Saturday, 5 November 2011

Getting ready for Christmas! Orange Pomanders

Okay so I know it's only the beginning of November but I thought I'd try making Citrus Pomanders for Christmas.. I found this great book at the library called Country Christmas from the Country Living Magazine and in it there are some crafty ideas. I've never done this before so if it all goes pear shaped I may adjust this post, haha. So fingers crossed it all goes well. I'm all about DIY this Christmas.

Along with the pomanders, I'm also drying slices from the same fruits in the oven to make a spicy citrus garland or tree decorations. Once there all dried you can do all sorts with them, sprinkle a bit of glitter, tie cinnamon sticks to them with ribbon or tafata. You can hang these on your tree or all around your home to give it that lovely Christmas smell! It's pretty easy and very country chic. Perfect for our Nordic / Country theme! Also, I think the kids would really enjoy helping out too.. A great family project!

This is my how-to: 

Knitting needle or a small pliers (which is what I used, sounds silly but it worked)

Select your fruits and prick rows of holes in the peel with your chosen instrument. This is where you can get creative and make your own little design or even letters on each fruit to spell out a Christmas word like Merry, Joy, Noel, etc. I thought of this after finishing mine, doh. The guide says for a lighter scent leave more colour showing, marking the fruit into quarters or segments otherwise prick the entire orange. Now once that's done you can push the cloves into each hole, right up to its head and leave to dry in a warm place, such as in an airing cupboard or above a radiator, turning it occasionally to maintain an even texture to the skin. Allow three to four weeks for it to dry completely, then decorate with a ribbon. Sounds easy!

The next thing I did was slice an orange, lemon and lime thinly and put them on skewers and baked them at about 150 deg celsius until hard, this might take a good few hours. I just lay the apple slices on the rack and flipped them every now and then. I think if you blotted the citrus slices with a paper towel before putting them in the oven to remove excess juices it might help speed up the drying process. You can add cranberries too and dry them the same way.

You can also score any of the fruits, I did an orange, by cutting slits through the peel with a sharp knife  so that the flesh is visible. See top right picture of the orange. 

Once all your fruit are hard take them out of the oven and dry them the same way as the Pomanders, storing them for 3-4 weeks somewhere warm. 

After they've been drying, it's time to decorate them. Get some cinnamon sticks, some nuts, your fruit slices and the fruit that was slit and thread them with garden twine (drilling small holes through the nuts to take the twine, and tying bundles of cinnamon sticks at intervals). You can even turn this into a pretty little gift for someone special. The ideas are endless! 

What I hope mine will look like when it's all done:

I hope I have inspired you to try this out or by getting into the DIY Christmas mood.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Hollie xo


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