Kid Craft: Orange Pomander
Orange pomander is something we used to make when I was a child, sometimes with apples, but usually with oranges. They always seem “Thanksgiving-y” to me.
Originally, these were made to be air fresheners and could be hung in rooms or closets; you take your choice. The oranges really smell better (I think) and last longer, but are more difficult to make. After reading the directions, decide which you prefer, or try both.
- Orange or apple for each pomander (if you want to make a bowlful, you might use some of each. This was the old-fashioned way.)
- Whole cloves (spice aisle of the grocery)
- Something sharp and strong to help start the holes for the cloves if you use oranges. I suggest something made of strong plastic, since metal (like a nail) will interact with the acid of the orange. A plastic knitting knitting needle might be good, if you have one.
- Ribbon to wrap around the finished pomander, just to make it pretty.
- Pencil to mark your design.
- Thimble or other “pusher” to help push the cloves into the fruit.
- Protective cover (plastic) for your work surface.
- Apron or smocks to protect clothing.
1. Very lightly, so as not to pierce the skin, mark the design on your fruit. You might want to use straight lines from top to bottom and around the center, rather like the lines on a globe. For a first pomander, “less is better.”
2. Push the cloves into the fruit along the lines of your design. The cloves should be an equal distance apart, about the space of one or two cloves between each clove that you put in. Some pomanders are completely covered with cloves. It takes a lot of work to do that. If you choose to, they smell especially nice and are very impressive.
Note: You can make the starter holes a little bit ahead, but not too far, because they will cause the fruit to start to spoil, even that quickly. Be sure the starter holes are not bigger than the cloves for the same reason. Cloves act as a preservative. This is the reason you can poke the holes and not have the fruit spoil.
3. Wrap ribbon around the pomanders and display with pride!
The pomanders may start to dry over time. If they do, simply press the cloves in by gently squeezing the fruit. As long as they are not “squishy” you can display as desired and may be able to enjoy through Thanksgiving and Christmas or even longer.
Sherryl LaPointe, a retired teacher and children’s minister, lives with her husband, Harris, and dog, Muffin, in Gulfport. They enjoy frequent visits from their daughter, Linette. Sherryl enjoys pursuing many hobbies including crafts, art and writing.