November 29, 2017
I was thinking a couple of weeks ago. I mean, I think every day, all day and until the wee hours of the morning. But on this day I wandered aimlessly through the house, eyeballing rooms and looking for inspiration. What still needs to be done? What can I change? Am I happy with this vignette? Hmmm, my thoughts wandered to Christmas. I needed a quick and easy craft or project, and as I walked through that room that confounds me with all its gadgets and blinking lights, tools, and timers, otherwise known as the kitchen, I suddenly remembered a recent Miss Mustard Seed post. “Eureka!” I’d found my inspiration.
Remember making pomanders as a kid? I do. I made them almost every Christmas…..until I got to be a teenager and was just too cool to do elementary school crafts. My Grams would hang them in the closet where they would smell good for awhile and then just….smell. But she loved that I’d make them for her. So I thought if Miss Mustard Seed makes them, I could too. So I did. (Not that I can do everything Miss Mustard Seed does…. I mean come on, she’s Marian freaking Parsons.
Talk about easy. This is a great project for you to do with your kids. If you have any, if not, borrow your neighbors’, the moms will love you and the kids will have fun and go home with a present for said mom. Bonus!
The supply list is simple, you’ll need oranges, whole cloves and something sharp to make a pilot hole. I used a bamboo skewer but you could just as easily use a long nail. Just make sure whatever you use doesn’t make a hole larger than your clove stem. And supervise the kiddos so no one ends up with an eye poked out. Trips to the ER are sooo not fun. And will ruin your holiday mood. Plus there’s the whole “what-did-you-do-to-my-child thing if you borrowed a neighbor’s pride and joy.
This is so easy, I completed 3 while watching a Hallmark movie. During commercials. Took all of about 30 minutes. If you are artistic, you can make a pattern by using a sharpie and making small dots along your pattern line. You can use rubber bands to make sure you get your lines straight. Or you can use the eyeball it method. Guess which method I used?? If you guessed the completely helter skeleter eyeball it method, you know me pretty well!
I pushed holes with the skewer approximately every ¼ inch. Randomly. Then just pushed my cloves into the holes. If one looked a bit lonely, I made another hole and gave it a brother…or sister clove. That’s it. Then I cleverly put a dot of hot glue on top and used a star anise to add some pizazz.
Tips: Cover your work space with something you don’t mind getting juicy. I used an old cookie sheet covered with foil.
Dump some cloves out next to your oranges, so you don’t have to pick them out one by one from the tiny little jars.
Star Anise can be purchased in small amounts in your grocer’s Hispanic or international food section.
Soak your oranges in a bleach water mix for a few minutes (dilute your bleach with water, I did 3 parts water to one part bleach and then rinsed, patted my oranges dry and left them for the afternoon to make sure they were totally dry). It’s said this helps them last longer. It kills any fungi lurking on the orange skin. This is also recommended for keeping pumpkins longer in your autumn arrangements. (a little tip for next fall.)
Use barely ripe oranges for the longest life. If you use really ripe ones and don’t use the bleach rinse your pomanders will likely begin rotting in a few days.
If you want to hang your pomander, add T pins and ribbon to your supply list. Cut a length of ribbon and fold it so that the 2 ends meet and push the pin through the ribbon ends and into the pomander. Wait 24 hours for the juice to stop dripping and hang in your closet, or entry or mud room. Anywhere you want a lovely scent to waft.
The pomanders will last a couple of weeks. I made mine on the 11th of November and two are still going strong. I don’t think they’ll last much longer, they’re beginning to look a bit squishy and one has grown a lovely gray fuzzy sweater. And eeeuux, gross.
I seem to remember rolling them in some sort of powder when I was a kid. Orris Root maybe? Some fixative to help them last longer? For the life of me, I can’t recall what it was. If anyone knows, please email me.
These make a lovely hostess gift or something handcrafted for a special teacher. Or a gift you give to yourself.
Create a sanctuary no matter where you live. One room, one project at a time. Love the home you’re in.