Monday, November 21, 2011

Pomander Tutorial

In Medieval times pomanders were small vessels filled with musk and other scents that were carried or worn, in the belief that they would ward off infection and to mask odors.  Later, Colonial housewives used fruit to make them to scent their homes.

Today, in a world of artificial scents from sprays, candles, and oils, the Colonial version of pomanders is a wonderful, natural alternative.  Their citrus/spicy scent is parrticulalry nice during the Christmas holidays, and they make lovely gifts for teachers, neighbors, and your favorite barista at Starbucks, but don't wait until the last minute to make them, because they require one or two weeks of drying time.  Once dried/cured, they will last for several years.

    *  Oranges, apples, and/or lemons
    *  Cloves (Amount depends on how many  you are making.  They can be purchased in bulk,
         but I had plenty left in the small can I used to make 9 pomanders.)
    *  Ice pick, toothpick, or other pointed tool
    *  Zester/scorer tool (mine is from Pampered Chef and it works beautifully)

You might want to mark your design where the cloves will go.
Depending on the size of your cloves, you will make the holes large enough to make them
easy to insert, but not so large that they won't stay in.

You can also use a zester/scorer to make interesting designs before adding the cloves.
I like to save the zest "tendrils," because they will add interest to the final display.

Set the finished pomanders in a cool, dry place for one to two weeks.
In colder climates the screend porch is a good place unless
it gets too cold, as they shouldn't freeze. 
The garage is also a good option.

The items I used for the arrangement were things I already had around the house:
Fitz and Floyd bowl (pattern unknown);
A small pinecone-and-greenery arrangement in a red votive cup I made a year or two ago;
Miscellaenous pieces of greenery and pinecones;
Battery-operated candles.

These pomanders aren't dry yet, but I couldn't resist the urge to see the finished product, so I put it
together then dismantled it to allow them to dry before I put the arrangement together again.
If you look carefully you will see battery-operated votives tucked in the arrangement,
which adds a lovely glow.
Have you ever made pomanders?  How long did they last?  I'd love to hear how they were received if
you gave them as gifts.

Thanks for stopping by.  Please leave me a comment to let me know you were here—I read every single one of them, and they encourage me and inspire me.  And if you like what you see a lot J, maybe you’d like to +1 this post too!  Thank you!

I will be joining these fun parties; please stop by to see all the great things there!
The Tablescaper's Seasonal Sunday at
Carrie’s Amaze Me Monday at
 Susan’s Metamorphosis Monday at
 Motivated Monday at  
 Debbie’s Newbie Party on Monday at
 Marty's Table Top Tuesday at 
 Kim's Wow Us Wednesdays at 
 Susan's Tablescape Thursday at
 Open House Party Thursday
 Courtney’s, Feathered Nest Friday at
 Honey's Potpourri Friday at
 Inspiration Friday at


  1. I was going to make some these next month. Yours look very nice. I love the greenery and pine cones. Oranges reminds me of Christmas because they were always around when I was young. Pat

  2. I love Chickadees, too, and they absolutely LOVE the Hawthorne tree outside my front door. I believe I probably made pomanders when I was little, it's been quite a while, so I don't know how long they lasted. They smell SO good!!!

    : )

    Julie M.

  3. Your arrangement is lovely. -You shared two tips that I am going to use:-) You used a zester to create a design, then layered that in the bottom of your bowl 2) You added the small candles to the arrangement to make it glow. I bet it is beautiful when lit. Thanks for sharing . Oh I discovered your blog from Debbie's

  4. Hi Zuni...

    Ohhh...I have been thinking about making apple pomanders for my Christmas dining room. Your tutorial couldn't have come at a better time! I love how your Christmas arrangement with the orange pomanders turned out...soooo very pertty, my friend! I bet it smells divine too! I didn't realize that you needed to score the area where the cloves go...great tip! You know, I remember making these in grade school to take home as a gift to my mother. We used apples and cloves and then wrapped the entire apple in green net. They really were pretty and smelled soooo good! Thanks for sharing your gorgeous Christmas arrangement and tutorial with us today, dear friend!

