I’m so excited to share our handmade orange pomander ornaments as a part of the 10 Days of Kid-Made Christmas series hosted by Mama Miss. Read on for the simple (super-simple really!) how-to:
My favorite childhood Christmas story is The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia Scarry, a scratch and sniff book filled with all of the wonderful fragrances we often associate with the holidays. I scratched that book so much, but yet it never seemed to lose it’s magical smells!
Last year my mom started what is shaping up to be a treasured family tradition: a Christmas ornament making party. For this year’s craft, I suggested orange pomander ornaments based on my most-sniffed page of all in our book, which was a big, juicy Christmas orange.
Last weekend we gathered at my house to make our scented orange pomander ornaments: Mom, my sister Kathleen, Lilu, Annabelle, and I. The five of us sat around my kitchen table, listening to Christmas carols (and later disco…yes, nothing says Christmas like disco!) laughing, dancing in (and out of) our chairs, and letting our creativity run wild. I never imagined how beautiful our orange pomander ornaments would be — they were absolutely gorgeous! (And smelled incredible too!)
This is a wonderful craft to do as a family because it is easy enough for an elementary-aged child to do with little assistance, but allows the grown-ups to add intricate details and create ornaments that are fit for a magazine-ready tree!
Here’s what you need to make Orange Pomander Ornaments:
- Mandarins (we chose this smaller citrus fruit because size-wise it is perfect for small hands)
- Whole cloves (we used an entire large container)
- Decorative tinsel cord or tinsel wire (we had a few different types for variety)
All of the supplies needed for this craft set me back less than $20, and we ended up with about 12 of our Orange Pomander Ornaments. We put a lot of time and care into each one, and we were just enjoying each other’s company — there were plenty of supplies left over. I’d say cloves were what was going to run out first because we were very liberal with them!
STEP ONE: We used a ballpoint pen to poke holes in the mandarin in which to insert the cloves. A pen worked well because it is not too sharp, so young kids can use it without worry. Mandarins have a thinner skin than oranges, so you can actually push the cloves straight in themselves, but Lilu preferred the pen technique.
STEP TWO: Create patterns in your mandarin with cloves. We made designs, lines, spirals, and even spelled words. Lilu made one for her Aunt Kathleen where she spelled out “Kathleen” around the mandarin. Impressive!
STEP THREE: Tie the string around the mandarin and secure at the top in a knot or bow. You could use a hot glue gun to make sure it stays in place, but we didn’t need to — we actually used the cloves to help secure the string.
I love love love how our orange pomander ornaments turned out! I hung quite a few on the tree, but I also kept some on my kitchen counter so I’ll catch a whiff throughout the day. In that brief moment, I am a child again, excited and hopeful for the days of fun, festivities, and togetherness ahead. It’s amazing how a simple scent can have such a profound effect! Is there a particular fragrance that embodies the holidays for you?
10 Days of a Kid-Made Christmas
Click the image below to visit “home base” and see all of the crafts featured in this series.
Here are all of the talented bloggers for Day 9:
- Bambini Travel — Kid Made Carpenter Tree Ornament
- Arty Crafty Kids — Paper Plate Baubles
- Sunny Day Family — Glitter Popcorn Ornaments
- The Soccer Mom Blog — Fragrant Orange Pomander Ornaments
- Witty Hoots — Simple Icicle Bunting
- ZingZing Tree — Book of Kisses
- Books and Giggles — No Drama Ornaments
- Glue Sticks & Gumdrops —
- Happily Ever After Mom — Salt Dough Ornament to Honor a Loved One
- Craft Create Calm — I Spy Ornament