Handmade ornaments are the most treasured holiday decorations in our home. Each one is a miniature time capsule that we dig up every December, reminding us of special moments in our lives.
There are lots of ideas for making handmade ornaments, check out my Handmade Christmas Pinterest page, but if you’re looking for something quick, easy, natural and kid approved, try these three ornaments made with oranges. The added benefits of using oranges is that your home will smell amazing, your children will likely eat some and get boost of Vitamin C and you can compost the ornaments when they’ve lost their luster.
If you’re looking for a lovely holiday book about oranges I highly recommend: An Orange for Frankie.
1. Orange Pomanders
- Navel oranges
- Whole cloves
- A piece of ribbon (approx. 1m (3.3yd) long, 9mm (3/8in) wide)
- Wooden skewer or study toothpick
Find the half-way point of the ribbon and line it up with the stem of the orange. Wrap the ribbon around the orange, twisting the pieces around the opposite side (navel) and coming back to the stem. Tie a knot. Using a wooden skewer, poke holes through the rind and push whole cloves into the holes. Hang your pomander somewhere with good air circulation.
2. Orange Peel Ornaments
- Serrated knife
- Small metal cookie/fruit/veggie cutters
- Sewing needle with large eye
- String (made of natural material: cotton or wool)
- A wood or metal mallet
- Cloves (optional)
- Wooden skewer or study toothpick (optional)
Using a serrated knife, cut the orange in half. Use your fingers to separate the orange flesh from the peel. Try your best to keep the peel in one piece. Eat the orange. If needed, make four small cuts around the edge of the peel so that it lies flat. Take a metal cookie cutter, place it on the peel and hammer away. Add a string to each ornament using a needle and thread. If you like, poke holes through the rind with a skewer and add whole cloves. Hand these lovely little ornaments on your Christmas tree or outside around your home.
3. Dried Orange Ornaments
- Oranges, or other citrus fruit
- Serrated knife
- Dehydrator or oven
- String or ribbon
Slice the orange crossways about 1 cm (about 3/8 inch) think and lay the slices on a dehydrator rack, oven rack or baking tray covered with parchment paper or non-stick mat. If you are using a dehydrator, set it to 57°C (135°F). If you are using an oven set to 200°F on convection.
The orange slices will dry more quickly in the oven, about 2 to 3 hours, whereas the slices in the dehydrator could take about 6 hours or more to dry, depending on how thick you’ve sliced the fruit. Check on the slices occasionally and remove them from the dehydrator or oven when they are dry to touch.
Use pieces of string or ribbon to hang the dried oranges. So pretty!
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