The simplest ideas are often the best. Take this dried orange garland for example. I didn’t really think much of it, but when I posted pictures on Instagram, I got such a nice response. The orange slices have a wonderfully nostalgic appeal. For some reason, they make me think of Little Women, one of my all-time favorite books that I always bring back out during the holiday season. Does Beth take oranges to the German family? Does Mr. Bhaer give Jo an orange? I can’t recall exactly what it is — I’ll have to re-read Little Women again this season to see — nonetheless, oranges have played a part in holiday meals and decoration for many moons, and they still have a place my holidays today.
As I’ve mentioned before, I just love my food dehydrator, and it’s the perfect tool for drying orange slices to make a garland. Just use the fruit-and-vegetable setting and dry for 6-8 hours or until the slices feel dry. But if you don’t have a dehydrator, you could also dry the slices on a cookie sheet in an oven set on 150 degrees Fahrenheit for about 3 hours, turning occasionally.
The great thing about dehydrating the oranges first is that after I’m done using them for decoration, I can still use them for cooking. I hate when lovely food is wasted for decoration, so it makes me happy knowing that no food was wasted in the making of this project. I’m thinking I’ll toss them into a beef tagine — what do you think?
Anyway, after the slices were dry, I strung them together using a needle and thread. And that’s it. See? I love simple.
I hung mine between the handles of an antique pie safe in our dining room. It just seemed like the perfect width and a nice way to add some color in an otherwise fairly neutral space. A dried orange garland would also be beautiful hanging over a window, where the translucent orange slices will filter light like stained glass.
As much as I love modern style, I come back to rustic ideas like this one again and again, especially this time of year. I think this orange garland would fit in perfectly among the rustic yet elegant Christmas decorating ideas in this collection from DIYNetwork.com, don’t you?