I know I promised you a stocking stuffer gift guide this week but after seeing 10+ similar ones in my social media feeds last weekend I thought I’d switch gears and focus on holiday fun that’s simple, homemade, and inexpensive too – Easy Cinnamon Ornaments. (Though if you’re still looking for stocking stuffers, I’m obsessed with this, these, and oh my word these.)
Anyway, crank up Amy Grant’s Christmas album (love you to bits, Mariah, but Amy’s the true queen of Christmas!) grab yourself a hot cocoa, and let’s get to work on these GORGEOUS, fun, and easy cinnamon ornaments that are made with just two ingredients: applesauce and cinnamon. Did I mention how inexpensive they are?! This is a perfect holiday activity for little ones and/or a fun way to get into the holiday spirit. I love this handmade project!!
We finally put up our Christmas decorations this past weekend and the house is bright and festive. The kids are INTO it this year – you should have seen Gwen’s face when I plugged in the Christmas tree lights – and these are the times when having three little kids feels really, really fun. I know you know what I mean. Our holiday spirits were sent into overdrive when the scent of these cinnamon applesauce ornaments baking in the oven started wafting throughout the house. Absolutely incredible, and I still smell cinnamon every time I walk in the door, days after baking them.
As I mentioned, making cinnamon ornaments is a fabulous activity for kids this holiday season (perfect snow day / Christmas break idea, parents!) I made, cut out, and baked the dough one day, then the kids and I decorated them the next. I’d say kids three and older could definitely help make, roll, and cut the dough, though kids of any age can help with decorating. Lincoln took a look at the ones we hung on the tree and said, “Mom, they look SO good!”
(Cam was just there for the hot chocolate.)
The sky is the limit for decorating – it’s the most fun part. I had serious flashbacks to my sugar cookie baking days while decorating these. It felt so strange using puff paint and not icing, and remembering they were ornaments and not cookies! That said, these ornaments are not edible so be sure to remind little ones of that while you’re working on them. ;) See below for the materials I used on each ornament.
Easy cinnamon ornaments would be great to give to Grandparents, teachers, or even to decorate a kids-only tree. Seriously they are just SO adorable!
How to Make Cinnamon Ornaments:
Start by adding 1 cup applesauce and 5oz cinnamon to a large bowl then mix with a fork until crumbly. Next, use your hands to knead the mixture into a dough ball. If it’s still crumbly, add more applesauce 1 Tablespoon at a time until the dough is soft but not sticky. It should resemble sugar cookie dough. Again, soft but not sticky!
Tip: Since these ornaments are not edible, purchase the cheapest cinnamon you can find. I use a store brand version which is $.99 per 2.5oz container (you’ll need two for this recipe.) I hear the dollar store has cheap cinnamon too.
Next, slightly flatten the dough ball (you can split it in half it it’s easier for you to work with one half at a time,) onto a sheet of saran wrap then cover with another sheet of saran wrap and roll 1/4″ thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes then transfer to a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. I prefer parchment paper but both work.
You can re-roll the scraps until all the dough is used up – I get about 14, 3-4″ ornaments out of each batch of Easy Cinnamon Ornaments.
Once the ornaments are on the baking sheet, use a straw to poke a hole for a ribbon then bake for two hours at 200 degrees, or until the ornaments are completely dried out, flipping the ornaments once. You’ll need to use a metal spatula to flip the ornaments if using a silpat, whereas you’ll be able to use your fingers if using parchment paper.
Lastly, I like to shut the oven OFF then let the ornaments sit inside and continue to dry out for another 30 minutes or so.
How to Decorate Cinnamon Ornaments:
After the cinnamon ornaments are completely cool, it’s time to decorate! You can use regular Elmer’s glue and glitter, regular or glitter puff paint (I bought at the craft store,) regular paint, or even Sharpies to decorate the cinnamon ornaments. Add embellishments like sequins, buttons, or even crushed candy canes with glue. The sky is the limit and this is the MOST fun part so let imaginations run wild. I have to say, glue + glitter looks the prettiest but you know…GLITTER. #eek Glitter puff paint is a great way to get a similar look.
Here’s how I decorated my cinnamon ornaments:
- Christmas Tree: Glue + green glitter, red and white puff paint for “ornaments”.
- Gingerbread Man: Puff paint.
- Snowman: Puff paint + sprinkling of iridescent glitter.
- Snowflake: Glue + silver glitter.
- Candy Cane: Red and white puff paint.
- Red and Blue Circles: Glue + red and blue glitter.
How Long Do Cinnamon Ornaments Last?
Cinnamon ornaments should last indefinitely if wrapped in tissue paper between seasons. They’re not indestructible but they’re also not crumbly nor fragile. I hope you have a BLAST making this fun holiday project this year – Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
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Easy Cinnamon Ornaments
Easy Cinnamon Ornaments require just 2 ingredients to make and are SO much fun to decorate! A fun activity for kids, and sweet gift for loved ones.
- 5oz cinnamon
- 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons applesauce
- Cookie cutters
- Puff paint (regular or glitter)
- Elmers glue
- Other embellishments: sequins, buttons, rhinestones, etc.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees then line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat (I prefer parchment paper but both will work) and set aside.
- Add cinnamon and 1 cup applesauce to a large bowl then mix with a fork until clumpy. Next, use your hands to knead the dough together and form it into a ball. If the mixture is crumbly, add more applesauce 1 Tablespoon at a time until the dough is smooth but not sticky. The texture should be similar to sugar cookie dough - not crumbly but not sticky- and don't worry about overworking the dough as it's not edible and you really can't hurt it!
- Flatten the ball slightly onto a piece of plastic wrap then cover with another piece of plastic wrap and roll 1/4" thick. Cut dough into shapes using cookie cutters then transfer to prepared baking sheet. If the edges of the ornaments are a little rough just pat and smooth them down with your fingertips. Dough may be re-rolled and cut until completely used up.
- Use a straw to poke a hole through the top of each ornament then bake for 2 hours or until dried through, flipping the ornaments halfway through. Lastly, I turn the oven OFF then let the ornaments sit in there for an additional 30 minutes or so just to make sure they're completely dried out. Cool completely.
- Once cool, decorate ornaments with glue and glitter, paint, puff paint, etc then, once dry, add a ribbon and hang!
- These ornaments are NOT edible! They should keep for years if wrapped in tissue paper between seasons.
- You may use the cheapest brand of cinnamon you can find - I use a store-brand version which is $.99 per 2.5oz bottle. I hear the $1 store has cheap cinnamon too.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.