Orange slices can make a wide range of beautiful crafts. You simply dry them out with your preferred method and have fun using them in your crafts. Drying them is easy and you actually have a few options to meet your needs and come up with beautiful orange slices that you really like. Once you choose a method that is your favorite way to dry orange slices you will be popping them out and using them in all sorts of warm, earthy crafts.

Preparing Your Fruit.
If you have a dehydrator you can use it to make orange slices for your crafts. You will want to choose an orange that is ripe, but not over ripe. It should also be one that doesn't have any bruises or blemishes. It should be fairly firm and ready for slicing. You will want to take a very sharp knife and cut narrow slices of the orange. You should try to make them even all the way through and try to get them about one eighth of an inch to one fourth of an inch thick. Next blot the excess moisture from each slice using a piece of white (non-colored with no colored design or print) paper towel. Next you can choose a finishing method. For orange slices that are as bright as possible dip each slice in lemon juice. Give it a few seconds to soak in and then re-blot the slices. For warm golden lightly browned orange slices pat them with cinnamon. These will also smell wonderful while baking. Finally choose your drying method and dry out your orange slices.

You can use a food dehydrator to dry your orange slices. Simply place them on the racks. Make sure that they are spaced far enough apart that they aren't touching. Follow your dehydrator's directions for drying food. It should take about six hours to dehydrate your orange slices. They should come out well colored and thoroughly dry.

You can also dry your orange slices in the oven, no special equipment needed. To do this place your orange slices one to two inches apart on a wire rack (you can use the rack right out of the oven). If you don't want to use the wire rack, you can use a cookie sheet, but it should be noted that they should be lined with aluminum foil and it will take a little longer for the orange slices to dry. Pre-heat the oven to 275 degrees. Place your orange slices in the oven and bake for one hour, then turn the oven down to 225 degrees and finish baking. It should take a total baking time of three to four hours. You will want to check your orange slices every half hour and flip each one carefully. When they are almost dry with slightly moist centers pull them out. They will finish drying out while they cool down.

If you live in a climate with a lot of sun and hot days then drying your oranges outside is a good idea. To do this you will want an old screen complete with its frame. It is a good idea to spray it down with the garden hose to rinse off any dust, dirt, or debris. Place your orange slices on the screen, but not touching. Place the screen in such a way that there isn't anything touching the bottom, giving it a lot of air flow. You can put it between two chairs, set it on top of a five gallon bucket, or even place it between a couple of bricks. Make sure it gets a lot of sun. Flip the orange slices every thirty to forty minutes. They will be completely dry when they are done. Time often depends on the amount of sun and heat. It could take anywhere from a few hours to eight or nine hours.

You can dry orange slices very quickly in the microwave. To do this get five or six pieces of paper towel (white with no colored prints or patterns) and place four or five orange slices on it. Top it with another five or six pieces of paper towel. Microwave at 50% power for eight minutes. Remove all the paper towel and replace with fresh. Continue to microwave at eight minute intervals until they are about three fourths of the way dry. Then remove from the microwave and set on a wire rack to finish drying. Using this method you can have orange slices dried and ready for us in about an hour.

If you aren't going to be using your orange slices right away it is a good idea to consider storage options. Your best bet is to find an air tight container or to use a Ziploc resealable plastic bag. Add some silica gel crystals (either the loose sort available at the craft store or the variety found in packets in many items). Finally add your orange slices and seal tightly. This will keep out the bugs and eliminate moisture to protect your orange slices against mold. If you don't have access to an air tight storage option you can use a box or tin, however your storage time will be less and you will want to check your orange slices often to make sure they aren't going bad and aren't attracting bugs.

Using Your Orange Slices.
Orange slices offer a warm look that is homey and can actually be used for a variety of crafts. One of the most common is to run clear nylon thread or fish line through the orange slice and then hanging them on the try or in other locations for Christmas ornaments. Another very common use is to add them to dried flowers, leaves, and other fruits for potpourri. However, these aren't the only uses for them. You can add them to wreaths, baskets, string them together to make garland, and even attach them to packages in place of bows. They look great mixed with twine, decorative ribbons, other fruits, and cinnamon sticks. You can even use them to decorate the fronts of cards! Truth be told, your imagination is the limit. Let go, have fun, and start using your orange slices for all sorts of crafts!

Orange slices are beautiful and can decorate so many different crafts. Plus they are easy to make with lots of different options. Whether you have a lot of equipment or none at all, you can have lovely orange slices for craft purposes. You can even use these as garnish on your drinks! See, thinking outside the box is really good and you can come up with endless ideas!