I have childhood memories of making pomander balls for the holidays. One year, we made them at school so that we could give them as gifts to our parents. However, it seems like they are a much less common craft these days, despite being easy to make, with readily available supplies.

Pomander balls are simply oranges that are decorated with whole cloves. However, versions of pomander balls date back to the mid 13th century, and refer to a variety of balls that were used for fragrances, from ornate metal designs to scented materials molded into shapes. There are many different kinds throughout history, but an orange pomander is simply to make your home smell good.

What you need:

~ oranges
~ whole cloves
~ you may need a tool for prepping the orange, like a toothpick
~ optional: orris root powder to help preserve the pomander ball
~ optional: ground spices such as allspice, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg for added scent


You can choose a design and markup the orange first, or just start designing it free hand.

You may need to pre “punch” the orange with something like a toothpick, but my daughter had no problem just designing her orange by hand.

Obviously, this will depend on your fruit as well.

Once you have decorated your pomander ball, you can roll it in ground spices to strengthen the smell.

You can also roll it in orris root powder, as a preservative. I was able to find some on Amazon, since I don’t think it is something readily available in stores.

You can dry out the pomander by storing it in a paper bag, or just hang it for display.

If you wish to hang the orange, you can tie a ribbon around it or pin a loop to the top.