Tips for Making Holiday Pomanders

Tips for Making Holiday Pomanders

One of my new favorite holiday crafts to make is the orange pomander. The pomander is not exactly a new craft, since it’s a very traditional ornament people used to make in order to scent their homes (and sometimes themselves!), as well as a way to ward off sickness. While I can’t vouch for the pomander’s ability to keep you healthy, its scent definitely is strong, and it makes a beautiful ornament as well as a thoughtful, affordable holiday gift.

To make your pomander, you’ll need an orange and plenty of whole cloves. That’s all you’ll truly need to make each ornament, though you can also use a spice blend if you plan on using it as a sachet. A ribbon is also handy to wrap or tie the orange with.

It’s a very simple procedure to do: just stick as many cloves into the pomander as you like. You can arrange them into patterns if you want—draw it on lightly with a pen to do this, then follow your pattern with your cloves. I like to cover my pomander with cloves for the best, strongest scent.

Many people have different tips for inserting the cloves easily and painlessly. They do hurt if you use your bare hands! Some people use a needle, fork, or toothpick to insert holes, and then poke their cloves through them. I didn’t find that very helpful, so what I did was use one of my husband’s work power-grip gloves to wear while pushing each clove in. This takes away the prickle that will cut into your fingers if you try it bare-handed.

After this, I usually just tie mine up and hang them, or present them as gifts. However, there are plenty of ways to jazz them up, including making a spice blend and letting them dry for several weeks for some powerful winter sachets. Here is a wonderfully scrumptious recipe for a spice blend if you are interested in using that. Keep in mind that if you are going to dry your orange over the span of a few weeks, you will likely need to redress the whole ball with the blend a few times. After it’s complete, you can always redress it again to maintain the scent for the entire winter. Your clothes will smell heavenly if you choose to add your pomander in a drawer! You can also hang one in your closet.

Don’t worry about the pomander rotting, as the clove oil should keep it well preserved. In the photo, you can see a couple of our recent ones, including one that my six-year-old did of a “Totoro” character.