Dried Orange Slices for an Old Fashioned Christmas.

Dried orange slices FOR THE WIN. They’re ridiculously easy to make, last for years and make your Christmas tree look like it’s covered in stained glass.  Here’s how to make dried orange slices.

how to make dried orange slices

You can take your seats and relax because this is probably the easiest and most effective Christmas decoration in existence.  Unless you count setting out a box of After Eight dinner mints Christmas decorating. Which I do.  So, let me rephrase … this is probably the second easiest and most effective Christmas decoration in existence.

Shoot.  I don’t mean to get off track, but if you and I were to sit down and have a real heart to heart about easy Christmas decorating, I think we’d agree that putting fluffy socks and a Hallmark Christmas movie on  might actually be number the number 1 easiest thing you can do.  That bumps After Eights down to number 2 and orange slices down to 3. 

They’re sounding harder and harder aren’t they? 

Dried orange slices.  Slice, bake, hang.  Those are your instructions. That’s it.

how to make dried orange slices

You might think with something so simple that the results would be mediocre. They are not. The results are spectacular.

So what can you do with these dried orange slices?

You can:

  • hang them on a tree
  • set them in a bowl
  • tuck them into garland
  • make an ENTIRE garland out of them
  • stick them on a wood skewer and use them in planters or windowboxes

The choice is yours because dried orange slices are incredibly accommodating. They’ll give you no trouble at all.

how to make dried orange slices

There are really only three things you need to remember.

How to make dried orange slices.

  1. Preheat oven to lowest temperature.
  2. Cut orange slices to around 1/4″ thick.
  3. Set them on wire cookie racks, not a metal baking sheet (because they can stick and don’t dry as evenly)
  4. Bake them at the lowest temperature your oven goes to for 4-6 hours or until no stickiness remains.

drying orange slices in the oven

For me that was 150F.


I bought most of my oranges from the reduced produce section. They were bruised and weird, and yet they all turned out perfectly.

Let them dry until when you touch them they don’t feel sticky at all.  That can take from 4-6 hours depending on how thick the slices are and how juicy the orange is.

dried orange slices

When they’ve finished drying just remove them from the oven, call yourself Laura Ingalls and look for a place to set them.

The oranges I had on the lower rack of my oven turned out darker than the ones higher up in the oven. If I’d checked on them more often I could have removed the lower ones so they didn’t darken quite as much, but I actually like the variation in colours.  You could also rotate your pans throughout the drying process.

As they age, they get darker anyway so don’t worry about it.

How long will dried orange slices last?

Years! I’ve had these orange slices for 3 years and they’re still in perfect shape, they’ve just become a bit darker.

traditional christmas tree

They’re a thing of beauty. And they took 12 seconds.  O.K. they took 6 hours, but the prep time was 12 seconds.   You slice an orange. That’s it.

dried orange slices as Christmas ornaments

The magic  happens when the tree lights come on.  If you place or orange slices in the vicinity of a lightbulb they GLOW like stained glass.  This isn’t some sort of Photoshop magic, this is how the dried orange slices look at night with the tree on.

Don’t they look delicious? I know your next question.

Can you eat dried oranges slices?

Yes you can. (Add that to the list of things you can do with them) I mean, I haven’t actually eaten them, but the world on the Google streets is that dried oranges slices like this are delicious. Do them exactly as I outline or you can add a bit of cinnamon or nutmeg on top before putting them in the oven.

The peel is also edible but if you don’t want to do that,  crack them in half and eat around the rind like you would with an orange slice.

You can also use them for flavouring desserts, marinades and stir fries. And of course they’d make a beautiful and perfect accent to a chocolate dessert. If you don’t like chocolate and orange together you might not be a real human. 

Keeping dried orange slices in a mason jar in your pantry will also give you the look of someone who is all earthy and mixes potions and stuff.  So like, a witch, I suppose.

These orange slices combined with my DIY tree candles has resulted in the most beautiful Christmas tree I’ve ever had.

glowing dried orange slices on Christmas tree

Plus my tree will never catch a cold which is an added bonus.

