Top Decorations for Fall – How to Make DIY Dried Orange Slice Garland

In this post: Learn how to make one of my favorite decorations for fall! This dried orange slice garland is perfect for autumn and has a special twist with acorn cap beads. This post contains affiliate links.

The air is crips, the leaves are falling and I am embracing all the fall feelings! This is the first year that my kiddos are actually noticing the seasons changing, and I am also seeing them processing it in a different way. They are sad about it being too cold to go swimming, don’t want to always put a sweater on and insist that strawberries are still in season. Let’s be real, my toddlers are not soaking in this chilly fall air like I am.

In order to help them process all of these changes, we are trying to do all the magical things that one can only do during autumn. I have honestly never thought before that my kiddos might need help transitioning between seasons, now that seems so silly to me, but I am so grateful that I have seen their need for help and that I feel up to the task! This DIY dried orange slice garland was just one of the ways I thought we could enjoy preparing for the season together and it is hanging up beautifully in their little play room.

Last week I posted about making little beads with acorn caps and we spent the last few days collecting a whole basket full to use on these garlands. We also got a big bag of oranges on sale (woo!) and sliced them to dry in the oven. Have you ever dried oranges before? Oh my, it makes your house smell heavenly.


To make DIY Dried Orange Slices

Slice your oranges about 1/4″ thick, pat dry and place on a baking sheet in a low oven (we did about 200 degrees). Flip the slices every 45 minutes or so and they should be dried out and ready within 3-4 hours.

Okay, you’re ready. You have your DIY dried orange slices, your acorn caps have little perfect holes drilled in them, your twine is all laid out…oh wait….how will your toddlers thread through the orange slices AND the acorns?!

You have two options. If you are wanting to do more fine motor activities with your young children at home, I love these large eye needles for kids to work with. 

No needles on hand? Have no fear, bobby pins are here! I was so bummed because I had some amazing large eye blunt needles but I could not find them anywhere. Then came the bobby pin. I remember I had used it before with a knitting project and asked my sweet husband to cut off the end part that sticks out so it would fit through the acorn bead. Then, I opened up the bobby pin a little bit, slid the twine in and pulled it through so there were about 7″ on the other side. You don’t want to tie a knot because it won’t fit through your beads BUT it will work like this if you keep the tail long on one side.

It is SO easy I can’t believe I’d never done it before. Did the twine slide out a few times as the girls worked with their little makeshift needles? Of course. BUT it was as easy as just sliding it right back in. They LOVED being able to thread through the oranges and acorns easily and seriously, aside from them trying to eat the oranges constantly, it was a magical moment.

I hope you make this on your own- how are you celebrating fall with your little ones this year?!


How to turn this fun nature craft into a Spanish lesson

Spanish words to practice as you work:

Bellota (beh-yoh-tah) – acorn

Naranja seca (nah-rahn-hah seh-kah) – dried orange

Hilo (ee-loh) – string/thread

Enhebrar (ehn-eh-brahr) – to thread

Guirnalda (geer-nahl-dah) – garland

Acorn cap beads are a Niños & Nature™ original- make sure to tag me if you make them, I’d love to see your work!