The winter solstice officially begins on Saturday, December 21st. It will be the “shortest day” of 2019, and is a celebration of the longest hours of darkness, or the rebirth of the sun. It is believed to hold a powerful energy for self-reflection and renewal and is a time to celebrate the beautiful Earth we inhabit. I love that it is even more of an excuse to adorn my home with nature! While scrolling Pinterest the other day, I came across some beautiful crafts with dried citrus. I immediately texted the first person to come to mind who would understand my excitement, my friend Julianne, and we both decided to dry naval oranges in the oven (these were my favorites!) at once.
I was so happy with my first orange garland that I was then inspired to experiment with other citrus varieties. So, Julianne and I returned to the local produce market (Riverwards ), to pick up a variety of citrus fruits including blood oranges, grapefruit, and pink lemon. After again allowing them to dry out in the oven… which takes a long, long time and plenty of dedication, we made yet another garland. This time, I chose to display it on the wooden shelf behind our television. This craft was time consuming, but it was incredibly worth it and not only does it smell incredible, but it brings such a beautiful warmth to the space. I also made a few ornaments to hang on our tree! I’ve shared the process below if you are also interested in making your own orange garland / winter solstice crafts. It’s also such a great opportunity to spend time with those that bring you joy, and perhaps even take part in some yule tea. Happy crafting!
- Variety of citrus: My first garland is entirely naval oranges… I think they work the best! But you can also choose any citrus you can find like blood orange, lemon, grapefruit, etc.
- Kitchen twine – I found mine in the kitchen section at Target!
- Cinnamon sticks – optional (I used these at the ends of my garland)
- Sharp point – I used a large brass pushpin, but you just need something to help make the holes when you are ready to string
- Large baking sheets
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees
- Make thin slices of the citrus and place in a single layer on the baking sheets
- Flip every 30 minutes as you bake (I kept resetting Alexa timers!). The time it takes to bake depends on the thickness of the slice and the type of fruit. My lemons took the least amount of time, about 3 hours, and the grapefruit took about 4 hours. Just keep an eye on them as you keep flipping them and you will know when they are ready. Just be careful to not let them burn!
- Allow slices to cool
- Poke small holes on opposite ends of each slice
- String twine through both holes of each slice to allow it to display flat
- Optional: Cut a cinnamon stick in half and tie to each end of the twine
- Hang your beautiful creation and enjoy!!! 🍊
Please let me know if you give this a try and don’t forget to tag @PhillyVegalGal on Instagram if you share!