Dried Orange Slices

Dried Orange Slices

Yield: Lots!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
Estimated Cost: $5

A Christmas ornament for all of your senses. O.K. Maybe just your eyes and nose, but still.


  • Naval oranges


  • Oven or Dehydrator


  1. Cut orange slices to around 1/4" thick.
  2. Set them on wire cookie racks, not a metal cookie sheet (because they can stick and don't dry as evenly)
  3. Bake them at the lowest temperature your oven goes to for 4-6 hours or until no stickiness remains.
  4. For a DEHYDRATOR set the dehydrator to 135 degrees F and let them dry until they aren't sticky. It could take up to a day but check on them every few hours.

You could hang the oranges with ribbon or twine but I wanted the orange slices and only the orange slices to show up so I just shoved a regular hook for hanging Christmas balls through them. The hooks just disappear once they’re on the tree.

THIS year if I get the time I’m going to do more of them to make an 8′ garland.

Like I mentioned earlier, these are edible but after the box of After Eights you probably won’t be very hungry anyway.



  1. Jo-Lane Birkigt says:

    I made these last year however they didn’t make it to this year. Unfortunately I ate them all, it’s not ‘you can eat them’, it’s more of holy these are good. I love them. I don’t know if the variety of orange matters but in this case I think it did. I used Cara oranges that I got from Sobeys Alberta.
    So, I get to do it again this year. :)

    • Karen says:

      I have a bundle of more oranges to make more and I am definitely going to try them. I’m already thinking I should probably dip them in chocolate. :) ~ karen!

      • Jo-Lane Birkigt says:

        Yes! Great idea!

      • Carole says:

        Dipping them in chocolate (or white chocolate) is a very good, very dangerous idea. It’s hard to stop ating them.

        In non-pandemic years, you could plop one or two in a clear cellophane bag, tie it with raffia and set a bowl out of ’em out for friends, family members, visitors, guests, delivery people and Santa to take home as they leave. They are amazing!

  2. Natural, timeless, easy … so perfect !

  3. Em says:

    This is lovely and charming! I have just the tree for this.

  4. Michelle says:

    So pretty! I’ve been wanting to make these for several years! On a side note, I noticed your suggestion at the end of this post for your DIY Christmas Tree candles. About a week ago, I had the brilliant idea of adding candles to my tree this year. The candles for sale on the internet were either too expensive or cheap looking. So, I thought, “why not make them myself! Sounds like something that ‘Art of Doing Stuff’ gal would do.” And sure enough, on my first internet search, up pops your instructions and DIY post on tree candles. Ha! I wasn’t surprised.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Yup! DIY Christmas candles are my kindda thing. I still love them, they look fantastic! And dipping them in silicone is so fun! Good luck. ~ karen!

  5. Mari says:

    I did these in my air fryer this year!! I made the most beautiful garland that is now hanging in my kitchen for the off season!!!

  6. Carole says:

    Dried oranges are also delicious to eat. Dip a dried orange halfway into white, milk or dark chocolate. Lay on a waxed paper tray and allow the chocolate to set. Drop a couple in a cellophane bag and tie with a lovely ribbon or string and they also make a great gift for visitors or party goers.

  7. Marilyn says:

    Karen, I made these this year and am totally enthralled. So beautiful with the lights shining through!

  8. Susan Schneider says:

    Hi Karen- I followed your directions and used a rack. I ended up with “grill marks” on the slices. The racks were clean and my oven temp was 170 degrees-lowest it goes. I am going to try it again, but might you have any other suggestions? Thank you!

  9. Filly says:

    I made mine last year and found them just as beautiful when I pulled them out this year! And they smell good! My favourite thing ever! I’m making more..as hostess gifts…Only because my friends think I’ve pulled off some kind of Xmas miracle with these and I don’t have the heart to disillusion them 😇

    • Karen says:

      It’s amazing how well they hold up! I found the ones I kept in a plastic bag stayed more orange than the ones I left out of a bag. ~ karen!

  10. Christina Houston says:

    Crap, now I need to make the homemade candles too, why, Karen, why?!

