Mini Pomander Place Cards for Thanksgiving

Jill Staake

Pomanders made of oranges and cloves used to be very popular as Christmas decorations, though you don’t see them as much these days. Plenty of people still enjoy them, though, and I decided to try a unique twist on them for place cards on my Thanksgiving table. I wanted to create them in such a way that after Thanksgiving, when they’ve dried out, they can be hung right on the Christmas tree.

Here in Florida, citrus of all kinds is readily available this time of year, and I was able to harvest kumquats right off the tree to make these. If you don’t have such easy access, check your local produce market for round kumquats. If you can’t find those, use the small “Cutie” tangerines that are available this time of year. They’ll be at least twice as large, but the process will be the same.

What You’ll Need:

  • Round kumquats or other citrus – 1 per guest
  • Whole cloves
  • Medium gauge wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Ribbon in color of your choice
  • Place cards

What to Do:

  • This craft can get a little sticky and messy, so spread out a towel to catch drips before you start.
  • If any stems remain, trim them to right above the fruit.
  • Cut a piece of wire about a foot long or so. You’ll have to play with the length to figure out what’s right for the size of your fruit.
  • Using the round nose pliers, twist the wire three times around as shown in the picture below.
  • Bring the ends of the wire together and push through the fruit from top to bottom.
  • When the wires emerge from the bottom, bring them back up around to the top and trim the ends so you have about an inch to push into the fruit by the stem, so it circles the fruit.
  • Push the cloves into the fruit. If you’re using small fruit like kumquats, the cloves should pierce the skin easily. If using tangerines or oranges, use a toothpick to pierce the holes first. You can do patterns or just push the cloves in randomly, but don’t pack them too tightly since the fruit will shrink when it dries.
  • Tie a ribbon bow around the wire at the top of the fruit.
  • Write names on place cards and stick the cards in between the wire loops you created with the pliers.

Over the next few days, the fruit will dry out, but the scent of citrus and cloves will linger throughout the holidays. Use an ornament hook to hang them from the Christmas tree once Thanksgiving is done!

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