December 15, 2013

Easy 3-Ingredient Cinnamon Ornaments

Looking for a kid-friendly homemade ornament for gift giving or decorating at home?  Look no further.  Classic Cinnamon Ornaments are the perfect easy homemade ornament project for little ones.  Plus, they smell as good as they look! {If not even better, that is.}
I belong to a group Pinterest board called 'It's Beginning to Smell Like Christmas' ... and with these Cinnamon Ornaments around, that's certainly true!  Chock full of ground cinnamon, these kid-friendly homemade ornaments smell absolutely wonderful.

I made these adorable little ornaments with my 2nd grade students ... all 23 of them ... last week.  {Very thankfully, I had the help of the fabulous student teacher who's partnering with me this year.  So I actually should say, she made these with my 23 2nd grade students.}  And I must say, my classroom and my house couldn't smell better!  Each morning when my students walked in they'd say, "It still smells like cinnamon in here!"  To which I'd reply, "It's going to smell that way for a while!"  Which to me, is a wonderful thing.  I love the smell of cinnamon.  Fortunately, my students do, too.

Also fortunately, these adorable little beauties are pretty easy to make ... with just three simple ingredients and some drying time.


The three simple ingredients are applesauce, liquid glue {you know, like the Elmer's white stuff}, and .... can you guess??? ... CINNAMON!  Yes, I bet you had figured that out.

You can put in a little bit of ground cloves or allspice, if you'd like, for a bit of a twist on the aroma.

Or, as I discovered ... you can even use a mixture of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.

See, I kind of waited to the last minute to get all the cinnamon I needed to make these with my class.  I had about half of what I needed, so ran out the night before we were making these to buy the rest.  

Well, apparently this wasn't a good plan.  'Cause apparently I'm not the only teacher in my town who makes these with her students.

First store - no cinnamon.

Second store - no cinnamon.

Third store - no cinnamon.  And me?  No more patience for looking for cinnamon!

So I scanned all the spices thinking of what else could work ... when my eyes landed on a large amount of pumpkin pie spice lining the shelves.  Score!  I knew that would work and be jusssssssstt fine.

Now, once you mix up a dough with the applesauce, glue, and cinnamon, simply roll it out or pat out balls of it with your hands, like this ...


You want the dough to end up just about 1/2-inch thick.  Much thicker will take a long time to dry ... and much thinner will curl up a tad bit on the edges as it dries.  But there's certainly not an exact science to the thickness! ... approximate is just fine.


Next, press a cookie cutter into the dough to cut out your ornaments.  We used a gingerbread shape, but these can certainly be made in any shape you'd like!


Use a straw, pencil, or wooden skewer to poke a hole near the top for a ribbon ...


... and then set the cut ornaments aside on waxed paper or paper towels to dry.  They'll air dry in about three or four days ... or, if you need a faster turn-around, they can dry in a few hours in a 200 degree oven.


When rolling out the dough and cutting the ornament shapes, keep in mind that the ornaments will dry exactly how they look when they're cut {aside from a slight change in color}.  So if you want them to have a smooth surface, work the dough until it's smooth on top.  If the shape warps a tad when removing them from the cutters, reshape them immediately.

Of course, I think the 'character' of the ornaments made by little 2nd grade hands is precious.

Some with thumbprints right smack in the middle of the body.

Some with ribbon holes right smack in the middle of the face.

Some with a few 'character lines' {aka - cracks} ...


And some with interesting shapes ...


But fingerprints, interesting shapes, 'character lines,' and all ... these were all made with love and joy.  And I'm reminded of that beautiful love and joy each time I catch a wonderful whiff of cinnamon from these drying around my classroom and house.  


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Cinnamon Ornaments
(NOTE:  These ornaments are not edible)
Source:  My teaching friend Christy

Ingredients
  • 1 c. applesauce
  • 1 (4 oz.) container ground cinnamon
  • 2 T. white liquid glue (such as Elmer's glue)
Directions
  1. Mix together the applesauce, ground cinnamon, and glue until well combined, forming a soft dough. Knead with your hands until smooth. If dough is too sticky, add some more cinnamon.
  2. Roll or pat out dough to approximately 1/2-inch thickness and cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Use a drinking straw, pencil, or wooden skewer to cut a hole near the top for a ribbon.
  3. Place on a cookie sheet . Dry in a 200 degree oven for 2 to 3 hours. Or, set aside to air dry for 3 to 4 days, flipping about once per day.
  4. Once dry, insert a ribbon through the hole and tie it in a knot.
NOTES:
  • Some ground cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and/or pumpkin pie spice can be added in with the ground cinnamon.
  • Recipe makes approximately 6 ornaments cut with approximately 3-inch sized cookie cutters.  Yield will vary significantly based on the thickness the dough is rolled or patted out and the size of the cookie cutters used.
  • For a classroom-sized batch (approximately 30 ornaments), I used:  48 oz. applesauce, approximately 24 oz. ground cinnamon, and approximately 1/3 c. glue.
  • Ingredient amounts needed may vary based on the consistency of the applesauce and/or glue used.  The goal is to achieve a soft dough that's not so sticky it glops on your hands, and that can be rolled or patted out.  If after combining the ingredient amounts in the recipe the dough is not a workable consistency, add more cinnamon until a workable consistency is reached.
  • Due to the glue in this recipe, these ornaments are NOT edible.
Enjoy!




Enjoy these other kid-friendly projects from The Kitchen is My Playground ...



9 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Rachel! Merry Christmas to you and your family, too!

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  2. I just might have to try to make these. Love the little helping hands in the pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're sweet little helping hands, aren't they?

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  3. I bet those ornaments smell amazing! Looks like a very fun craft for littles to celebrate the season!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think I will have my daughters make these for gifts this year! I just pinned it :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've always made them with just cinnamon and applesauce. No need for glue. Also, lay flat to dry and turn once or twice a day to keep them from curling. The smell lasts forever <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Didn't know you could do them without the glue ... thanks so much for that option!

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  6. I love these ornaments. I try to make them every year with my son. They smell sooo good!

    ReplyDelete

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