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Make scented orange slice tree decorations

Christmas tree decorated with traditional ornaments and a family in the background at Cragside, Northumberland
Christmas tree decorated with traditional ornaments | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Creating natural decorations is a brilliant way to make your Christmas a little greener. It’s also a lot of fun that the whole family can enjoy. Find out how to make orange slice decorations with cloves that smell incredibly festive and will add a traditional feel to your tree.

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Getting started

Watch the tutorial video and follow the step-by-step instructions below to make your own scented decorations.

What you’ll need

  • Oranges
  • Cloves
  • Ribbon or twine
  • Scissors
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Oven


Slice your oranges
Carefully slice your oranges widthways, making each slice around 1cm in width. Depending on your tree size, you may want to slice three to four oranges in total.
Decorate with cloves
Take each slice in turn and lie flat on a chopping board or baking tray. Decorate the slice with cloves. Push each clove through the orange flesh with your fingers, with the star facing upwards. You could create a ring of cloves on the outer or inner edge of your slice or get creative with your own pattern or initials.
Make a hole for ribbon
Make a small hole in the flesh at one end of the slice. This is where your ribbon or twine will go through once your slices have dried.
Bake the orange slices
You’re ready to get baking. Put your orange slices with the design face up in your oven at the lowest setting, around 65 degrees centigrade, for four hours. They will dry more quickly on a wire rack, but you could also lay them on baking parchment on a baking tray.
Cool, then hang on your tree
Remove your slices from the oven and leave to cool. Don’t worry if they feel a bit tacky at first, they will soon dry out on the tree. Feed your preferred length of ribbon or twine through the hole you have made in your orange slice and tie the end. Now all you need to do is hang them and enjoy the festive aroma.

Make a pomander

If you have a few oranges and cloves left over, why not make a pomander? Just tie a couple of lengths of ribbon around a whole orange and pop cloves through the skin in a pattern. They make a great table centrepiece grouped together in a bowl, or you could add a loop to the ribbon and hang from your tree. The cloves will help the oranges to stay fresh for longer.

Share your creations

We’d love to see your sustainable and natural Christmas decoration creations. Share them with us on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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