How to make Dried Jaffa Orange decorations

Have you tried making dried citrus decorations yet? 

DIY handmade decoration on a Christmas tree

They’re the perfect sustainable alternative to plastic baubles and are a wonderful crafting activity to do with your children during the festive period.

Dried orange slices decorated with star anise make the prettiest, natural and fragrant DIY festive ornaments for your home. They’re so simple to make and look like glowing, stained-glass windows!

To make your own citrus decorations, all you’ll need is a few Jaffa oranges, some spices, such as star anise, cloves or cinnamon, for extra decoration and scent, a knife and a needle and thread.

How to make dried orange slices?

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Simply slice your orange thinly (about half-a-centimetre to a centimetre thick). The thinner they are, the more transparent they’ll be. But make sure not to cut them too thinly – they’ll curl up if they’re thinner than a half-centimetre.

Place them on a baking tray on top of a metal rack so the heat can circulate around them. Pop them in the oven at 80oC for about 4-6 hours. Check regularly and turn 2 or 3 times. The drying time depends on the thickness of your slices of orange, so we recommend you check them after four hours.

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You’ll know they’re done when they’re only slightly bendable. Don’t worry if they’re not completely dry as they’ll continue to dry out over the next few days on your tree.

You want the slices to be totally dried out before you start decorating them so let them sit for about an hour to cool.

Once the slices are dry, place star anise in the centre of the slice of orange and use a dark thread to attach them. You only need about 2 stitches to secure them. Don’t worry if they’re not completely dry when you start to decorate them, they’ll continue to dry on your tree for the next few days.

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Simply sew some more dark thread or ribbon  through the top of each orange slice to create a loop for hanging. You can then place it with pride on your tree.

Why not add dried Jaffa slices to your gifts as decorations too? Create a bundle of cinnamon or use a sprig of evergreen foliage and attach to the centre of the orange slice as an alternative design.

The Jaffa dried oranges can also be strung together to form a garland which can be hung around the Christmas tree, or from a mantle piece. There are so many ways you can use these versatile decorations!

Packaging christmas present handmade gift boxes decorated with silver paper with dried orange slices

Will my orange decorations ‘go bad’?

Not at all! Once they’re dry, they won’t go mouldy. However, like all organic materials, they will age and may not look quite as pretty next year. 

We recommend you compost them at the end of this festive period and make some fresh citrus decorations next year! 

Recipe summary

Prep TimeCook TimeAssembly TimeTotal Time
10 mins5 hrs20 mins5hrs 30 mins

Equipment

  • Sharp knife
  • Baking tray 
  • Metal rack
  • A needle and some dark thread
  • Ribbon 

Ingredients

  • 5 Jaffa juicy oranges – thinly sliced
  • 25 star anise (or one per slice of orange)