Pomander Ball

These are great gifts and certainly lift your spirit with the clove/orange aroma. When dried, these can be hung or kept in closet/drawer for an amazing fragrance. Cost of 10 pomanders is about $10.00 (bag of oranges: $4-$5, Cloves: $3-$4, Orris root: $2) Orange studded with cloves.



  • bag of oranges (firm)
  • whole cloves, about 2 oz. to 3 oranges (89 cents at Christmas Tree Shop, check dollar store too)
  • knitting needle (small) or something to puncture peel
  • tissue paper or newspaper
  • orris root (bulk, in herb shop), 1 tsp. for each orange
  • ribbon (optional)


  1. Peel sticker off orange and wash if you like. This is a good time to pop the stem off if there is one.
  2. If you are going to hang it, you will need to mark where the ribbon will go. It will make an "X" at top and bottom, like a gift box ribbon. You have marked the area where the ribbon will go, this is where you will "avoid". Make sure you give yourself extra room for the ribbon, the orange will shrink. "Do not" attach ribbon until dried. I did that once and the ribbon was ruined and needed to be replaced.
  3. Bowl of cloves and orange.

  4. Take your puncture point (I used a hair pin, but knitting needles are most common.) and start poking through the peel in close spacing.
  5. Push cloves into the tiny holes you have made. Cover all areas, going back to fill in any bare spots. For drawer pomanders you can just cover the whole orange (those are my favorite).
  6. Lay out a sheet of newspaper or 3 tissue papers, placing the orange (pomander) in the center. Orange on newspaper to sprinkle with orris root.

  7. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of orris root (a preservative) on pomander, using the paper to catch overpour and re-sprinkle until fairly coated.
  8. Wrap up pomander in paper: fold top edge over, then sides and roll.
  9. Allow to dry for 2-3 weeks. You can use a food dehydrator too.

These are sure to be appreciated and they smell good for a long time. Enjoy!

By Starchild in VT

January 14, 20090 found this helpful

I've done these before but didn't know about the orris root. Next time, I'll do that! It lasts a long time, if that will make it last longer, that will be great! Yes, they do smell good and you can decorate them so pretty! Make nice gifts for Christmas to co-workers and kid's teachers or anyone! Thanks for sharing!

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January 14, 20090 found this helpful

I used to do these as a craft at Christmas time with grade 2's. We attached the ribbon right away, and hung them on our tree in the classroom. We didn't have any trouble with them not drying out. I did not use the orris root either. We used to make patterns-- like stars or concentric circles as well. They smell the best right away, in my opinion. I have had them for decades, although the smell doesn't last that long, of course.

I would be sure that whomever you give this to has an appreciation for vintage crafts, as I once gave one to my sister-in-law who said "What do I want with a rotten orange?". I still don't think it was a funny remark, although I suspect she was trying to be humorous. Or not.

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January 16, 20090 found this helpful

I've searched far and wide for orris root and have been unable to find it. I'm going to a big town this week and I'm going to check the health food store. Thanks, Denise

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June 1, 20090 found this helpful

I'd like to try this, but since the orange is full of moisture, I'm afraid it will rot. When you wrap the orange, where do you place it to dry? I do not have a dehydrator.

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Making a Pomander Ball
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