A couple of years ago, Christmas found us living in the Alaskan bush, without any of our christmas tree ornaments. We made several things, among them orange circles. (You can see the homemade tree here.) They make nice tree ornaments, but where orange circles really hit their stride is as suncatchers! We like to hang them in the window around Winter Solstice.
|This is just one orange, spread across a south-facing window|
Slice an orange (or more than one) across sideways. Discard the very top and bottom parts, since the sun won't shine though them. I made my slices about 1/4 inch thick. Avoid making any extra slits in the peel of the orange, as the peel is the only part that stays very strong, and if it's broken the whole thing may fall apart!
Lay out the oranges on a cookie sheet, baking stone, or pizza rack, and put them in the oven on low (200*F or lower) OR put them in a dehydrator.
Sprinkle them with cinnamon, cinnamon-sugar, cloves, or whatever spices strike your fancy (if desired--it will not change the look really, but will enhance the smell).
Dry them for a couple of hours--just check in on them every 20-30 min after the first hour and see if they look dried out yet.
Take a needle and thread, and poke through the orange flesh just inside the skin (you can catch the white membrane, or just go through the orange pips near the edge), and make a loop of thread. I use a double thread, so the final loop is actually 4 strands.
Use short loops to hang them on the tree, or longer ones to hang in a window... I just use thumbtacks to pin the thread loops to the window frame.
Of course, it's only fair to mention that if you have little ones (my son is 1), they may steal from you while you're working, and put the orange to a more traditional use...