  11. Wendy says:

    ~clappity clappity~

    So thankful for the link in today’s post (2018)! Every year we get an enormous crate of fruit, and we eat one single grapefruit from it. THIS year, they won’t go to waste!

    Thank you for being so cool! Now I’m off to discover just how easy your lights are to DIY!

  12. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    That is the prettiest Christmas tree you have done…I think I might have to do some fruit ornaments…I like to make wreaths too and they would look great on a wreath!

  13. Lez says:

    I realise probably 99% of your readers live in the Northern hemisphere, but down here in the South Africa, we are suffering a terrible heatwave, awful drought & never have regular electricity.
    So for those readers, just stick them on a wire rack in the car, in the sun! They dry in a few hours! Or under a fly cover in the garden, I have sun-dried tomatoes in 3 hours in 40 degrees centigrade!
    Jealous of your rain & cool temperatures… :(

  14. Kris says:

    Those are great DIYs, and your tree looks just beautiful!!!

  15. Heidi says:

    Ok I was just thinking an ornamental look for maybe a picture on one of their swings. I am personally not a fan of people clothing on any animals including collars on pets etc. And cmon, it would not have been a stupid sweater. More like one from holts. Lol. I got the gist from your post. Thanks !
    The cat will have to wait. I have some pet beds I am currently busy with. 🐾✌🏼😊 Heidi

    • Alena says:

      Some dogs really need sweater or jammies. Greyhound, whippets, Italian greyhounds – they have very little body fat and they would really be cold. Whippets and Italian greyhounds literally crave heat and they burrow under covers to stay warm.

  16. Heidi says:

    Hey these are great!!!

    Also do your chickens wear sweaters?

    I would crochet you one if you like 😁

  17. Kitty McCarty says:

    I’d never dry kumquats! they barely make it from my tree to my kitchen.

  18. Katie P NC says:

    My brain just used all it’s power this morning associating my question with this post but- I have recently had a House Wren bird adopt itself to the burlap wreath on my front porch. Feather Locklear (its name) buries itself in the folds of the burlap each night and sleeps there. I’d love to put up some sort of bird buffet around my front door for FL to entice it to stay(even though its been here almost 2 months). I scatter bird seed in a planter close by, a bird bath for water, and feeders set up in the yard but something like this might be fun on the large camelia bush by my porch. Anyone have any suggestions for bird friendly treats?

  19. Barbara Kemp says:

    yes indeed, i like it!!!!

  20. Tracie says:

    Simply gorgeous, it’s amazing how you can do something so dramatically different every year. Very creative…

    • Karen says:

      My sister and I were just talking about that the other day. But it’s really all the same stuff that I own, I just mix things up a bit in how I display it. Plus of course I made the candles and oranges this year. :) ~ karen!

  21. Stefanie B. says:

    Could they be used to decorate packages? I’m stealing your black paper idea and using lush green satin ribbon. The orange would be a great contrast if they aren’t mushy. Suggestions?

  22. Kat says:

    This is my most favorite tree that you have done Karen. It looks so nostaglic and simply beautiful. Well Done!

  23. Loli says:

    Beautiful Old-fashioned Tree! Questions…Do the oranges drip juice? Should I put a cookie sheet under the cookie racks? Just asking. Don’t want to have to scrub burned on OJ. I want to try this soon. Can’t wait to see your topper.

    • Karen says:

      No juice dripping Loli. It all just slowly evaporates. :) I normally don’t put on a tree topper, but this one is feeling like it might need it. :/ ~ karen!

  24. JosephineTomato says:

    I have a question for those of you who have already dried citrus, placed them on the tree AND have a dog :) – was your dog attracted to these? Worried my golden retriever may want to eat them.

    • Jackie says:

      Sorry I don’t have an answer for you but your question reminds me of a story about my sister. She shared a house with my brother for a few years when they were young. She had a cat & my brother had a very large dog. My sister spent many hours making dough ornaments & hung them on the Christmas tree. When my brother & sister got home from work the next day the only thing left of her ornaments were all the heads – as far up the tree that the dog could reach. He ate as many as were in his reach. Then, because the dog & cat would run & play, I think their tree was knocked over at least 3 times because the cat would run & jump in the tree.

