An orange peel garland is natural, smells nice, and it’s fairly easy to make, not to mention totally inexpensive – you do eat oranges, don’t you?
I’ve been making this type of garland since I can’t remember. I think I was in high school, but, frankly, I have no idea when or where I saw the idea first. I have a bunch of these garlands around as I’m writing this – made them in December, as they’re great for winter, when oranges are in season and the heating in our homes makes the indoor air dry… and our hair a frizzy mess. But you can make them anytime you have oranges around; plus, it works with lemons too.
To make this garland, you’ll need:
Essential oil (orange, orange blossom, cinnamon, etc.) – optional
We start by selecting an orange. Although both work for this, the difference between thin and thick orange rind is, obviously, in the thickness of the whitish layer. Thick peel will produce bigger and whiter coils, while thinner peel is more flexible and shrinks into tighter spirals. The bigger the fruit, the bigger the spirals. I used here a medium orange.
You need to peel the orange as you can see in the picture above. You cut a small cap on top, and one at the bottom, and carefully cut the rind into 6 similar sections which you will gently peel off, trying not to break them. It should be easy, but it doesn’t always work out well.
Then, cut the six pieces of peel lengthwise into 3 or 4 stripes each. You don’t want them to be too narrow or too wide. A good width is 6-8 mm (0.2-0.3 inch).
Cut a piece of string (clear, if you prefer) a bit longer than your desired length for the garland. Roll a stripe of orange peel into a spiral and keep it firmly between your thumb and index. Pierce the spiral with the needle, starting from the middle of the exterior end, through the center, trying to keep a straight line along the diameter of the coil, and then slide it towards the end of the string. I usually tie the two pieces of string that come out of the spiral in a tight knot around it, fixing the edge of the garland. You can use a bead instead, or any other kind of stopper.
Then, you go on rolling spirals, carefully sliding them down the string. You want them to be slightly pressed against each other so that they retain their shape. I end the row of orange spirals exactly how I started it, tying the string around the last one. You can alternate the spirals with beads, ornate them with bows, or just leave them plain.
Now you should have a string of orange spirals ready to be hung to dry. As they dry, they shrink, so your garland will get shorter. After drying they will retain their spiral shape, and you can add a finishing touch with a few drops of orange essential oil, or other fragrances such as orange blossom, cinnamon, or anything that usually goes well with the scent of oranges.
Make sure you keep these garlands in fairly dry rooms, otherwise, in conditions of high humidity, they may become moldy… and rather gross for this reason. In a balanced environment, these garlands should keep well. But, even if they do get spoiled or you just grow tired of them, you can always throw them away and make a new orange peel garland when you feel like it.
You can also take the spirals off the string, and put them in a bowl, as a potpourri, refreshing their scent with a few drops of essential oil, from time to time.
Dear Pinterest users, the image below is especially for you 🙂