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How to Dry Fruit for Dried Orange Garland & More

If you’d like to know how to dry fruit for Christmas decorating, here is how I’ve dried oranges for years, and it’s super easy! You can easily dry sliced or whole oranges to craft Christmas decorations for ornaments, wreaths, garlands, and more. You’ll also see several ways you can use your dried fruit to decorate your home this Christmas.

Don’t you just love the smell of fruits and herbs during the holidays? I love to dry fruit and use it to create yummy smelling Garlands and Wreaths.

Today, I’m sharing how to dry sliced oranges, but this method works for Apples, Lemons, Limes, grapefruit, etc. In addition, I’ll share how to dry whole oranges for Christmas decorating.

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Materials to Dry Fruit

You don’t need a lot to dry fruit in an oven. Naturally, if you have a dehydrator, the process is simple; however, the oven works great, and your house smells wonderful.

Just determine what projects you want to use the dried fruit for this holiday and dry enough to accommodate these projects.

Medium size oranges, a baking sheet, parchment paper, and a mandolin for even slicing.

Supplies to dry oranges for Christmas Decorating.

Set the mandolin at the #3 setting because you don’t want the orange slices to be overly thin.

Note: You can slice oranges with a knife, however, try to slice as evenly as possible so that they all dry at approximately the same rate.

Cut oranges with mandolin

Cover your baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the orange slices evenly over the sheet.

Slice Oranges to make dried fruit garland

Bake Orange Slices Until Dry

Next, set your oven to bake at 200 degrees and place the orange slices in the oven for approximately 2 hours. Enjoy the fresh smell throughout the house!

After 2 hours, your oranges will be slightly smaller, as you can see here.

Dried Fruit Tutorial to make Christmas Dried Fruit Garland

Prepare and Bake Again

At this point, your parchment paper may be damp or wet. If so, transfer your orange slices to a fresh sheet of parchment paper and flip the slices over to the other side.

Return to the oven and bake for another hour.

Finally, after 3 hours of baking, here is what your orange slices should look like.

How To Dry Fruit for Dried Orange Garland

How To Dry Oranges Whole

To dry oranges whole, takes a little more patience. The process is basically the same but you will need to have them in the oven for a longer period of time. This same process can be used for lemons and limes.

The first step is to slice the orange peel.

Use a sharp knife and slice through the orange peel but not the white pith. This is the white spongey part between the orange peel and the fruit.

Slice from top to bottom several times around the orange.

Slice whole orange peel to dry oranges whole.

Add Whole Cloves (optional)

I like to add whole cloves to the orange for added fragrance and decoration. I’ve dried oranges without this option so it works well either way.

If you do want to add cloves, just press the pointed end of the clove into the oranges between the sliced areas.

Add whole cloves to oranges

Dry Whole Oranges

Place the sliced oranges on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Place in the oven at 200 degrees or the lowest setting. Bake for a minium of two hours. It will take longer than two hours to dry the oranges sufficiently, however, I like to keep an eye on them after the two hour point.

Place whole oranges on parchment paper and bake in oven to dry.

Continue to check them approximately every 30 minutes until they appear to be dried.

You can see what my oranges looked like when I removed them from the oven. You will also notice that I failed to leave enough of the pith in some areas and they split. They will still be fine for decorating but I prefer to see the white pith instead.

At this point, they will continue to dry. Leave them on your countertop or in a dry, cool place to allow more drying time. Place them so that air can circulate around each orange. Don’t put them into a bowl or container until they are 100% dry.

Dried whole oranges with cloves
Yield: 45 orange slices

Dried Oranges for Holiday Projects

Dried Oranges for Holiday Projects

Easy way to dry oranges in the oven

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes


  • 5-6 Oranges, Medium


  1. Slice Oranges on setting 3 of the mandolin
  2. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Place orange slices evenly over the parchment paper
  4. Place in 200° oven for 2 hours
  5. Remove from oven and if parchment paper is wet, replace
  6. Flip each orange slice over on the fresh parchment paper
  7. Place back in oven for 1 hour


If oranges are not 100% dry, you can continue to bake until desired dryness is achieve.

Warning - If you over cook, the oranges will appear brown and less desirable.  The oranges will continue to dry if left on the parchment paper over night and left uncovered.  

