Dried Orange and Lavender Star Garland

If you are like me, you keep seeing gorgeous dried orange garland and salt dough garland EVERYWHERE.  We had a lazy Saturday to ourselves last weekend and I thought it might be the perfect day to try out this slow, but fun activity.  Thankfully I had a few oranges on hand and lots of dried lavender from our garden this summer.  I decided to add some of the lavender to our dough to give it a bit of a sweet smell and I must say, lavender and oranges make a terrific combination!

The oranges take a bit of time to dry out, so you can make this garland over the course of a few days to keep the little ones busy or do it all on one day if you have nothing to do but enjoy each others company.


  • 2-4 oranges (depending on how many garland you would like to make.  I used 3 and had enough orange slices to make an all orange garland and decorate Christmas gifts as well.)
  • String- twine or ribbon will work
  • Small star cookie cutter (or any small cookie cutter will do.)
  • Skewer (to poke hole in your stars)
  • salt dough or homemade clay (I made homemade clay and will share that recipe below. Check out Lara’s Salt dough recipe here.)


  1. First prepare your orange slices since they take the longest.
    • Preheat oven to 200°F or 93°C
    • Slice oranges about 1/4 in. or 6mm.
    • Lay orange slices on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

    • Bake for approximately 3 hours, flipping oranges over every 45 minutes until they are dry. TIP: watch them to make sure they don’t burn.  My oranges were not completely dried out before they began to burn, but they were strong enough not to rip when strung so I pulled them out of the oven anyway.
  1. Make your dough and cut out your stars while you wait for your oranges to bake.  You can use salt dough or homemade clay (recipe below).
    • Once you make your dough/clay , roll it out in a layer like you are making cookies, 1/4 in. or 6mm. thick.
    • Cut out as many stars as you can with your cookie cutter.

    • Using your skewer poke holes in your stars.  You can either poke one hole or two holes, depending on how you want your starts to lay.  TIP:  Holes shrink a bit while cooking.  It is very difficult to force twine through holes without breaking your stars.  Make sure that the holes are big enough to string your twine.
    • Place stars on a parchment lined cookie sheet in a single flat layer and let them dry a bit while you wait for your oranges to bake.  (You can pop them right in the oven if you don’t have to wait for oranges.)
    • Once your oranges are done you can bake your stars according to the type of dough you used.  (Bake times for homemade clay below.)
  1. Once your oranges and stars are done baking.  Poke holes in oranges with skewers and have fun stringing your stars and oranges in different patterns for a beautiful garland!

Homemade Clay Recipe


  1. 2 cups (360g) baking soda
  2. 1 cup (120g) cornstarch
  3. 1 1/4 cup (290g) water


  • Combine baking soda and cornstarch in a medium saucepan.
  • Stir in cool water and mix completely.
  • Set pan over medium heat and stir constantly until it thickens to the consistency of mashed potatoes.  It should take about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and place in glass bowl.
  • Once warm enough to tough, knead with hands to make sure it is a smooth consistency and now it is ready to play!
  • You can save this clay for a week if you keep it in an airtight container. If you want to save your creations, you can either let the clay air dry or bake it for faster results. I baked these stars on 200°F or 93°C for approximately 10 minutes on each side.  I didn’t want them to turn brown so I took them out when they looked dry.
  • TIP: You can add spices, essential oils, dried flowers, food coloring, etc to finished dough.  Just add small amounts at a time to monitor consistency.  If dough becomes to dry add TINY amounts of water to give it some more moisture.  If dough becomes too wet add small amounts of cornstarch to help make it more firm.

As you see, I also made gift tags with the clay.  It is very versatile!  We would love to see what you do with it.  Please share your garland and clay creations with us on instagram @babyccinokids!

xx Mari


Comments (2)

December 19, 2020

How lasting is that clay if you wanted to store ornaments?

Mari in Chicago
December 24, 2020

Hello! My mom used this clay recipe when we were kids and still have some of those ornaments. Although now they are very fragile. They were also completely painted which probably helped keep them dry. I have some partially painted ones that my daughter made two years ago and those are still in great shape. You just have to make sure to store them in a cool dry place.

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