Make Orange & Clove Pomander Balls, Easy Holiday Throwback Craft!

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Pierce oranges with cloves to make pomander balls as a fragrant and simple Christmas centerpiece idea! 

making pomander balls

Looking for an EASY Christmas craft idea everyone will enjoy making?!

Check out these gorgeous and fragrant pomander balls using just whole cloves and oranges! 🍊This stunning centerpiece is such a fun and frugal activity. This is a beautiful old-fashioned craft that is truly so simple to do with all ages, and the results smell so amazing!

holding orange and clove pomander balls

Pomander balls are so simple, anyone can participate — no craft skills are required!

I love that everyone can come up with their own creative design and it’s a fun activity to do on your own, or as a chance to gather family or friends around the table for some quality time together. I found it almost therapeutic to just sit down, zone out, and do something creative!

poking a hole in an orange

To make these beautiful pomanders, simply pierce the orange with something sharp first like the end of a skewer or sharp nail, and then insert your cloves. It could not be easier!

As the orange dries, you’ll notice the beautiful spicy fragrance. The combo of citrus and clove smell quite heavenly. 🥰

Hip Tip: Reader Jules recommends brushing these pomander balls with Orris Root powder to have them last for up to a year! Add cinnamon to it for a festive kick.

christmas table with pomander balls

Make pomander balls into a beautiful last-minute and inexpensive centerpiece.

For this simple arrangement, I picked up a few FREE Christmas tree trimmings I spotted by the Christmas tree lot of my Home Depot and placed them at the bottom of a large wooden dough bowl. I then added some flameless LED candles and arranged my pomander balls and some cinnamon sticks around the candles. So easy!

The festive table runner I am using here is just a plaid blanket scarf from my closet! I love when things can have dual uses like that.

supplies for pomander balls craft

piercing oranges for cloves

plate of pomander balls

Orange & Clove Pomander Balls




Use the end of a wood skewer or sharp nail to poke holes in the orange and make various designs.


Insert whole cloves into the holes.


Group together your oranges and display them in a bowl as a holiday centerpiece.

holding a bowl with pomander balls

Oh my goodness, I love this Christmas craft so much! 

Not only do they look fancy and beautiful grouped in a bowl together, but the arrangement smells incredible too. I will for sure be including pomanders of our yearly holiday traditions moving forward! Next time, I look forward to trying this with other citrus fruits like maybe a lemon or grapefruit.

pomander balls in a dough bowl

Turns out this pomander balls craft is a team favorite pastime:

“Oh, the memories… this craft brings me back to my childhood. I can literally smell the wonderful fragrance that these make.  😍 My mom and I would make these together during the Christmas season when I was little. Thanks for the reminder on these wonderful clove oranges, now I’m off to force my teens to make them with me! 😆Collin 

Like Collin, I grew up making these with my mom and it was one of my favorite Christmas time traditions. ❤️ I had actually forgotten about this simple and scented decor idea until this post and I am totally grabbing oranges and cloves next time I’m at the grocery store! The scent just embodies the holidays and adding some pine to the mix makes it even better!” Emily 

holding a pomander ball with cloves

Do you enjoy making orange and clove pomanders, too?

This easy Christmas simmer pot scent will also make your home smell amazing!

About the writer:

Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 11 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.

Join The Discussion

Comments 31

  1. Lori

    Memories! Thank you for the reminder of a fond childhood activity.

    • berrylandnow


    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Sure! I love this activity!

  2. kara

    My daughter would really enjoy doing these but I’ve never done anything like this – how long will it last? (i.e. if I do it now, would it still look/smell nice for Christmas day?)

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I have had mine for 5 days out and they are good. I did some online search and it says 3-4 days and the more cloves you use the longer it stays. You can also store in fridge at night to extend life.
      If others have more info please share πŸ’•

  3. Tiffany

    Placed in a decorative bowl in a cellophane bag with a bow, they can make great hostess gifts for Christmas parties.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Ohhh love that idea! Thanks Tiffany!

  4. Shannon

    I used to make these as a little girl! We would cover the entire orange with cloves. I like the pretty designs! Thanks for the memories of Christmas past.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh nice Sharon! You’re welcome. We love this craft.

  5. Jules

    Dust them with orrisroot to help preserve them for up to a year. You can also add cinnamon to the orrisroot powder. Google where to buy it – health food stores normally have it.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Ok yes thanks Jules!

