Christmas is a perfect time to get the family involved in crafty activities, and it's win-win when these activities result in quirky decorations that smell amazing!

 

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • • Oranges
  • • Cooking cranberries
  • • Cinnamon sticks
  • • String
  • • A thick needle
  • • Paper towels or a tea towel
  • • A baking tray and a metal cooling rack
  • • Parchment


DRYING ORANGES

  1. Choose how long your garland will be and make a judgement call on how much fruit to use.
  2. Cut your oranges into 1-2cm thick slices (Don’t worry if they aren’t even- this will add to the charm of the decoration!).
  3. Pat dry with paper towels or a tea towel until all excess juice is gone.
  4. Place your slices on a metal cooling rack over a baking tray, as this will give air room to circulate and prevent burning.
  5. Place them in an oven on a low heat setting (approx. 120⁰C) for 2-3 hours
  6. Check and turn every half an hour
(Tip – If you don’t have a time restraint on the making of your decorations, oranges can be left on radiators to dry out. This can take days, so isn’t as efficient as using an oven, but the smell is lovely!)


DRYING CRANBERRIES

  1. Place your cranberries in a bowl, and cover with boiling water, leaving for 5-10 minutes (no more than this). You will hear the cranberries pop, which is a good thing!
  2. Drain the water and spread the fruit out on a baking tray or something similar. Pop these in the freezer for two hours, which will help the drying process.
  3. Transfer your cranberries onto parchment paper on a baking tray, and place into an oven on a low heat for 5 to 7 hours.
  4. Check and turn every half an hour

(Tip - You may find that not all of the cranberries turn out suitable for decorating, as some will dry too small, or get damaged. In preparation, dry a little more than you expect to need for your decorations).



MAKE A GARLAND

  1. With a needle that has an eye big enough to fit your string, thread enough to make your garland (leaving excess for tying it up). 
  2. Choose what you would like to accompany your dried fruit. We opted for cinnamon to compliment the orange scent, however, pinecones and nuts are also great seasonal picks. 
  3. Thread your items in the order you'd like (cinnamon will require more force)

 

If a garland isn't your thing, there are so many different uses for dried fruit. Why not try attaching dried orange to tags for your gift wrapping, adding the fruit to a bowl of pinecones and cinnamon for natural potpurri, using as a decorative table setting, or create festive scented baubles for your tree? 

Whatever you choose to do, we'd love to see the end result! Share your homemade Christmas decoration pictures with us over on social media.