A tried and true outdoor DIY Christmas decoration, dried fruit can be seen in all sorts of compositions over the holiday season. It looks good with any Christmas decoration theme, especially with other natural Christmas decorations.
Dried orange slices arranged on garland looks good and smell great too. While citrus fruit is the star of the dried fruit aesthetic, you can also use apple slices to a similar effect. You can then use your new dried fruit ornaments to do all your dried fruit Christmas decoration ideas.
Since ovens are more common, the tutorial below follows the method of using a baking sheet with parchment paper in an oven to dry the fruit. You can use a dehydrator for the same result if you have one.
- Citrus of your choice
- Cloves/cinnamon sticks (optional)
- Cutting board
- Parchment paper
- Baking tray
- Dehydrator (optional)
Step One – Slice
First things first, slice your chosen fruit into thin slices. The thinner the fruit slices, the quicker they will dry out, and the more brittle they’ll be once dry. The opposite applies to thicker slices. The choice is yours. I personally aim for about 1/4 inch slices. The trick here is to keep the slices a consistent thickness throughout.
Step Two – Preheat The Oven
In the meantime, preheat your oven. You want to put it on the lowest setting possible and leave it at that. You want to avoid cooking the fruit. You want to only dry it out slowly.
Step Three – Prep The Fruit
Next, line a baking sheet with some parchment paper. Arrange the citrus slices on the parchment paper, making sure none of the slices overlap. You then have the option of adding some cloves or cinnamon sticks to the center of each fruit slice. This step is optional and doesn’t add much aesthetically. What it does add is that delicious clove smell that will fill your house while they’re being dried and for weeks afterward.
Step Four – Dehydrate
Place the baking sheet in the oven and leave the fruit slices to dehydrate for 4-6 hours. At the 2-hour mark, flip the fruit and place it back in the oven for another two hours. These times are only guidelines as each oven is different and not all minimum temperatures are the same. Keep an eye on the drying fruit and use your best judgement on when to flip them, when to leave them, and when they’re done.
Step Five – Allow To Cool
Now that your fruit is nice and dry, take them out of the oven and let them cool. Once they’ve cooled down, you can turn them into any fruit ornaments your heart desires.
There you have it, a simple and easy way to make dried fruit for Christmas decorations with common household items. Citrus is the most popular fruit to use in this way but apples will work too.
For the best effect, use various types of citrus of different colors and diameters for a pleasing variation of dried fruit.