How to: Orange Pomanders

I first discovered orange pomdaners on holiday in Cornwall a few years ago. We took a long walk and ended up at Trerice manor house. Inside the main house was a room decorated in the style of an Elizabethan Christmas – the decorations were made from spruce branches, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon and orange pomanders.

I tried to make pomanders last year but left it a little late. I read that you can put the oranges in the microwave to speed up the drying process, but this went hideously wrong and I ended up with soggy oranges that smelt like cough syrup. Fail. This year I’m doing it properly and allowing enough time for them to dry in time for December. Here’s how I made them…

Oranges and cloves

Making holes in the pomander with a knitting needle

Piercing the orange

I pierced the orange with the end of a knitting needle. If you use a knitting needle be careful not to make the whole too big or the cloves will fall out.

Studding an orange with cloves

Studding with cloves

Stud the orange with cloves in your chosen pattern. I found the best way to avoid broken cloves is to pinch them either side and ease in rather than push on the top of the clove.

Clove studded orange pomanders

Simple orange pomander

I kept most of the pomanders simple by studding the whole orange rather than using a pattern. Studding in this way will make it easy to roll in Christmas spices.

Clove studded orange pomanders

Ribbon tie orange pomander

This pomander has tracks for ribbon, which will be tied in a bow on the top.

Plate of orange pomanders

Ready for drying

For now, they’re in the airing cupboard until completely dried. Once dried I’m going to put them in a big bowl in the living room to make the house smell festive 🙂

If you want to make your own you can follow the tutorial on the Riverford blog.


    • I’m the same. Resisting the temptation to make other decorations until we’re a little closer to Christmas 🙂

  1. What a fabulous idea Gemma, they look great too. I’m trying to pretend it’s not Christmas – my toddler will be three on Christmas Day!

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