- Words by
- Anna Thomas
- Images by
- Anna Thomas
I’m actually quite Grinch-like when it comes to Christmas celebrations. I never intended to be this way, it’s just something I’ve noticed recently and can’t be bothered to change. Despite my rather sad lack of festive spirit I absolutely love the scent of clove-studded citrus at this time of year. So, here for you’re DIY enjoyment is my little twist on the standard Christmas pomander.
This is what you will need:
- A selection of citrus in various sizes
- Roses. Store bought or foraged and in your preferred festive colours (it’s nice to get a range of different petal sizes and also use the leaves too)
- Cloves – lots of them!
- Twine of your choice
- Metal sewing pins
- Bamboo BBQ skewers (I ended up cutting mine short for ease of wielding, toothpicks might also work)
- Scissors (not shown)
Start by cutting two lengths of twine about four times the diameter of the citrus you’re working with.
Tie the two lengths together with a knot in the centre of the lengths.
Pin the knot to the base of your fruit and then wrap the twine up the sides to the top pinning them into place.
Gather your lengths of twine into pairs, tie a firm knot pulling as tight as you can, pin the initial knot into place on the top of the fruit and then tie a couple of very tight double looped knots to secure.
Separate two lengths of the knotted twine out, wrap them back towards the base of the fruit and tie them off firmly (this will help prevent the twine from getting too slack at the top when your pomander is hanging).
Turn the fruit back upright and take the remaining two lengths of twine at the top and tie them together towards the ends to make a hanging loop.
Now the fun part!
Starting from the bottom of your fruit, lay one of your chosen petals over the intersection of the twines and pierce the petal and fruit with the bamboo skewer. Push it in about a centimetre.
Press a clove into the hole you’ve just made to secure the petal. (You can technically skip the bamboo skewering part and just push the clove through the petal into the skin … but I can tell you from experience you will have very sore fingers by the time you’re done). If you’re working with larger petals you may want to add a few more cloves to your first petal to get it nice and flush with the surface.
Begin to cover the fruit with overlapping rings of petals, placing your cloves in the very centre of these subsequent petals.
Overlap the petals substantially so that the side edges touch the clove in the centre of the previous petal and the base of the petal sits just above the cloves in the row below. When you reach the end of the row tuck the edge of the final petal underneath the edge of the first.
Continue until your fruit is covered. As long as you don’t actually overlap your petals over any of the cloves it’s quite ok to rest the pomander on a surface, as the protruding clove heads will protect the petals from being crushed.
Reserve a few of the tiny heart petals to secure around the top near the base of the hanging loop.
And you’re done! The petals will look lovely and fresh for about a day, so don’t make them too far ahead if that’s the look you’re after. I think they look equally lovely once the petals have dried out, but expect them to shrink substantially. If you don’t overlap your petals enough, portions of the citrus skin will start to peep through, which in itself is an interesting effect.
Now go hang them somewhere and breathe in the smell of Christmas. Bah humbug!