Slices On The Twine to Create the garland.

Thread the twine through one of the wood beads, going through both holes. Then, use a sharp tool to poke a hole in an orange slice at the edge near the rind. Thread the twine through the hole until the orange slice is 2-3 inches from the bead, and tie the twine in a knot at the top of the orange slice.

Continue alternating between wood beads and orange slices until your dried orange garland is complete! Tie another large knot at the end to keep the pieces from sliding off.


I would only keep the garland for a single season. I would not risk putting the garland in with the Christmas decorations and tucking them away; they would be an enticing treat for mice or insects.

You can hang your used garland outside at the end of the holiday season for the birds and squirrels; I’ve found blue jays in my area very keen on the dried oranges!

Dried orange garland with twine and wooden buttons on a white background next to a pine sprig.

A Lovely Orange Garland You Can Make on the Cheap!

This is one of those projects that are fairly easy to make. The only really time-consuming part of the whole thing is waiting for the orange slices to dry. The rest comes together fairly quickly, and you have a very sweet-looking dried orange garland for your holiday tree.

If you make an orange garland, share with us your results; we would love to see them!

Looking for more Holiday Tree Decorating Craft Ideas?

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