This week I've found myself stuck at home. Even though I'll be away from our flat for much of the Christmas season, I do like making it feel as festive as it can be. So yesterday I grabbed some oranges, some seasonal-ish yarn (I was lacking green or red ribbon), and a big pack of cloves and got to work on making some lovely cloved orange pomanders to hang in our doorways.
I haven't made one of these in a long time, but once I got going it was a cinch. If you've never made one, the steps are quite simple:
1 - Tie your ribbon (or, in my case, yarn) around your orange. Top to bottom, then bottom to top. Make sure to secure it at the top with a tight knot so that the orange doesn't slip out of the strings when you hang it later.
2 - With a sharp object (a darning needle or a pushpin would work), begin to poke some holes and push in your whole cloves. I chose to start with a small circle at top, securing around the yarn and then moved alongside each of the strings. This not only helps to give a design, but also secures things. Do be careful as the cloves can be quite sharp. (I've read some people like using thimbles, but I just took my time with the cloves).
3 - After you've pushed the cloves in around the 4 "straps" continue as you like with the cloves in between. I chose to go with simple stripes on this one but went for swirls on my 2nd pomander. Or, if you want a bit less scent and aren't planning on keeping your pomander very long, you could leave it at that.
4 - Hang it and love the smell!
The cloves help to dry cure the orange, so if done well your pomander will last far past the Christmas season and could stick around sharing its spicy scent for a year or more! (I plan to keep mine up til January or so - but we'll see if I change my mind). Hang your pomander where it will get a nice bit of air flow to help it spread its delicious scent throughout your home. You could also make more simple designs without any ribbons and fill a bowl on your coffee table, etc. These can also be made with apples or other fruit. The sky's the limit as to combinations and designs. Have fun with it!