Bye Bye Oranges
Does this mean it's Christmas?
Orange you glad I’m back?
Astute readers will realize I missed a week. Honestly, all election week I was such an anxiety ball, that I could not do anything. But we are back and I am sorry I missed one.
It’s the holiday season so I thought I would bring you a craft that gets you in the spirit. You might be thinking to yourself, “Wait, Rosa? Aren’t you Jewish?” or “It’s not the holiday season yet.” I mean both are true. But even as a jew, I love holiday crafts, and two, I don’t recognize Thanksgiving because I think it’s a dumb holiday built on lies… um so yeah. It’s the holiday season in my book.
Today we are making Orange Garlands. I have read they are a nordic Christmas tradition but I have also seen claims they come from a pagan tradition that predates nordic Christmas celebrations. Either way, they were an old school popular Christmas ornament and you can use them for decoration outside of the holidays. Personally, I think they are pretty all year round.
To start you will need a couple of citrus fruits. I used two large navel oranges, but you can use limes, lemons, grapefruit, or my favorite blood oranges. It really can be whatever you have around. To start, preheat your oven to around 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
While it is heating, carefully slice up your citrus. They should be no more than about a fourth of an inch rounds and if you can get them even thinner, that will make this process faster.
Once you have cut up your oranges, get out a baking tray and something to line it with. I used silicon to be earth-friendly, but parchment paper probably is the best for this craft. Layout your slices on the baking sheet. If you need to use two that is fine, but you cannot stack them (it really has to be a single layer per sheet.)
Put your fruit in the heated oven and cook them for about an hour and a half, then you want to flip them and put them in for another hour.
This is what mine looked like before you flip them. Cook times on these will vary, but you want to get as much moisture as you can out.
I needed more time because my oven isn’t the best. I would suggest looking at them every once and a while. If they start to brown, take them out.
You should have something that looks like this. Wait until they are cool and then it will be time to string them.
You can use any string. I used embroidery floss. A popular choice that I have seen has also been fishing wire. You can use yarn, but it is easiest to use something that you can thread onto a needed. I wanted to put my garland in a specific place, so I measured out how long I wanted to be and marked my thread with a pen to make sure it would be the right length before doing the next step. This is great if you have a specific plan for where to put it, but it isn’t necessary if you plan to drape it somewhere or put it on a Christmas tree (both popular uses.)
Take your string and needle and run it through the orange and then back through. Move it down the string and repeat this process until you either run out of space on the string, run out of oranges, or feel like you have done enough. You should have something that looks like this.
I ended up spreading mine out a little just because I preferred that look. I made some large knots at the ends by tying a slip knot and then a simple knot on top of it. I had some extra string on each side so I decided to end mine off with a couple of the smaller oranges stacked on top of each other and a tassel.
To do this, I just took the needle through each orange once and then made a tassel (which you can learn how to in this previous Craft Cult) and then tied the tassel to the exposed end.
Here’s how mine turned out.
I added a couple of extra tassels to the middle and just thumb tacked it to the wall. It was pretty light so that worked but if you make a bigger or longer one, you might want to use a small nail.
One of the best things about this craft is it makes the house smell wonderful.
I am going to end simply this time. I think a lot of us were excited to see Trump lose this week. I don’t want to take away from that, but I think it is important that we don’t become complacent. There is still a lot of work to do. We have to make sure we are still pushing whoever is in power to make changes to undo the white supremacy that thrives in this nation. I am working on putting more stuff together and ways to help, so look for more of what we have been doing in the weeks to follow.
As always, stay safe stay crafting.