Holiday craft basics: Making dried oranges & apples

Fragrant dried oranges

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Fall is a glorious time, with the changing leaves and cooler temperatures. It’s also a great time to get a little creative with some of autumn’s sweet bounty: apples and oranges.

Dried oranges and apples are easy, crafty country accents that you can add to wreaths, swags, baskets, or any craft using dried natural items. Even all on their own, you can use them to make ornaments, garlands, and much more.

Dehydrating oranges
Photo by Pressmaster/Envato

Since it takes several hours to make each batch, make enough to last for several different craft projects. For variety, also try using different sizes of apples and oranges.

How to make dried oranges

You will need:

  • Oranges
  • Knife
  • Wire racks
  • Matte clear acrylic spray
  • Paper towels

Cut each orange crosswise into 1/4 inch slices. Discard end pieces. Place each slice on wire racks, then place the wire racks on cookie sheets in a 150-degree oven. Dry for about 6 hours, turning over if edges start to curl. When dried, they should be pliable.

You can use the slices whole or cut in half, depending on what you use them for. Spray either with two coats of spray, allowing to dry between coats.

MORE: Fall home decor: It’s time for autumn’s cozy, warm colors & textures

Tray of dried oranges
Photo by Olena_Rudo/Envato
How to make dried apples

You will need:

  • Apples – green or red
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Knife
  • Wire racks
  • Matte clear acrylic spray
  • Paper towels

Slice apples 1/4 inch thick, leaving in the core. Soak the slices for 20 minutes in a mixture of 2 cups lemon juice and 3 tablespoons salt. Be sure to cover all of the slices completely.

Remove slices and pat dry with paper towels. Place on wire rack placed on cookie sheets (for easy removal) and dehydrate in a 150 oven for approximately 6 hours until dry. If they start to curl, turn them over.

When done, the slices should have a leathery feel. Spray each slice with 2 coats of acrylic spray, drying between coats.

Dried apple slices
Photo by jirkaejc/Envato
Get crafty – get imaginative

Simple ornaments can be made of your dried oranges or apples by simply threading clear fishing line through the top of the ornament for hanging. Then, can accent the ornament with twine or raffia bows.

A grouping of apples and/or oranges with a raffia bow make wonderful package accents for gifts. Create your own gift tags and use stamped brown craft paper for wrapping paper. Add small orange or apple slices to a wooden ring for a unique napkin ring.

Once you see all of your festive dried fruit. you will think of more and more uses as your imagination runs wild. They’re a wonderful natural accent.

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Brenda Hyde

Brenda Hyde

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at

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