Make your own Orange Pomander Balls

Orange Pomander Balls

The Orange and Clove Snowballs I made recently were cookies that featured the flavors of both orange and clove, chosen because I often made orange pomander balls around the holidays as a child (and still do!) and I really associate the season with the warm, spicy scent combination. As good as the cookies are, I still couldn’t resist making some real pomanders to set around the house and spread their Christmasy aroma.

Pomanders are very easy to make. All you need are some fresh, ripe oranges and a jar of whole cloves. Simply insert the pointy ends of the cloves into the rind of the orange in any pattern that pleases you. If you have a knitting needle, you can stick a piece of ribbon just underneath the skin, then tie a loop so you can hang the pomander, on a tree or elsewhere. This is a great project to do with kids. It’s fun, smells great and there is no cleanup because the clove-studded oranges can sit out just about indefinitely because they dry-cure with the cloves in them.

11 comments

  1. We made these when I was a child many years ago. After completely covering the orange with cloves, we rolled them in ground cinnamon & wrapped them in paper towels for a couple of weeks while they absorbed the spices. One word of caution – your thumb is going to get sore. Slip on a thimble & the problem is solved!

  2. I’m confused about the knitting needle part. How do you use it to insert a ribbon?

  3. Just made these the other night!…I like to put mine on a pretty plate located on or near the heater. They may not last as long, but it certainly helps make the whole house smell festive.

  4. Sprite – Sorry I wasn’t clear about that! I usually just set mine in a dish or on a tree branch.
    Use the pointy end of a knitting needle to push a ribbon through the orange. You want the entry and exit points to be about 1/2 or 3/4-inch apart, so almost like you’re creating a stitch just under the skin of the orange. It should be strong enough to hold the orange up when you tie the ends of the ribbon together. The needle is just a very handy way to get the ribbon through!

  5. At first I thought that were LED’s in the orange :-)
    But they are cloves. Ehm.. Do you know where I can get the cloves? In the Supermarket or in a market garden?
    Is it possible to replace the cloves with bourbon vanilla?
    Or is there a vanilla scent?!

  6. I love making these! When I was growing up my brother and I would help my gma and gpa decorate their tree every year. We’d listen to Christmas Music, make dinner, and do a craft. Usually the craft was orange and clove pomander balls. I still enjoy making them today and will continue the tradition with my kids when that day comes. They not only smell heavenly, but they always make me think of my grandma and grandpa.

  7. Wow I’ve never heard of or seen orange pomander balls!! I love the idea and how they look though. Maybe our cat would even leave them alone because she doesn’t like the smell of orange.

  8. Just made these the other night!…I like to put mine on a pretty plate located on or near the heater.your thumb is going to get sore. Slip on a thimble & the problem is solved!

  9. That looks really nice.

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