Let’s Create: Citrus Decorations (Project) - Brooklyn Botanic Garden
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Let’s Create: Citrus Decorations (Project)

Citrus is not only good to eat, you can also use it to make unique, easy holiday decor that will make your home smell great.

You will need: oranges (lemons also work), cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks, needle and thread, a few pins, and a pencil. Ribbon is optional.

Both projects are suitable for all ages with adult supervision and will take 30 minutes or more of hands-on work.

Dried Citrus Decorations or Garlands

Photo by Ellen McCarthy.

First, cut your orange into ¼ inch slices. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 2 hours at 250°F until dry and firm. Turn the pieces over at least once during baking to keep the sides even and flat. Don’t worry if they are not completely dry, they will continue to dry over the next few days.

Photo by Ellen McCarthy.
Photo by Ellen McCarthy.

Place star anise in the center of the orange and use needle and thread to attach it to the orange slice. You’ll only need a few stitches to secure them. Tie a knot on the back and then continue the string along the top to hang it with. You can add flowers or cinnamon sticks too! Hang in a window, or in a tree, or string a few together to make a garland.

Photo by Ellen McCarthy.

Orange Clove Pomander Ball

Photo by Ellen McCarthy.

Create a beautiful pomander using an orange and cloves. Decorate your table or hang in your home for a sweet, festive scent–like a natural holiday air freshener.

Photo by Ellen McCarthy.

If you are using ribbon, tie it around the orange before you start your design. Use pins to attach ribbon to the pomander (just press a pin through the ribbon into the fruit at top and bottom). Tie a decorative bow at top.

Photo by Ellen McCarthy.

Use a pencil to make holes in the citrus rind in any design you like. Try lines, swirls, stars, or even your initials. Push the whole cloves into the holes. Hang the pomander or place a few in a decorative bowl.

Ellen McCarthy is the Children’s Garden co-coordinator.

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Image, top of page: Ellen McCarthy