We’re taking it back to a classic Christmas crafts and making Orange and Clove Pomanders. I have memories of making these as a child and I still love the look of them, not to mention the smell. Orange clove decorations are often hung on trees, used as table centerpieces, or placed in bowls to add a festive and aromatic touch to homes during the holiday season. See my Orange Clove Centerpiece I made a few years ago here. Learning how to make a Christmas orange pomander is easy. Follow my simple tutorial below.
Orange and Clove Pomanders
I had a few extra oranges and knew instantly it was time to make a few holiday Christmas clove oranges. This is a Christmas craft the whole family can participate in.
- Navel Oranges
- Whole Cloves
- A toothpick, or a small nail like I used because I was too lazy to go downstairs to get toothpicks and I had this small nail in one of my drawers in my craft room. 🙂
- Navel Oranges
- 1/3 C. Whole Cloves
- Toothpick or a small nail
- Use your nail or toothpick to poke a small hole in the orange.
- Poke a clove into the freshly poked hole.
- Repeat until your desired design is finished.
Drying Orange Pomanders
There are several methods for drying orange pomanders. One of the traditional ways is to place them in a paper bag for 3-4 weeks. Some people just hang them. If you notice any mold, remove and discard that orange.
You can add ribbon around the orange if you'd like to hang it.
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How to Dry Orange Pomanders
Your orange clove pomanders will last a couple of weeks without drying them. The cloves actually help preserve the oranges, so the more cloves your use the better. To increase the longetivy of a pomander, drying is your best best.
With a bit of research, it seems like there are a few ways to dry your whole orange pomander balls.
to dry evenly and retain their scent for up to one year, shake each in a plastic bag of powdered orrisroot.
A popular opinion is just doing it the old-fashioned way by hanging them and allowing them to dry. It helps if they’re near a window where the sunlight can hit them.
Place them in a Paper Bag
Many say to just place them in a paper bag for 3-4 weeks, removing any that might attract mold.
Drying them in the Oven
Place the oranges on a baking sheet in a 275°F oven for 4-5 hours until dried.
Drying orange pomanders in a dehydrator
Use low to medium heat until the orange is dried.
Using a spice mixture to preserve them.
Create a spice mixture of 2 tablespoons of each – cinnamon powder, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Place the orange in a paper bag with 2 tablespoons of spice mixture. Shake the bag to cover the orange in the spices. After a couple of weeks, your orange should be dried. Just brush the spices off and use it however you’d planned to
What are Pomanders?
Pomanders are aromatic balls or sachets typically made by inserting cloves into an orange or other fruits. They’re often used as air fresheners or placed in closets and drawers to impart a pleasant scent. These decorative items have been historically used for various purposes, including to ward off bad smells, as a symbol of good luck, or as a decorative ornament during festive occasions like Christmas. I’ve also seen Pomander Balls made with flowers or greens. Technically, those are called kissing balls but if you want to call them pomanders, I think it’s OK. The flower kissing balls are often a popular wedding decoration.
- Fresh Greens Kissing Ball
- Paper Flower Pomander Kissing Ball
- Real Flower Kissing Ball
- Cedar and Sage Kissing Ball
DIY Christmas Decorations
Today’s Creative Life has been around since 2007, so I have a lot of creative DIY Christmas ideas for decorating that are usually very budget-friendly and will scratch the creative itch. Here are a few of my favorites.
Cloves in Oranges Christmas Decoration
Orange clove pomanders are great for holiday decor. Here are a few of my ideas.
- Add a ribbon around them and hang them in your windows.
- Fill a white bowl with a few pomanders and use it in any room.
- Add to a bowl or tray with evergreen branches, pinecones and maybe a candle for a quick holiday centerpiece.
- If you dry them, they would make great DIY Christmas tree ornaments. They may be too heavy if they aren’t dried.
- Arrange them into a topiary.
- It’s not really a decorating idea, but you could add them to a bag of Simmering Stovetop Potpourri for an easy gift to your neighbors.