Orange pomanders are a simple nature craft to make now for holiday decorating. The smell beautifully, and can be hung or displayed in a pretty basket.
Here is what you need:
1. an unpeeled orange (also try lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, but I think orange smells best)
2. a small nail or large needle - for poking holes in the skin
3. whole cloves - look for these in the Mexican food aisle or order online - they will be cheaper this way. Buy in bulk as you will need quite a few.
4. Spices - ground cinnamon, ground cloves, about 3 tbs each per orange. Or use what every combination of fine dried herbs you like.
5. Orris root powder - this can be found where they sell potpourri supplies or order online. San Francisco Herb company sells it, www.sfherb.com They are also a good source for inexpensive herb and spices. Orris root powder is a natural substance made from an iris bulb.
6. some pretty ribbon - if hanging it up.
Mix your spices with the orris root powder, set aside
This is a messy, drippy craft so you might want to lay out newspaper and cover it with a towel to catch the drips.
What you are going to do is use the nail to pierce the skin of the orange, and then insert the stem of one whole clove into the hole. Cover the orange with the whole cloves, leaving a space of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch between cloves. You can make a star pattern or a swirl pattern or use your imagination, as long as most of the orange is covered. If you are going to hang it with ribbon, then leave 4 blank spaces from top to bottom evenly spaced around the orange, so that the ribbon can lay flat in these spaces. More on the ribbon later. Then take your spice mixture and sprinkle it thickly all over the orange, completely covering the peel. Now set your pomander in a cool dry place to dry out, then in a couple of weeks it will be ready.
Ribbon: Use 2 strands of a pretty ribbon or lace and criss-cross the two pieces at the bottom, bring the 4 strands up thru the blank spaces between the cloves and tie in a bow at the top. You could tuck in sprigs of pine or holly to make it pretty. Make a loop hanger with heavy thread or more ribbon and hang up.
Instead of hanging you can make several and display in a pretty basket or glass bowl.
A suggestion here: when I made them my finger got sore from pushing the clove into the orange, as the bud of the clove is sort of prickly, so if you have an old pair of cotton gloves that you can cut off a finger, put this over your index finger or thumb and it might help with pushing in the cloves.
These smell heavenly and really add to the ambience of the holidays. Enjoy
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