How to Make Pomander Balls: a Traditional Natural Air Freshener

festive basket with orange and clove pomander balls and greenery
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Apples, oranges & cloves make the most wonderful Easy Handmade Pomander Balls Natural Sachet. These are the perfect, simple gift idea for all.

Extremely inexpensive.….They add a wonderfully spicy fragrance to any room & last a very long time!! Learn more about easy handmade pomander balls for a super fun activity!

Some make look at “ponder” but they are actually called Pomander Balls!

Orange with cloves are a perfect natural sachet
Cloves in Oranges make Wonderful Pomander Balls

Pomander Balls are delightful when placed in a room or in a drawer as a sachet. Whether you use cloves in oranges or cloves in apples, these natural air fresheners are sure to please!

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There are only 3 “ingredients”:

Easy Handmade Pomander Balls


♦Small Fresh Apple or Orange – size matters: the larger the fruit, the longer it takes

♦One Cup of Whole Cloves

♦30-inch piece of Ribbon or Yarn

♦And, a little bit of time and patience…..these are the most perfect inexpensive, traditional gift idea ever!

This is a super easy project for children as well as the perfect classroom or homeschool activity!

fresh apple and cloves in a pewter dish to start making an easy handmade pomander balls
Apple and Whole Cloves


⇒Take one apple and place it on a covered work area or in a small low dish. The apple juice will drip a little so you need to protect your work area.

⇒Have your cloves close by and start to push the individual cloves into the apples. Keep the cloves as close as possible to completely cover the apple skin.

(the cloves move closer together as the apple cures and dries, so the skin will be eventually completely covered)

⇒Continue adding more cloves until the entire apple is cover⇒Tie a bow with your ribbon or yarn around the Pomander Ball…..and that is it!!!

⇒Allow your new clove-studded orange or apple to begin to dry and cure on a cloth or in a small dishpan. Protect any surface from the apple or orange juices.

tray of homemade pomander balls made with oranges and whole cloves
Cloves in Oranges make Intricate Designs

Consider carving designs in your orange skin before decorating with whole cloves.


I like to use apples as the cloves can be pushed directly into the apple. When using oranges, you will need to make a pilot hole with a small nail or punch.

The orange peel is tough to push the cloves directly in without some type of pilot hole. So, if you are using oranges, then make sure to punch a small guide hole in the orange skin.

A metal skewer or a small awl works well as a punch.

You can get quite creative with your carved design, clove patterns and your choice of decorative ribbon. I have used 1/4″ grosgrain ribbon and even velvet ribbon. Handspun yarn adds a nice rustic touch!

orange clove pomander balls on a table with festive pine greenery




Your Easy Handmade Pomander Ball will last for many, many years! And, actually, remain quite fragrant. We have had ours for over 20 years. I love to make new ones each year.  But, I always save them year after year. I wrap them in tissue paper and store in our Christmas Chest!!

oranges and whole clove natural pomander ball sachets
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