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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Christmas Orange and Cloves Pomanders Craft

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Sugar magnolia


Pommanders are a great smelling Christmas tradition. However, originally, pomanders weren't just for Christmas. In Elizabethan times, pommanders were used all year round. as air fresheners in closets and in drawers. Women even carried them on their person as a kind of deodorant. People didn't bath everyday in those times.

You need to plan ahead. The tricky part of making pomanders is drying them out before they start to get moldy. Orris root is very important. It's a preservative. I've never made successful pommanders that lasted without it. Cover them generously with the orris root powder and hang them up or place them in a bowl in a warm dry place. A sunlit window is nice It takes several weeks to dry completely. They will become very small and hard. If dried successfully, they should last for many years.

Some people have shown allergic reactions to orris root. Sandalwood oil is a substitute for orris root powder. This orris root powder alternative will preserve your pomanders well.


  • oranges
  • whole cloves
  • toothpicks
  • Powdered spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves
  • orris root powder
  • ribbon
  • large bowl


  1. Tie a ribbon on 4 sides around your orange.
  2. Use a toothpick to start your holes. Insert whole cloves all over the orange. Put them in lines or simple patterns. Make it a family event. Be sure to leave space between the cloves. The orange will shrink.
  3. Mix 1 teaspoon each of the spices in a large bowl. You don't need all of them, these are some suggestions.
  4. Mix in 4 teaspoons of orris root powder.
  5. Make several pomanders and cover generously with the powder.
  6. Put the bowl in a warm, dry place like a sunlit window Turn the oranges everyday, mixing the powder. Add a little more orris root powder to be sure. The bowl of pomanders makes a great centerpiece. Or you can hang them up. It will make the whole house smell great.
  7. It will take several weeks for the pommanders to dry completely. You will have to re-tie the ribbon or maybe remove completely. They will be small and hard. Dust them off and place them in closets or drawers all year round. Give them as gifts.

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