Pomanders are a very traditional Christmas craft that anyone can do. They date back as early as the thirteenth century and were traditionally made of silver or other metals, contained perfumes and were worn. Nowadays we mostly see them in this form – an orange studded with fragrant cloves.

We (me and my mum) always make these for the house during the Christmas period. We display them in the hall to add a festive, welcoming fragrance without the need for leaving candles burning or using synthetic scents. For maximum impact pop them on top of a radiator.

Pomader ingredients

All you need is: some large oranges – your favourite variety, any will do; whole cloves – the type with the stalks attached; a large pin; and some pretty ribbon.

Use the pin to pierce your desired pattern in the orange. This will make it easier to push the cloves in and also give you a chance to plan out what you are going to do which is helpful if you’re thinking something fancy. Next, push the cloves in stalk first. I find it helpful to have some kitchen roll handy, and watch your eyes in case of a particularly juicy orange! Finally tie some ribbon around the orange, and you’re done!

pomander and ribbon

These also make lovely and affordable host/hostess gifts if you are visiting someone’s home over the festive period. A small jar of cloves as in the picture above could easily do for 5 – 6 pomanders if you do a simple design like I did.


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