In the days before mass marketing, people celebrated Christmas with greater simplicity, and gifts and ornaments were generally handmade. Making homemade Christmas decorations is a fun way to bring the modern-day family together in an old-fashioned manner. There are ample ideas to choose from when considering what you'd like to make. If you are looking for something that requires relatively little skill -- and something the whole family can participate in -- you might want to consider making some Christmas decorations from dried fruit.
Preheat your oven to 65 degrees C (150 degrees F) and slice the fruit of your choice to a half cm (1/8-inch) thickness. Lay individual slices on a cooling rack. If drying the whole fruit, use a knife to vertically score around the diameter of the fruit, about every 2 cm (3/4 inch). If you intend to string the whole fruit for hanging, you might want to cut out the centre piece prior to baking. Place the piece of fruit on a separate cooling rack.
Place the sliced fruit into the heated oven on the cooling racks for about four hours. Turn the fruit after two hours to evenly distribute the heat and aid in the drying process. The whole pieces will require a longer baking period and will be done when the white tissue of the fruit appears dry, but not crispy. After removing the fruit from the oven, allow it to cool to room temperature.
Prepare the accessories for your ornaments by cutting the raffia and/or ribbon to your desired length. 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 inches) works well for a single ornament. For stringing and hanging the whole fruit, consider a longer measurement. Ready your cloves by trimming a small amount off of the stem so they don't stick too far out the back of the fruit.
Make a small slice for a hole on one side of the fruit for hanging. String the ribbon through, making a nice bow at the top. Place the cloves around the rind to further decorate your ornament. String the individual fruits with the longer ribbon or raffia and decorate to your desire with the cloves.
Hang your completed ornaments anywhere indoors -- or out. Birds will relish a delicious treat in the dead of winter when food is sparse.
Things you need
- Citrus fruit of choice (oranges and limes)
- Whole cloves
- Raffia ( natural or coloured)
- Ribbon (red and green)
- Cooling racks