  25. Jackie says:

    Your tree looks great. Good job, Karen. Love it. I don’t know where you get all these ideas but keep them coming, girlfriend.

  26. Jean ann says:

    This is the prettiest Christmas tree I’ve ever seen.

  27. Elizabeth says:

    I saw this post in my feed and smiled at the synchronicity. I just bought oranges for drying for this purpose. I had done this years ago and loved how the slices look like stained glass, particularly if you make sure there is a light behind them, on the tree. I kept those slices in my decoration box for yeeeaarssss. This year I am making them simply because we have CRAZY CLIMBING kittens and we figured if the tree stays standing ( highly unlikely) we could only decorate with lights. Then I saw someone making them on Instagram for the same kitten reason, gotta love Instagram and here we go !

  28. Linda Johnston says:

    Now this I will do!! Thank you!

  29. Well, for once, I beat ya to it. I put dried oranges on the tree we drug in the house that the teenager took out with her car. The kids AND my husband talked smack. Said it was weird. Now I have proof that there’s another weirdo out there.

  30. This Laura Ingalls says “Well done half-pint!” Your tree is gorgeous.

  31. Mary W says:

    Your tree is a thing of beauty! I made orange slices in a dehydrator then made a huge wreath using them got glued to a grapevine. It was gorgeous. But, since I live in Florida, it was moldy in no time which even made a moldy ring on the wall which I had to paint. Next time, I will use them as you did – not next to a wall. Best part – just throw away after Christmas and make fresh ones next year! Can’t wait to see your table decorations with this beautiful old fashioned flair. All that’s missing is Clark’s Good Old Fashioned Fun Family Christmas playing in the background.

  32. Alexandra says:

    That is a beautiful tree, Karen!

    My mom makes the orange slices in the Kachelofen (I don’t know if there is an English word for it, it’s a wood-burning stove built out of bricks/stones/something and covered with ceramic tiles on the outside) and they turn out perfectly. Much better than in my oven, which is why I am going to email my mother as soon as I finish writing this, and I’ll ask her to make me some new slices. :)

    • Peggy says:

      Just a thought, Alexandra, but you might try lining the bottom rack of your oven with UNGLAZED tiles from a tile store – just measure your oven rack surface area and buy the size and number to mostly fill it; then the tiles will help absorb moisture and dry whatever is in the oven while you’re baking. (Works well with bread too for a crispy crust, especially if you spray water into the oven when you put the bread it: crust galore! ) I keep a short stack of tiles handy – very inexpensive – we’re talking under $10.

  33. Sherry (BTLover2) says:

    Beautiful, Karen. Wouldn’t it be pretty with blood oranges, regular oranges, pink grapefruit, lemons, limes, etc? Love the concept and the various ways to use it.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Sherry! I was going to do a variety of citrus but for the kind of look I wanted thought one type would look better. But I’d love to see someone else do it. ~ karen!

  34. Ev Wilcox says:

    Your tree is stunning-it looks like a back-in-time tree. Well done Karen!

  35. Julie says:

    Wondering if using my food dehydrator might work as well. The oven is not functional and I’m currently cooking all meals on the grill or (gasp!) the Instant Pot.

    Beautiful tree!

  36. Nicole Sparks says:

    I wonder if you could also package them with some spices and send them to friends as potpourri? Do they smell orange-y at all after baking? That’d be cool on a wreath at the door – a waft of orange every time you open it.

    • Karen says:

      There’s no wafting I’m afraid. They really don’t smell at all. I even simmered the on the stove and … nothin’. :/ They look good though! ~ karen

  37. Sandra Lea says:

    Wow, this is kismet. I have a bag of oranges sitting on my counter and just last night I was thinking I had to look up on the internet how to dry oranges. Done!