    Warm wishes and blessings to you and your family for a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving, dear lady!

    Chari @Happy To Design

  5. I did this years ago and kind of forgot about it. I used mine in a coat closet forever. Your images are beautiful and the tutorial so easy to follow. Thanks so much for linking this natural alternative to Motivated Monday at beColorful

  6. Lovely. I can just smell them. I always got oranges in my stocking as a child so this brings back happy memories. Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. I remember making those n girl scouts many years ago!

    Your centerpiece is beautiful, it must smell heavenly!

  8. I've made them before..but not like this. I didn't cut into the orange with a zester. Perhaps I will try it again this year. Such a pretty arrangement! LOVE the glow effect! :)
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Beautiful, I must try this, it's been years. And mine where not as pretty as yours.

    I have awarded you the Liebster award - please stop by to get your badge.

  10. What a WONDERFUL idea, Zuni! Your arrangement is just lovely & I can imagine how fragrant it must be. I've been wracking my brain, trying to come up with an unusual centerpiece for turkey day. This would be perfect...dried or not!

    Wishing you & yours a Blessed & Grateful Thanksgiving Day, Honey.

  11. Fabulous, thanks so much for the tutorial. On my list to try tomorrow. Love them. Thanks for joining the party and Happy Thanksgiving. Hugs, Marty

  12. Thanks for sharing this easy tutorial. Your pomanders look great and I'll bet they smell even better! I used to make these when I was much younger but every year I say I'm going to make some for my Christmas have inspired me. I saw your post over at "A Stroll Thru Life".

  13. Hi Zuni~ Your platter & arrangement are beautiful! I can only imagine how wonderful the pomanders smell! I've never made them, I'll have to put some together this season! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  14. Hi lovely lady.
    I love the way you put this all together for your beautiful arrangement!~~~ This would look gorgeous for your centerpiece on your Thanksgiving Tablescape.
    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your sweet family.
    XXOO Diane

  15. Hi Zuni....Thanks for stopping by my blog today and leaving such sweet comments about my dollhouse and home! I am already a follower of your blog and it would be great to meet one of these days! I lived in Columbus my whole life until almost 5 years ago and now live in Zanesville, Ohio. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!~Hugs, Patti

  16. Great tutorial...yours came out beautifully, Zuni.
    Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

  17. Zuni, This is the perfect time to do this so they will be dry by the Christmas holidays. Every year I say I'm gonna do it and every year time gets away from me. :-) I see that you met Patti- pop over to all the girls and say hi. I'm sure you'll meet all of us in person at some time or the other! Forgot to tell you to take the Buckeye Blogger button to post! My brain is in a fog. Happy Turkey Day. ~ Sue

  18. I have made these in the past. Such a great smell from them. I love how you arranged them with the pine greenery.

  19. I love your pomander. That brings back memories. I remember my mother making something like these. Thanks for sharing.

  20. I remember making these with my Mom as a kid. Thanks for the memory and reminder I DO have my own kid (well, she's 18 now, but still my "kid") so I should show her how to make them too!

    Too....Congrats on being featured this week at Wow Us Wednesday!

    Suzanne in NW Illinois

  21. Your pomanders are beautiful and I love the addition of greenery, pine cones and the special surprise of the little lights. I need to make some more as the first ones didn't hold up too well in the warm temps. Hopefully, now that it's cooler, they'll dry better.
    Thanks for the tutorial.

  22. What a delicious aroma, orange and cloves! The vignette with the evergreen and lights is so pretty!

  23. Thanks so much for linking your lovely pomanders to Potpourri Friday!

  24. Hi Chickadee! You have been featured today at Potpourri Friday!

  25. Dear Zuni. The pomanders and arrangement are stunning. You are so talented and it is inspiring!

    I did a little research to help answer your question about how long to let the oranges dry. I read that they should be kept in a cool, dry place (e.g. kitchen window!!) for approximately two weeks. I hope this helps.

    Thank you, again, for the absolutely beautiful post. It made my day!


Blogging tips