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1 grams

Amount Per Serving Unsaturated Fat 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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Fruit Dried for Holiday Projects

Here are some creative ways to use your orange slices. Use them on your Christmas Tree, make topiaries, string them together for a fun garland and so much more.

I have a small tree that I use on my kitchen island at Christmas. It is filled with dried orange slices and mini-cookie cutters in Christmas shapes.

Dried Orange Garland on small Christmas tree with mini-cookie cutters in Christmas Shapes.

You might also enjoy how to make tassels from jute and this cute ticking tassel garland. Both of these projects work well when making a dried fruit project.

Fresh Herb and Dried Fruit Garland

One of my favorite Christmas garlands is the Fresh Herb and Dried Fruit Garland. You can see how I update the garland each year on this tutorial.

Make a Dried Fruit and Fresh Herb Garland
See how to make this DIY Garland Here.

You can see how I used them on the rosemary wreath at my kitchen window. In addition, the dried fruit garland includes both oranges and apples, which were dried with this same technique.

Topiaries with Dried Oranges

Here are two different DIY Topiary Tutorials to use dried fruit.

See this Foraged Christmas Topiaries Tutorial.

DIY Foraged Twig and Dried Orange Topiaries on Christmas Table with forced paper whites and whole dried orange centerpiece.

And this Real Cedar and Orange Topiaries tutorial.

DIY real cedar and dried orange topiaries for Christmas Table Decorations.

Strings of popcorn are an age-old tradition at Christmas, and Yasminvink added dried orange slices to up the wow factor.

Popcorn, cranberries and dried Orange Garland

Simple rosemary, cloves, and pinecones combine for this simple but lovely garland by Elien at Home Grown Happiness.

Simple Dried Orange and Rosemary Garland

Here is another simple dried orange slice garland by Jennifer Rizzo

Simple Dried Orange Garland

I saw where Meeghan at Caligirlinasouthernworld is drying orange slices this holiday season as well. Here she has combined a lamb ear garland with dried orange slices. In addition, she adds a couple of slices to the faux cake top.

Lamb ear and dried fruit garland.

Here is another project from the holidays last year. For this project, I used a grapevine wreath, rosemary, and dried orange slices for a chair charm.

How To dry Fruit to Make cute Seat Wreaths for Christmas

Do you have several out-of-date Christmas Décor items? See how to repurpose them to use this year.

Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to sharing my next adventure with you.

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How To Dry Fruit for Christmas Decorating ideas.
How to Dry Fruit for Holiday Decorating
Easy way to dry fruit in the oven.  Great for several projects such as garland, wreaths and potpourri.  Set by step instructions and creative ideas for using your dried fruits.

Susan Stone

Saturday 24th of September 2022

I love the dried fruit decorations but if you make them ahead of time how do you store them until it’s time to use them?


Friday 8th of December 2023

@Rachel, Thanks for simplifying what has become a complicated, rushed, and over-commercialized celebration of the savior’s birth.


Monday 26th of September 2022

Susan, I have been using the same dried oranges for a few years. I store in an airtight container with silica packs to prevent moisture.

Melody Lynch

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

I'm a newbie at this but this make me want to give it a shot! I think it's beautiful!

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Tuesday 29th of December 2020

Melody, It's so easy! Thanks so much

Sylvie Clement

Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Good morning, do you have an idea on how to keep the smell (aroma) of the dried fruits ? Very nice site and thanks again. Sylvie

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Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Sylvie, I don't have a good answer for that. I have added cinnamon to mine in the past and although it's not the original fruit scent, it is a nice smell during the holidays. The herbs continue to smell good much longer.


Tuesday 10th of November 2020

so so pretty. The aroma comes thru my monitor!!!!!!!! I also love to take a fresh orange and put clove picks all over it. I have one that is over 20 years old and still has a wonderful aroma. You have such great creativity.

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Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Diana, I have done that in the past as well. This type of thing has so many options. Thanks for sharing. Rachel

Kim | Shiplap and Shells

Tuesday 10th of November 2020

I loved this Rachel! I am going to share this next week on my weekly blog post if you don't mind,

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Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Kim, You can always do that without asking. Thanks so much. Rachel

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