  38. Miriam Mc Nally says:

    I did this many years ago, and still have those oranges!
    If they are really well dried (and they do continue to dry even more when hanging on the tree!), then wrap them in tissue paper and store wit your decorations for next year.
    Also, you can make candied fruit in a similar way, at the same time, just chop the skins and add sugar, and bake! Not for too long- google will tell you exactly how long!

  39. Catt-in-KY says:

    Really beautiful!

  40. Cyd says:

    A few years ago I used my food dehydrator and dried oranges like the ones you did and added them to strings of dried cranberries, popcorn, and cinnamon sticks. I also hung some of the dried oranges on individual hooks, too. Looked pretty cool. No, really. It did!

    • Connie Bridgham says:

      Hey Cyd, Did the food dehydrator give you the same results? I have one too and was wondering… Thanks in advance!

      • Cyd says:

        Hi Connie. I would say so. Give it a shot! Try to keep the slices a uniform thickness within each batch that goes into the dehydrator.


  41. bruce says:

    hoping you’re single
    not trolling,just hoping.
    enjoying the posts,and the attitude.
    expect this to be deleted.Yet would love to meet a woman such as yourself.
    some age appropriate widower

  42. Amber says:

    I have a mandolin slicer.

    I have an orange tree (well, rangpur lime, but that is close enough)

    I must do this.

  43. TucsonPatty says:

    Those are gorgeous! Do they smell of orange after baking? While baking? When the tree lights are near? I’ll just spray the tree with citrus oil? I saw the grapefruit, and thought, also, that you were going to tell us to use grapefruit, limes, lemons, heck, even a kiwi or two. It looked like a good grapefruit to eat, instead. The tree lookd gorgeous. I love the DIY of it all. Next will be cranberries and popcorn? ( I’ve thad rid that and the popcorn breaks and the cranberries split…I don’t know how they did it! Now that I think about it – stale popcorn would probably be a good idea. It is so dry here in Arizona that everything like that just shatters… : /

  44. MaggieB says:

    Ooooh! Aaaaaah! Gasp! Sigh! Firstly, brilliant photography skills, if I had to say favourite the shot down the counter, just beautiful composition. Secondly, tried doing this last year, thought the kitchen would smell amazing. Disaster and burnt marmelade aroma. Going to follow your instructions this year. Finally, thanks for the reminder about After Eights, on the shopping list, the originals, not those nasty shaped horrors they’ve tried to introduce – bah, humbug!!
    An absolutely gorgeous Christmas tree, bravo!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks MaggieB. :) What’s funny is I tried simmering these in water with cloves afterwards thinking they’d smell up my kitchen nicely. Nope. They didn’t smell at all, lol. At least they didn’t smell like burned marmalade. ;) ~ karen!

  45. Karen Hamilton says:

    Orange magic! I was just thinking it would be nice to put these on trees outside and maybe the birds will like them too! I’m going to try it!
    Karen Too

  46. Brenda says:

    LVE the subtle visual allusion to grapefruit (leading to Omg … limes … and … holy crap – tomatoes, ooo-la-la against the green, and white mushrooms, etc) and that thing going on just under the surface of this post… aka the lead up to it … vis a vis the whole thing with the candles first post … YO the woMan! Ya! Ima gonna put some suga’ on mine an’ eat ’em … with some 8 o’clock thin mints, and put my feet up and listen to Xmas muzak, close my eyes and pretend I got a tree goin’ on in the background

  47. Peggy says:

    Do my eyes deceive me, or do I see a ruby red grapefruit on your cutting board? Did you do some of those, too, and how did they turn out? Might be fun to play with assorted citrus. Let’s see… you could have orange, yellow, green and red.

    I love this idea and it’s so easy!
    Thank you, Karen!

  48. Lynn says:

    Oh me oh my I am first 🎄🎄🎄👏👏👏

  49. Lynn says:

    Oh those are gorgeous Karen truly gorgeous. I have one question if you put couse salt on them first might it not have drawn some of the moisture out of the slices prior to putting them in the oven ?
    Just wondering…

    • Karen says:

      It might Lynn, but I don’t think it would make much of a difference in terms of the drying time. Regardless it’s going to take hours to dry them. ~ karen!

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