Make Pomander Ball with Your Young Child

[ 7 ] November 15, 2010 |

Today Beth Curtin shares this wonderful craft for kids. Find more cool crafty ideas on her blog, Acorn Pies. Meet Beth Curtin, artist, local mom, and panelist in person at the upcoming Kidoinfo Conversation, Family Traditions. Please join us on Tuesday, November 16 at Craftland in downtown Providence. Click here for details. This craft is appropriate for all ages, but I have adapted it for a tiny friend. In preparation for making a pomander ball, place some favorite spices, including whole cloves, on the table in small dishes. We used cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger.

You also need a clementine, a piece of brightly colored fabric measuring about 10″ by 10″, and a piece of colorful ribbon measuring about a foot and a half. And you need some time, so that you and your child can relax and have fun without a rush. Remember, it is the process, and not the product, which are important to your child, and spending time with you. Also, remember to be your child’s assistant. Let him decide how many cloves, which spices, how much to sprinkle, and when his pomander ball is done. If you start to itch to hijack his craft, you need to make one of your own!

Now, let’s get cozy and make something. Start by letting your child smell the clementine.

Now place the clementine on the wrong side of the piece of fabric.

Introduce him to the whole cloves, letting him smell and touch them.
Make a few pilot holes in the clementine with a skewer or toothpick, so that it will be easy for your child to push in the whole cloves.

He may only want to put in three, four or five. He might want to do more. It’s up to him.

This little one worked a few minutes with quiet absorption.

When he is ready to move on, let him smell and touch a spice. You don’t want him to get any up his nose or in his eyes, though, that could hurt.

If he likes the way it smells, show him how to take a pinch and sprinkle it on his clementine.

He can sprinkle all his favorite spicy smells onto the clementine. In the picture below, he is having fun drawing in the nutmeg with his finger.

When he is finished, you can help him bundle the clementine into the fabric.

Knot the ribbon on to the fabric above the clementine. Now make a loop and knot it at the top, so that you can hang the clementine on a doorknob.

“Can we take it home?” he asked me. Of course you may, my sweet, wee friend! Hang up your pomander ball at home and let it all dry out. It will last a very long time.

Photographs are by artist Coral Woodbury, the little one’s mother!

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Category: crafts, seasonal

Beth Curtin

about the author ()

Beth Curtin is a portrait artist who primarily works in artist's colored pencils out of her studio in a mill building in Pawtucket. She also enjoys crafts such as knitting, sewing, crocheting, handspinning and toy-making. Her blog, Acorn Pies, emphasizes the joys of art, nature, and outdoor play and publishes craft and toy-making tutorials. In addition to her portrait work, she is currently creating a series of hand-colored lino prints of children at play. These lino prints and Beth's crafts are available online in her etsy store, Beth is married to Bill Curtin, a professor at Brown, and they have three children: Nicholas, 23, is an executive chef in New York City; Cammie, 20, is studying neuroscience at Middlebury College; and Peter, 8, loves to figure out how things work. Learning and creativity figure large in the life of Beth's family.

Comments (7)

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  1. Marcia M. Fowler Marcia says:

    What a wonderful posting! It reminds me of my childhood and a holiday activity I’d do with my mom.
    Thanks for posting.

  2. Suzanne says:

    Oooh lovely! Thank you for sharing Beth! I am looking forward to helping Chloe make one of these.

  3. Beth Curtin Beth says:


    I wish I could see Chloe make a pomander ball! love, Beth

  4. Margaret says:

    Oh how lovely, thanks for the idea. and wonderful photos too!

  5. Karen says:

    Very neat! I’ve never seen these wrapped in fabric before– Does the orange need time in the air outside the fabric in order to dry out? Is there any problem with mold or spoilage in the cloth?
    Thanks for the great idea!

  6. calendar katy says:

    is this giacomo?

  7. Jennifer says:

    I LOVE how you have planned this so that the child can be a child, and the adult can relax and be with the child.

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