  6. Kelly

    My mom has one on her tree I made (in college) around 14 years ago.

    • Melanie

      Doesn’t the orange eventually start to rot? How does it last so long?

      • Kelly

        It shrunk yes. But my mom says it still smells good. She’s very OCD and would throw it out as soon as it was bad.

  7. Kelly

    Forgot to add that mine was covered in cloves! No designs though.

  8. SoCalLemon

    Shut up!! This is so random…my store was out of ground cloves at Thanksgiving, so I had to buy Whole. As I am grinding them up for pie, I remembered doing this orange thing as a kid. I meant to google it later, but totally forgot. Thank you so much!!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh it was meant to be! You’re welcome and enjoy πŸ˜πŸŽ„πŸŠ

  9. kravi

    My daughter did that at school and brought it home. It was good even after 2-3 weeks, just shrunk or dried orange but not spoiled at all.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing, kravi! Good to know that it lasts a while! πŸŠπŸ€—

  10. Big Heart

    Brought back memories…thank you.

    • Claudette (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re welcome, Big Heart! πŸ₯°

  11. painteddreams13

    I try to remember to do this every year with my kids. Love these pomanders.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh yay! Thanks for sharing. They are fun ❀️

  12. Jackie

    When I was in Elementary school (a LONG time ago) we made these in class at Christmas time. I wanted to give mine to my mom, so when I brought it home, I snuck it upstairs and wrapped it up as pretty as a 6 yr old could and put it under the tree. This was 3 WEEKS before Christmas, but I had no concept of what might happen inside that little box under the tree, with the heater vents right beside it.

    Christmas morning came and I proudly presented my mom with the slightly soggy, odd smelling but festively wrapped present. She unwrapped it smiling at me with my excitement bursting out of me as I bounced up and down anticipating her admiration of my creativity. A small scream was heard when the last flap of the box was opened and the contents were revealed. A sunken black orb with white fuzz that completely filled the box and a smell that to this day is unmatched was unleashed.

    Needless to say, my mother had a little discussion with me about food preservation and what could and could not be left under the tree. We do still laugh about it to this day.

    • Claudette (Hip Sidekick)

      What a fun memory, Jackie!!! Thanks so much for sharing that with us!!

  13. Elaine

    We often make a clove-studded orange and drop it into our crock pot full of wassail to steep for several hours along with a few cinnamon sticks

    • Claudette (Hip Sidekick)

      That sounds fabulous!! I love wassail and going to try this!! Thanks Elaine!πŸ’ž

  14. Ann

    I’ve seen this done using lemons too.

    • Claudette (Hip Sidekick)

      Hey Ann! You could use lemons. Thanks a ton for sharing!❀️

  15. Joey

    We also did it with small apples. Some were just designs, but if you covered it completely with cloves, they would last for years too. Some we sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon. The smallest apples, could be hung on the tree, or wreath, with pretty ribbons. Tangerines, lemons, or limes, can also, along with ribbons tied on cinnamon sticks.
    & for those that don’t know, (the fruit does shrink), but it’s the cloves that preserve it, so it can last so long.

  16. Joey

    We also did it with small apples. Some were just designs, but if you covered it completely with cloves, they would last for years too. Some we sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon. The smallest apples, could be hung on the tree, or wreath, with pretty ribbons. Tangerines, lemons, or limes, can also, along with ribbons tied on cinnamon sticks.
    & for those that don’t know, (the fruit does shrink), but it’s the cloves that preserve it, so it can last so long.
    ~ β˜†~ β˜†~ β˜†~ β˜†~
    We also used ground cinnamon, & applesauce, to make a few small ornaments, that last for years, to go with the clove fruit. (Cinnamon also preserves). Or you can add some allspice, or ground cloves to it, if you wish, for the different scents. Just mix together til it’s a little thick, lay on wax paper, & pat thin, like a cookie. Be sure to make a small hole for a ribbon to go thru, to hang it with. You can hand shape, or use tiny cookie cutters, before they dry. Keep them small, if you are going to hang them, because if they are too big, or thick, they can get heavy. They dry hard, but break if dropped. I suppose you can dry them in a very low oven, but we just let them dry in a sunny spot. Smelled good.

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