So the economy is rough, eh? I've found a new fun and easy craft for all of us that are trying to be fabulous, on a budget. So here goes it.
Dried Christmas Orange-a-ments (cheesy, yes. memorable, maybe)
acrylic spray (low odor)
Buy at least 3 to 4 or oranges, which will make 15 to 20 dried orange slices. Wash and dry the oranges thoroughly. Slice each orange into evenly thin slices with the skin still on (approx. 1/4 inch in thickness). Discard the ends down your drain to make it smell pretty and not waste anything.
Lay out the orange slices on a rack and place the rack onto a baking (cookie) sheet. Pop the slices into the oven at approx. 170 degrees for three hours. Take the slices out and flip them onto their other side. Back in the oven for another three hours, or until dry. Once they are dry, turn oven off and open the oven door to allow slices to cool. Once they have cooled, remove the slices onto papertowls. With a light hand, apply the acrylic spray to both sides of the oranges, allowing each side to dry according to directions. You may want to use two coats depending on the thickness of your slices. (Even low odor spray has an odor so use in well ventilated areas). Finally, take the slices and tie a raffia bow (I like natural color) by poking a small hole just under the fruit rind and thread the raffia through. Allow for a space to hang on your tree or mantel. Then tie a bow at the top. You can make quite a few of these goodies for pennies. The spray is about $7 and the raffia ranges from $2 to $4 for a large amount. I found a bag of medium size navel oranges for $2.50 and they worked beautifully.