almost friday, DIY

almost friday: the dried orange fiasco

Anyone else feel like they are in a weird limbo between Thanksgiving and Christmas? I’m not sure which one I should be looking forward to celebrating – or honestly, at times I completely forget that we still have to celebrate Thanksgiving. I blame it all of the Christmas decorations that are currently up in our house.

Speaking of, last week I said we were going to make orange garland in our decorating post … well as first time dryers of oranges let’s just say it turned more into burnt orange garland. It took three dozen oranges to FINALLY get a batch right. Everyone always makes it seem like it’s so easy and I consider myself to be a fairly crafty person, but I struggled on this one. All of the oranges that I threw away would definitely add up to a major Pinterest fail.

Here are a few things I learned if you are wanting to try it yourself for the first time:

  • Like with baking, all ovens are different. If you read a blog that says to put your oven at 250 degrees, maybe try 200 or even 225 first and go for a longer bake time. 250 degrees just happened to be too hot for our oven.
  • If you have a convection oven – DON’T put it on convection. They bake too quickly and thus burn too quickly.
  • Cut them as close to an 1/8 of inch as you can. Thicker than that and you will be in looking at a MUCH longer dry time (if they even dry at all) in the oven.
  • Be prepared to not have an oven for up to six hours at a time. The sweet spot for drying was between four and five hours, but those thicker ones can take a lot longer.
  • Keep an eye on them. Just when you think they are getting close start stalking them. They burn so quickly towards the end and then all that time was for nothing. Or better yet, when you think they are getting close, turn the oven off and just leave them in there.
  • Buy extra oranges. Just trust me.

I love the look of orange garland and would love to have it again in our home, but I think I will just buy the dried oranges and string them myself next year. Here are a few options if you are looking to make your own but want to save on time.

Also here is an affiliate link to the bells and the garland if you want to achieve the same look.

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