DIY Dried Orange, Spice, and Everything Nice Garland


Who doesn’t love a rustic garland? While I typically make one to decorate for the holidays, who says you couldn’t make one for any season or special event? This garland can be made using whatever you have around your home, garden, or even your kitchen pantry (the star anise pods are an adorable addition)! Get creative with it!

Supplies You Will Need:


Twine or String

Dried citrus *process explained below

Natural décor of choice (cinnamon sticks, anise pods, poppy pods, dried bay leaves, etc.)

A needle, skewer, or something to poke a small hole in some of your items to string them.

♥Make sure to check out my article on Growing Everlastings if you would like to learn how to grow your own home decor in the future!

Step 1- Dry Your Oranges & Citrus

In my experience, oranges work best if you are using an oven because other citrus, like limes and lemons, can actually start turning brown in oven heat—but that also makes them pretty in a different way. For my garland I used a mixture of oranges, limes, and variegated pink lemons.

*if using a dehydrator, see instructions after oven instructions.

Set your oven on it’s lowest setting, mine is 175 Degrees F.

Slice your citrus thinly. I find that about 1/8″ is good. Just know that the thicker the slices, the harder it will be to dry them out properly.

Lay them on a wire rack on a baking sheet, or on a parchment-lined baking sheet. My preference is a wire rack because it allows air to circulate all the way around.

After about 1 hour, check on them. Turn over your slices.

Continue to dry them BUT check every 15 minutes or so because the slices will burn quickly if they start browning. Dry them  until your slices no longer feel tacky/sticky. They should be completely dry.

This process typically takes about 2-3 hours but it all depends on the thickness of your citrus and the moisture level of each kind.

Dry your slices until completely dry. They will not feel tacky or sticky when they are done.

Let cool before storing.

If using a dehydrator↓

Follow the same instructions for slicing above, but place your slices on dehydrator trays.

Set your dehydrator on the “fruit” setting.

Dry your slices until completely dry. They will not feel tacky or sticky when they are done.

Dried citrus is great for decor, but you can also use it in homemade potpouri mixes, homemade tea mixes (float a slice in your cup), and as a garnish for desserts. 

Step 2- Forage For Natural Things

The sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing what to include on your holiday garland. You can probably see from my photos that I did a mix of citrus, cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, dried bay leaves, dried poppy heads, and some star anise pods. *if using the dried poppy heads, make sure all the seeds have been shaken out! You don’t want them falling out all over your home.

Some other things you could use are everlastings (which you can read an intro to them HERE), dried rosemary, pinecones, various dried leaves, and even torn strips of holiday fabric. It’s really fun to use your imagination and create something from whatever you have around the home and garden.

♥One of my favorite ways to use bay leaves is to layer one between a cinnamon stick and anise pod before tying. It looks adorable!

Related Article: Our Favorite Ways to use & Preserve Citrus

Step 3- Assemble all your supplies

You will need:

Twine or string *twine doesn’t seem to knot and hold as well, but it only needs to last the holiday season and I like the rustic look.

Your dried orange slices and gathered goods


A skewer or anything to poke a small hole depending on what you are using for your garland.

Step 4- Make your garland

Measure out how long you want your garland, and cut your twine.

Tie a small loop on the end for when you want to hang your garland.

Here’s the important part: Each object you attach to your garland will be attached by a little piece of twine that you use to tie your objects to the main string. There’s a lot of knot tying involved, but I think the finished product is very rustic and elegant.

Start tying! I started with an orange slice. Take your skewer and poke a small hole in the orange slice wherever you’d like it.

Cut a small piece of twine from the roll (about 4 inches long) and thread it through the hole.

Tie your orange slice to the garland with a tight knot. *if your twine is acting up, it might not hold the knot as well. That’s okay, it just means that your object can slide on the main string and you’ll have to re-position it when you go to decorate.

Cut off excess from your short twine knots. I like the look of smaller ends (see photos).

For something that you don’t want to/can’t poke a hole in—-like my cinnamon sticks—I just tied the twine around it instead of trying to poke a hole.

So, that’s the general idea. Just keep knotting!

Tie a loop at the end to complete your garland!


∼if you have animals or children, don’t hang your garland so low that they will be tempted to reach/climb and eat the objects. Keep it out of reach.

∼it has been raining a lot lately and kind of humid. Because of the moisture in the air, my orange slices have started to feel slightly sticky again and not completely dry. While this could be a problem if I expected my garland to last a long time, it only needs to last through the New Year.

∼I wouldn’t save or store these for years to come. The orange slices would most likely become moldy or attract ants, and you are better off just making new ones each year.

∼I put my extra orange slices on ornament hooks and used them as ornaments! So pretty!

How do you incorporate natural elements in your holiday decor? Don’t you just love the look of the orange slices with the light shining through? Leave a comment below ♥

Meet Randi

Urban gardening is my jam. I’m Randi, California girl who obsessively gardens to grow food and flowers around my urban home. Seasonal, simple living is what inspires me~ I hope it will inspire you too. Join me in crafting a life and home connected to the garden Read More>>>>

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