Make All-Natural, Great Smelling Orange Pomanders for the Holidays

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Looking to add a festive vibe to your home, without all the glitter and lights? Orange pomander balls are quite possibly the quickest and best all-natural, great smelling, non-gaudy decoration you can make this holiday season. And according to our ancestors of yore, they ward off bad spirits and bring strength and fortune —a holiday bonus.

Make them around Thanksgiving and, if dried correctly, they’ll last through the entire holiday season, and maybe even longer. Typically you see the decoration made from oranges, but any citrus fruit will do. I like to use grapefruit, and a few varieties of oranges.

Another nice and simple clementine project → How To Make a Clementine Candle

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

What You Need


  • Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, lemons or limes will do, choose the firmest fruit you can find)
  • 1/2+ Cup cloves
  • Orrisroot (optional)


  • Nail, toothpick or thumbtack
  • Rubberband (optional)
  • Ribbon or string (optional)
  • Skewer or long craft needle (optional)


Decide on a pattern for the cloves and start by piercing holes in the fruit with a sharp object like a small nail or toothpick. It’s important to do this because the rind is too tough to pierce with the clove.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Clusters look nice, as do larger patterns or straight lines. If you want a straight line the best way to do this is by placing a rubber band around the fruit and using the outer edge of the band as a guide. Remove the band and continue adding cloves to the fruit, or easily tie a ribbon in the negative space.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

You can hang your fruit by running a string or ribbon through its middle. Do this by first piercing through the middle with a barbecue skewer, then sending a long crafting needle through. If all you have is a short needle you can still send it through, just use the blunt end of the skewer to help push it along.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

The best way to insure your pomander balls dry without molding is to either shake them in a paper bag with orrisroot, or hang them in a cool, dark place for up to two weeks before setting them out.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

If you really want to kick up the spicy scent: roll the finished balls in a mixture of your favorite seasonal spices: ground cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger are fantastic options!

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