Making Dried Fruit Christmas Ornaments

After dry flip over and do the other side

Back in the olden days people celebrated Christmas with greater simplicity,  gifts and ornaments were generally handmade. Making your own homemade Christmas decorations is a great  family tradition, it’s inexpensive and easy to do. You should start small and work your way up. Just try one grapefruit, orange and apple to begin with and see how you like it.

Making a popcorn string is  probably the cheapest decoration you can make. Buy popcorn kernels in a bag and pop them fashioned on the stove or over a fire. Cranberry Strings are more expensive, I paid $4 for the cranberries this year. But they’re easy to make and beautiful. Turn your classic Christmas music on and begin your tradition.

My bowl of fruit ready to be sliced

I sliced the fruit thin and threw away the ends

Only the center pieces of the apples and pears turn out perfect looking

Some people blanch the fruit before dehydrating it–I tried it, but didn’t notice it being any better than the ones I didn’t blanch

I put all sliced fruit on cookie sheets and then into the oven on 175 degrees

I put parchment paper on a few of the cookie sheets but didn’t notice any difference in outcome

7 hours later they were ready

One of my batches got over baked– you can see the brown ones–flip the fruit once while in oven

Use clear craft varnish or decoupage to lightly cover the dried fruit

After dry flip over and do the other side

They haven’t tried yet however I still poked holes through for the string

Make sure a light is behind the fruit-beautiful at night, like stained glass

The gingerbread people are made of cinnamon-these were made 8 years ago

Popcorn and cranberry strings are simple to make-you only need a needle, thread and a little of time

In years past I used these decorations for a Christmas tree in the dining room-this year for my kitchen window

Photo’s aren’t able to capture all the beauty



  • Barbara Koob said:

    Absoutely exquistie! Love seeing all this beauty. Thanks for sharing, once again.

  • Laura said:

    Do you still have the aroma from the fruit even through the glossing? Love this! Thanks for posting.

    • Hi Laura!

      No, you lose the aroma when you gloss them. If you want to you don't have to gloss them and they'll actually be beautiful and smell wonderful. The gloss just makes them last years.

      Blessings! Sharon

      • Mary said:

        Hi Sharon,
        I made the most beautiful garland doing this. I also dried sliced pomegranates and starfruit. I used cinnamon sticks and star anise, too. I sliced some of the orange peels and made spirals out of them. When I cut the apples, I did it across the fruit instead of "up and down". Thanks for reminding me about such a nice holiday decoration!

        • Those are great ideas Mary! Thanks for posting!

        • Linda said:

          Are pomegranates hard to slice this is the first year I am trying dried fruit not quite got it right yet

  • Anna said:

    Thank you for sharing! When I was growing up we used to make combo popcorn & cranberry string - one or two popcorn, then a cranberry.

    • I'm going to make mine like that next time! Thanks for commenting Anna! Blessings! sharon

  • Kelsie said:

    I sprinkle fine glitter right after applying modge podge. It gives just enough sparkle but their not over glittery. :)

  • regina said:

    So pretty! Thank you for sharing :)

  • Hazel said:

    I tried drying fruit to make decorations. Once I had dried it in the oven and left it to cool I put it in a box to store it, but the fruit went mouldy. Any ideas how to avoid that?

    • Um Hazel- Did you have them hanging on a tree for a few weeks before you stored them? The extra time hanging on the tree or arrangement helps in continuing the drying. Mine are still good after storing. Yours hadn't dried out enough before you boxed them up.

      • Christina said:

        How many years do you think these will last?

  • Giu said:

    nice idea!!! but 7 hours in the oven? that's a lot!!

  • Dawn said:

    Hi Sharon.

    Wow, thank you for posting these steps. I have always wanted to make these, thought it would be too hard. Thanks to you, not hard at all. I have just place a batch in oven I will try to give you a heads up in seven hours or so. I'm very excited to see the finished product. Thanks again and happy holidays!!


  • sandie said:

    great Idea. Ihad a lot to do. Panettone, mince pies ,sausage roll etc. So to save having to check the fruit or turn it over I scewered them with long wooden skewers and hung them over the oven rack. Then when they are done I already had the hole in the fruit for threading. Dada

  • Barbara Harilaou said:

    What a great idea I love having more than one Christmas tree decorated through out the house. Will make the dried fruit and decorate a small tree in my kitchen it will look great Happy Holidays and thank you for sharing it with others

  • janet solano said:

    we tried cutting the apples sideways and it made a star!

  • Jama said:

    i have a red berry tree in my yard and I was wondering if you can dry them left on branches to put in a Christmas center place? Please help :)

  • bridget said:

    Thanksforleavingthis site up. Two years after you posted and I am just finding it and I AM SO GLAD! Thank you and Merry Christmas, crafty lady!

  • Rose said:

    I use a food dryer to dry my slices

  • mandy said:

    Stunning!!! I have to try this!!

    • Nikki said:

      Thank you for posting. You never know who is interested. I love potpourri which I usually buy unscented and scent it with oils. Monday I will dry fruit for a homemade wreath. They are truely too expensive ( the really nice ones) to purchase.

  • Linda said:

    I was thinking if you dried them on a cookie cooling r
    Rack that way the air would flow better I v never dried fruit but I'm going to try it Giana's. Mother dried lemons then she would put s slice in her tea they lasted for over a year

  • Frances Haynes said:

    I have made dried apple devorations for years. I use krylon triple thick clear glaze for extra shine. Fran

  • B. Tobia said:

    Beautiful! Thank you so much for the inspiration.

  • Jana said:

    If you skip the glaze these make wonderful decorations for an outside tree that provide nourishment for the birds and wild critters in winter. This is a very popular project with our nature camp kids ... and we use popcorn/cranberries/raisins to teach the kids things like patterns/sequences (they use plastic needles so no poked fingers) so it is a great activity for all!

  • A. Nisbett said:

    I love these ! Can you keep these over the years or do you make new ones every year ?

    Thank you for sharing !

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  • Valerie said:

    Absolutely love these! Can't wait to make them with the kids! Thank you...

  • Melissa said:

    Will the citrus be slitely sticky when first out of the oven?

  • Melissa said:

    Will the citrus be slightly sticky when first out of the oven?

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  • Elvira Raposo said:

    I loved the ideia, but it takes 7 hours in the oven? it takes a lot of gaz.

    • On very low. You could use a dehydrator if you have one?

    • Barbara Edwards said:

      I use the dehydrator for these. Works well.

  • Anonymous said:

    The fruit looks good. I like the way you used it around the window.

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