Pomanders are easy to make. They’re a good craft project for kids and can be made in an evening or afternoon. However, if you want your pomander to be ready for Christmas, now is the time to start it. And if you want to make something other than the usual clove-studded oranges, read on.
The basic pomander that most of us have made at least once in our lives is the orange pomander. To do, poke holes in an orange with a sturdy toothpick or one of those plastic flossing picks and then stick whole cloves in them. You can make a pattern, such as spirals or any geometric pattern. Just don’t put a row of cloves right around the orange, or the skin might peel off at that point. When you’re done, shake the orange in orris root powder in a paper bag. Orris root powder is a fragrant preservative.
For a pomander that’s a little different, start with an apple. Stud it with cloves in the usual way, but then roll it in cinnamon or cinnamon and ginger, or cinnamon, ginger and allspice. Or apple pie spice. I used pumpkin pie spice by mistake once and it still smelled heavenly.
Another variation: Use a lemon, stud it with cloves and then shake it in ginger in a paper bag. This is one of my favorites, because it reminds me of my favorite ginger ale. The one with the twist of lemon. Or use a lime, stud it with cloves and shake it with nutmeg.
Whatever kind of pomander you decide to make, you must leave it in the paper bag, in a dark, dry place for three weeks or so until it’s thoroughly dry. When it’s dry, take it out and cover it with a piece of netting. This keeps it together as it ages and dries out more. I like to embellish my pomanders with beaded straight pins and sequins. Just put a straight pin through the hole of a sequin and push it gently into the fruit. A pretty ribbon to tie the top of the netting and the pomander is ready to hang or give as a gift.
Pomanders may also be hung on the Christmas tree, from a curtain rod in a window, or in a closet. They can be tucked into drawers like sachets or several can even be used as a centerpiece in a pretty glass bowl. Use your imagination and get started now, so that when Christmas comes, you’ll have plenty of pomanders to keep your house smelling sweet or to give as gifts.