Saturday, 19 December 2009

It's not too late Christmas Decorations part 1: Orange Pomanders

Pomanders are a very traditional Christmas decoration and New Years gift. In Elizabethan times in England, Pomanders were carried around to ward off evil spirits (and probably helped ward off evil scents when those of the upper class had to mingle with those of the lower).

The most traditional pomanders are those made with oranges and apples (the meaning of the word actually thought to derive from Pomme, french for apple).

So, why did i decide to go for orange pomanders? As i think i mentioned in my last post, our artificial tree was looking a little bit worse for wear and our kitten was getting into the branches and bending them, so i heard that orange peel was good for warding kittens away from where you don't want them, and an orange pomander seemed ideal.

Orange pomanders are also great for replacing chemical air fresheners that give off a christmassy scent. These pomanders will only last for the duration of the festive period and should be thrown away afterwards.

So, you will need:
A medium sized, thick skinned orange
A bag of cloves
A bag of cinammon sticks
Ribbon (in your choice of festive colour)
0.5mm wire
Wire snips

1. Snip a length of wire twice the height of your orange and straighten it out. Feed it through from the green bud on the bottom of the orange straight out of the top

2. Bend the wire in a U-Shape at the bottom

3. Poke the raw end of the wire back into the orange to secure it

4. Start at the top of your orange and push cloves into the flesh in whatever design you decide to go for. It you're not confident with freestyle, you can try drawing on your orange first with some chalk or a felt tip. I just freehand and in this example i decided to go for a spiral pattern. You could experiment with lettering, monograms or whatever takes your fancy.

5. Next take a section of cinnamon stick and tie a granny knot around it with your ribbon

6. Tie the cinnamon to the length of wire poking out of the top of your orange with another granny knot

7. Finish with a nice big bow!

8. Hook the pomander into your tree by hooking the wire over a sturdy branch. Alternatively you could arrange a couple of pomanders in a shallow bowl and leave on the coffee table or dresser by the front door for an amazing christmassy aroma of spiced orange. In this case, leave out the steps with the wire and just go straight to sticking in cloves.

Et Viola!

Tomorrow: Snowflake paper chains!

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