I love making pomander balls. They smell so fresh and wintery, and are quick to put together. The idea is that you put cloves into fruit, cover in a spice mixture, and allow to dry. As they dry, they release their scent, and can last between a few weeks and a few years.
Here's this year's batch, but I'm sure I'll be making more. These are tangerines and lemons.
What you'll need:
Lemons, tangerines, oranges, limes, or apples
Whole cloves (Cloves are rather expensive, but I found them cheaper in the international foods section of my supermarket instead of the spice section)
Spice mixture (think pie spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, etc.)
Make sure the fruit is free of dirt and dry, then stick in the cloves in any design you choose. In the past, I've mostly covered the surface of the fruit. This year, I went a little lighter. If you are having trouble getting the cloves stuck in, use a sturdy toothpick, skewer, or other pointy object to make a pilot hole. My toothpick kept breaking, so I used a mechanical pencil that had a very sharp tip.
Here's a lemon I've covered in cloves, pre-spice mixture.
After the cloves, I rinse the juice off the outside and pat dry. I have no idea if this step is actually necessary, but I do it anyway.
Next, roll around in the spice mixture. I like to put the spices in a large bag and shake it up. Then knock off the excess.
You could go ahead and attach a ribbon at this point and hang it, but I'm going to lay mine out for a few days before hanging.
And, in case you are looking for proof that these dry, not rot, here's a photo of an apple one I made, oh...maybe 4 years ago? I hung it in my closet as an air freshener and forgot about it. The scent is long gone, but you can see that it dried, not rotted. The color of the fruit is from the stain of the spices and drying of the skin. It's not rotted at all and feels kind of leathery.