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Exploring Womanhood > Heart of the Home > Holidays & Seasons > Christmas

Crafting Basics: Dried Apples and Oranges
by Brenda Hyde

Dried apples and oranges are easy country accents that you can add to wreaths, swags, baskets, or any craft using dried natural items. On their own you can use them to make ornaments, garland and much more. Be sure to dry several sizes of apples and oranges.

Dried Apples

You will need:

  • apples; green or red
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • knife
  • wire racks
  • matte clear acrylic spray
  • paper towels
Slice apples 1/4 inch thick, leaving in the core. Soak the slices for 20 minutes in a mixture of 2 cups lemon juice and 3 tablespoons salt. Be sure to cover completely. Remove slices and pat dry with paper towels. Place on wire rack placed on cookie sheets (for easy removal) in a 150 oven for approximately 6 hours until dry. If they start to curl, turn them over. When done, the slices should have a leathery type feel. Spray each slice with 2 coats of acrylic spray, drying between coats.

Dried Oranges

You will need:

  • Oranges
  • knife
  • wire racks
  • matte clear acrylic spray
  • paper towels
Cut each orange crosswise into 1/4 inch slices. Discard end pieces. Place on wire racks which have been placed on cookie sheets in a 150 degree oven. Dry for about 6 hours, turning over if edges start to curl. When dried, they should be pliable.

You can use the slices whole or cut in half, depending on what you use them for. Spray either with 2 coats of spray, allowing to dry between coats.

Crafting Ideas:

Simple ornaments can be made of either dried fruit by threading clear fishing line through the top of the ornament for hanging. You can accent the ornament with twine or raffia bows.

A grouping of apples and/or oranges with a raffia bow make wonderful package accents for gifts. Create your own gift tags and use stamped brown craft paper for wrapping paper.

Add small orange or apple slices to a wooden ring for a unique napkin ring.

Once you have your fruit dried you will think of more and more uses as your imagination runs wild. They are a wonderful natural accent!

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer, Mom to three and editor of Old Fashioned Holidays.com. Visit her at http://oldfashionedholidays.com for more old fashioned crafts, recipes and features.

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