How to dry orange slices for Christmas decoration

This Christmas, bring a little natural joy into your home with an eco-friendly decoration: dried orange slices.

We are lucky to be surrounded by orange trees and oranges are one of the most common fruits on Christmas tables. Why not add them to our Christmas decoration?

Learn how to make dried orange slices for your home and find out why it is such a popular decoration in Europe and America.

Why is it tradition to dry oranges in Europe and America?

It's always good to understand the background or history of a tradition, don't you think? Oranges are associated with winter, since most citrus fruits ripen during this season.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, fresh oranges were rare and considered a luxury item to splurge on at Christmas. People gave them away, often tucking them into their children's stockings as a nod to the "sacks of gold" that Santa would throw down the chimney.

Even before Christmas traditions, cultures around the world adorned their homes with elements of nature as part of winter solstice celebrations, including greenery bows, wreaths, and garlands filled with dried fruit.

The winter solstice occurs around December 21 of each year. It is the shortest day of the year, marking the time when the days get longer again. Oranges, which are as bright and cheerful as the fruit, are believed to represent the sun and the return of light.

How to make the best dried orange slices

Oven dried orange slices


  • oranges
  • sharp knife and cutting board
  • Baking tray lined with baking paper
  • Cotton cloth to dry


  1. Slicing the oranges: Start by cutting the oranges into thin slices, 1cm thick. As best you can, try to cut each slice to the same thickness. The finer and more uniform you cut them, the faster and more uniform they will dry.

  2. Tip: Now is a good time to preheat the oven to 80-100°C.

  3. Dry the Orange Slices: Before placing the orange slices on the trays, it is best to dry them to remove excess juice first. This helps them dry much faster, and also stick less to the trays. Then, spread the orange slices without touching each other on a baking sheet.
  4. The slices in the oven: Dry the orange slices in the oven at a temperature of 80-120 °C for 2 hours. To prevent them from staying dark, turn the orange slices every 20-30 minutes.

When the dehydrated orange slices are ready, take them out and let them cool. Once cold you can use them immediately in your decorations or save them for future use.

Ideas to decorate with dried orange slices.

christmas wreaths

Complement your green crown with some orange slices and you will see how it leaves a super Christmas aroma in your house.

To tie them you can join 2 or 3 slices, pass a string in the middle of the slice and tie it at the crown.

Slices of dried oranges hanging on the Christmas tree

Adding orange slices to the tree will achieve a more natural and sustainable decoration.

To hang them, it is very simple. Thread a string through the middle of the slice, tie a knot in the ends of the string and you're ready to hang.

To decorate gifts.

Add a natural detail with some dried orange slices to your gift wrapping.


How long do dried orange slices keep?

Dried orange slices will last about two to three years. That is, they will look their best for the first few years and start to get more and more brown thereafter.

To preserve them year after year, store the dried orange slices in an airtight container, if possible made of glass, and put baking paper between slices.