These wreaths would be great in any season but there something about citrus and the Holiday season – remember oranges for Christmas gifts in Little House? Or is it hope for sunny days? Regardless, they are easy to create, beautiful in their simplicity, yet present opportunities for making it your own. Mix and match citrus, use other fruits, add ribbon, burlap, twin or other organic add-ons like star anise, dried eucalyptus, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks. No special crafty skills required, just some citrus, patience, pins and hot glue! Play around with the dried fruit and make other decorations too. See a few other ways I used them below. These wreaths are perfect for my Christmas theme this year – gold, white and orange.
- Foam wreath (I used rounded and the flat versions, rounded was easier but both worked fine) 12 – 16 inches
- Citrus: oranges, lemons, could also use limes and grapefruit; about 12 – 14 oranges and 6-8 lemons (this varies with size, cutting etc – buy more than you think and just eat the extra)
- Metal straight pins
- Hot glue gun and sticks
- Fabric for wrapping wreath, such a linen or a pretty holiday print or burlap
- Ribbon, for decorating if you want and for making the hanger
- Other bits and bobbles
- Options: glitter spray, orange essential oils
- Slice the fruit about 3/8 inch. I have a mandolin which made this infinitely easier, especially when making multiples but not required. Just try to get them uniform'”ish”. I did use my zester and grated the top and bottom before slicing as I didn’t want to use the ends in the wreaths but having all this citrus zest on hand (fridge, freezer or dried) is handy.
- Dry, either in the oven or dehydrator. I tried the oven but found it took a while a few burnt a tad (still used, added some deeper color) and I could do more slices in the dehydrator, in the same amount of time. For the oven, use the drying function on it if you have it or as low heat as possible (150 F) for ~ 3 hours, flip them part way through.
- Let the slices cool off so that they dry all the way and do not mold. You do not want crispy critters though.
- Prepare the wreath by wrapping in fabric strips. I torn mine into about 2 inch wide strips. Pin the tails down and wrap tightly.
- Add the ribbon loop for hanging. Use about 6 inches, wrap around the frame or glue onto the back, turn under any raw cut edges. Nothing fancy hear. I also use twine for one and wire would work too.
- Begin to pin down the first layer of orange slices. I made the first layer flat, no overlapping and then layered on more as I went, this time overlapping to hide pins. I also used the hot glue gun to tack things down. You can use the slices that might have not been as perfect on the bottom or tucked under. I loosely sorted my slices by sizes so I could find the ‘perfect’ slice quicker. Not sure it made a difference but satisfied my tendencies.
- Just keep applying slices until you are happy with results. Now you can add the extras if you want. I kept it simple and just glued down a few star anise for shape and smell. They also are hiding a few exposed pin heads.
- I freshened up the fragrance with some sweet orange essential oil. To mail, pack lying flat, wrap with tissue.
DIY Dried Citrus Tree
Use a foam cone, wrap the first 3 inches or so of the base with fabric (a la trunk) and then apply the orange slices with pins and hot glue starting at the bottom and working up. I sprayed some gold glitter on for fanciness sake.
Simple wreath : String dried slices on a piece of twin, pull tight forming a circle. You could also make a garland, or mix in other items like pinecones, dried apples, leaves, cinnamon etc.
Inspired by a recent Better Homes and Garden idea.