Hello friends! This week, I wanted to try something crafty for the blog.
Since quarantine has begun, I've been trying to make my life feel productive while I desperately job-search. And to keep from losing my mind, I've been constantly going outside for walks, driving around during the sunset, and deep diving into Pinterest for some life inspiration. During one of my deep-dives, I found a craft that made me come alive--a dried orange garland.
I happened to have some oranges that were starting to look a little sad, so I decided this weekend was the perfect time to try out something I've never made before. And I've never dehydrated fruit before, so it required a little research before hand.
As an example of the look I was aiming for, before I sought out some tutorials, here is a Pinterest photo from a website called Decor Hint:
To preface the research, I knew I didn't have the cute mantle to work with. But I did have oranges and twine, so a string of oranges were still a possibility!
So I took some notes from a couple different sources, and ended up comparing and averaging out the temperatures and times of the two tutorials for my oven settings. It's all an experiment!
Now, I'm going to share what settings I used and how exactly I did everything in an easy-to-digest manner.
What you'll need: - oranges - knife - cutting board - parchment paper - baking sheet(s) - wire or string (I used twine) - a wide-headed needle (or something to poke through the oranges) - scissors - alcohol or water (not required)
To prep: - Preheat oven to 200°F - Layer baking sheets with parchment paper - Gather knife and cutting board
The process: I began by slicing my oranges, as if I was slicing a tomato. It feels weird to cut an orange like this, but I pinky swear it's correct for this craft. Next, place the slices on the parchment paper.
Once everything is sliced up, it's time to place the oranges in the oven.
I started the project at 8pm, and kept cooking the oranges in the oven for 45 minutes at a time, flipping them before cooking them the next interval of 45 minutes. I did this until they were browned around the edges and felt noticeably dry. So some of the thicker slices had to cook longer than others. But in the end, their time in the oven was finished around 12:30am, so it took about four and a half hours to complete this part of the craft.
I then placed them onto a plate and let them air dry for the next couple of days while they lost more of that tackiness. I also had to keep them out of reach of my cats so they didn't knock them on the floor or chew on them while I was asleep.
After a couple days, I was ready to string my oranges together. After cutting a long string of twine, I tried to thread it through the large-headed plastic needle I have, but since it didn't quite fit, I used that needle to poke through the orange slices, wiggling enough room for the twine to fit through the orange.
Every time I punctured a hole in the orange and brought my twine through it, I made sure to tie it into place, so the oranges would slide to the center of the garland.
To stagger the oranges on the garland, I created a pattern where I would have one puncture on one slice, then two punctures on the next slice. This allows the double-punctured slices to rest flat on the garland, while the single-punctured slices were able to swivel a bit. My hopes in doing this was to prevent the garland from looking too flat.
And if you use twine like I did, you may need to spray water or alcohol on the tip of the strand to keep it sturdy while threading it through the orange. Mine keep shedding or breaking apart, making it hard to keep stringing the garland together.
Once it's all strung together, it's time to hang it wherever you'd like. I hung mine on the same hooks that hold my string lights. All there is to do now is to show it off!
Thank you for joining me during this craft endeavor! What do you think of this little project? And should I do more crafts on the blog?