Festive Citrus Wreath
I think that a holiday wreath offers a lot of room for creativity — you can go totally traditional with pine cones and a big red bow or take it modern by spray painting a standard wreath silver and then adding funky ornaments in turquoise and magenta. I was inspired this year by the wonderful wreaths that are seen in historic Williamsburg, Virginia, which feature citrus fruit nestled in the greens. The colors are always so vibrant!
This wreath is a variation on that concept, but instead of using whole fruit, the citrus is sliced thinly and then oven-dried. You can use oranges, lemons, and limes, and grapefruit and blood oranges add some beautiful color as well. Once the slices are dry, you glue them together into clusters and then simply wire them to the wreath — voila! A simple but festive way to dress up your front door for the holiday season.
Here's how you can make this wreath; feel free to change up the types and amount of citrus based on how much of the wreath you'd like to cover with the citrus slices and how large your wreath is:
1 20" wreath
A glue gun or another kind of quick-drying glue
To make the dried fruit slices:
Preheat the oven to 225°F. Slice each piece of fruit into 1/4" slices, then pat them dry with paper towels to help remove some of the moisture. If you have trouble holding the fruit steady while slicing, use this kitchen trick: poke a fork into one end to help keep it from rolling around while you slice.
Arrange the sliced fruit onto a cookie rack placed over a baking sheet, or directly on the middle oven rack. Let the slices dry out in the oven for 2 - 3 hours (check after 2 hours), then remove from oven when dried and let cool. If some of the slices get a little dark, that's okay, I think — I like the contrast in colors!
Arrange the slices into clusters, layering the different kinds of fruit and gluing them to each other using a hot glue gun or other fast-drying glue. I used the larger orange slices on the bottom to create a solid base, then placed the lemon and lime slices on top in different patterns. While I made two larger curved clusters for my wreath, you might choose to do several smaller ones, or even one big round one that covers the whole front of your wreath!
After the glue on the clusters has set, you can choose to spray them with a clear acrylic spray paint; this is optional, but it adds a nice shine and protective coating.
Using a 10" length of floral wire, carefully poke one end of the wire through the fleshy part of a slice of fruit that is on the base of the cluster, near the rind. Pull it through halfway, then attach to the front of the wreath, then you can add more pieces of floral wire for more stability — just try to attach them where two pieces of the fruit are overlapping, which will help make the wire less visible.
Once the citrus slices are attached to the front of the wreath, add a festive bow and hang on your front door. Enjoy — and happy holidays!