Sunday, November 30, 2008

How to Make a Christmas Orange Pomander

Christmas Craft #2:
So here is the second craft for the Annual Christmas Craft Day. Very traditional and very easy to do. It is one the kids never tire of in fact they will keep reminding me ....." we have to make our Christmas oranges, Mom!"
The hardest part is the hanger but I'll show you the trick I've come up with to get it to work.
Materials Required
Make sure you use a navel orange and not a Mandarin, the skin is just to loose to hold in the cloves.
Most books say just to push in the cloves directly but I find the kids will struggle with that. It's much easier for them to poke the orange with a toothpick first and then insert the clove.
We are just doing a simple line design but you can cover the orange completely if you want, or write your name with cloves, or even a shape like a poinsettia flower.
They kids really enjoy this activity and it will make your house smell wonderful.
For the hanger take a length of wire about 10 inches or so.
Break a toothpick in half.
Wrap the wire around the toothpick and twist together to form a loop.
Punch a few holes in the top of your orange close together to form a large enough opening for the hanger.
Insert hanger into the hole and push down with a pencil or paintbrush handle.
Pull up a little on the hanger and it should stay in place.
The toothpick swells up a bit and holds the hanger in place.
Add a bow and you have a very nice Christmas decoration. If you only use a few cloves in your design your orange will probably not last forever.
If you completely cover your orange with cloves your pomander will last longer and may dry out completely.

Give it a try.
see you next time


  1. We're going to make these this week. Your post inspired me, and I saw the navel oranges front and center at the grocery store today!!

    BIG public service announcement for anyone interested in this project: if your store has a bulk goods section, check there for spices. I'm SO glad that I did! I was about to buy the cheapest whole cloves I could find in the baking aisle, which were on sale for 2.99/.64 ounce (that's over $79 dollars a pound, if I'm doing my math correctly!) I then checked the bulk spices, and they were selling whole cloves at 14.99/pound. That means I paid .56 cents instead of 2.99. I was able to purchase a lot more cloves than I would have originally!

  2. What a great tutorial, Gail! Thanks for posting all the descriptive photos. I came today via the Crafty Crow. Lindsey, thanks for the great info on buying cloves.

  3. Excellent! I am going to do this with the kids! Yay!

  4. Thanks for the tip Lindsey, we are lucky here as a national chain (Superstore) carries whole cloves in large packages for very little $, it is also a bit deceiving, you think you need lots but they actually go very far. Last year I bought a lot of cloves for 80 kids and only used about 1/3rd of them.
    Thank-you Fighting Windmills and Amy. I hope this becomes one of those annual traditions. The kids are love it. We are having a Gingerbread House making party for my husband's co workers on the weekend and I have asked the kids to make several of them for a table decoration in the kitchen.

  5. such a pretty pomander! thanks for the info, i've linked to this at she's crafty-

  6. We made them again this year! I love your site. :)

  7. Gail--I'm thinking of doing this craft for about 80 3rd graders (I'm a room parent and have to come up with a craft). How many pounds of cloves do you think I'd need? Thanks! Mindy

  8. Hey Mindy,
    you can probably get away with 1 pound maybe even 3/4's of a pound if you are just doing the lines around the orange, if you are covering the entire orange it will take a bit more. It surprising how far those cloves go. Every year when I buy for Craft day I think I'm going to need lots and then I end up with extra.

  9. Terrific ornament! Share your ornament (or more) on our Linky List to get exposure for your own blog and share with your community.