We are crazy about citrus. We love the colors, the scents, and the versatility this bright fruit offers. Whether we’re slicing them for a snack, juicing them for a drink, or zesting them for a dessert, citrus is fabulous.
Lately, we’ve been embracing the DIY options that oranges, grapefruits, and lemons inspire. We recently shared our favorite honey citrus sugar scrub, and today we’re bringing you an easy craft perfect for so many uses: dried citrus rounds.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to visit an Antrhopologie lately, you may have seen such dried citrus rounds strung together to create a cool hanging display. I snapped this photo while walking through an Anthro in Ohio this week! (That’s right–Ohio!) I love the contrast of the orange on the pale green wall. Kinda makes me want to paint my kitchen.
All you need to create these rounds are a few citrus fruit of your choice, a sharp knife, parchment paper or a silicone mat, cookie sheets, and towels. No fancy dehydrating equipment necessary–your oven will work just fine!
You can dust the rounds with sugar if you want to use them for a drink or dessert garnish, or leave them plain if you plan on using them for crafts. Either way, the key to making these is the same: keep your slices as thin and uniform as possible. It also helps to use cold firm fruit. Save those ripe and juicy oranges for drinks!
- Step 1: Wash and dry your citrus, and set your oven to 180 degrees.
- Step 2: Using your knife, cut off one end.
- Step 3: Evenly slice the fruit. I found that 1/4 inch or less worked the best. Anything larger than that, and the fruit burned before it dried.
- Step 4: Place the slices in a single layer between two towels (cloth or paper) and gently press to remove some of the juice.
- Step 5: Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Both worked great. Place the slices in a single layer. You can dust them with sugar at this point if you’ll be using them for garnish.
- Step 6: Place in the oven (set at 180 degrees). These will dry within a few hours, but your oven will affect how quickly this happens. I suggest checking at each hour, flipping them once.
How will you know when the rounds are ready? The rind should be dry and firm, and the middle barely sticky. You can let them dry until they are hard and firm, but they will brown slightly. I like taking them out when they’re slightly pliable still, about 3.5 hours later.
Have fun trying this with different types of citrus! You’ll be surprised how unique each looks.
Now for the fun part: What do you do with these? Anything you want! You can use dried rounds to create a wreath, just like our friend Heather did using dried pink grapefruit:
(Stunning, right? Wouldn’t this be a great Mother’s Day gift?)
Other ideas: You can string the dried rounds to make a garland like our Anthro inspiration, hang them in a window for a natural stained glass look, add hooks to make ornaments, use them to to embellish gifts, tie them around a flower vase, or place them on a frosted cake. A needle and twine works great for stringing them together, and pretty Baker’s twine (pictured below) is always a plus!
This craft is simple and sweet enough to be worth your time, and perfect for Mother’s Day! Try it, and share with us what you make!