3-Ingredient Cinnamon Ornaments

Choosing the right gifts for the many special people in our lives can be a daunting task. What present will be just right? Ultimately, the quest can be time-consuming and expensive, sometimes adding more stress than joy to the holiday season.

And let’s face it. Even the most well-intentioned gifts are often stuffed in a drawer or closet, never to be used or enjoyed.

When my boys were little, we’d pick a craft that they could make on their own (perhaps with a little help from Mom) and the recipient could put to good use. Projects ranged from pinecone birdfeeders to hand painted picture frames. Christmas tree ornaments were always a safe bet. Rather than becoming clutter, ornaments can go straight to the tree.

In addition to their clear purpose, handcrafted ornaments improve with age. As the years go by, who doesn’t love to look back on crafts made by the precious hands of a young child—or even a teenager for that matter? They take us back to an earlier time and place, rekindling memories that bolster the holiday spirit.

My children were always proud to give gifts that they created instead of bought. Even now that they’re older and have a little spending money of their own, we still brainstorm something to make for their dad and grandparents each year. In addition to being practical and thoughtful, it’s become a fun tradition.

The following recipe uses a combination of pantry and household items to create a dough that can be rolled out and cut into a variety of shapes and sizes. The shapes dry into sturdy, long-lasting ornaments that aren’t edible but smell wonderful. Left unadorned, they have a rustic look, but for added fun, they can be decorated in a variety of ways. We love the addition of some festive sparkle. Use them as a gift topper or a present in and of themselves.

3-Ingredient Cinnamon Ornaments

First, you roll out the simple dough. I like to roll it between 2 pieces of parchment paper to approximately 3/8-inch thickness. (You can make thicker ornaments; they will simply take a little longer to dry out.) After cutting into desired shapes with your favorite cookie cutters, use a straw, skewer, piping tip or pencil to punch a hole near the top of the ornament for a ribbon.

3-Ingredient Cinnamon Ornaments

For the drying process, you’ll want to place the ornaments on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  As I transfer them, I use my finger to soften any rough edges. Depending on how soon you wish to decorate, you can use the oven or air-dry method for this.

3-Ingredient Cinnamon Ornaments

Once dry, decorate as desired and then insert a ribbon through the hole for hanging.

3-Ingredient Cinnamon Ornaments (bake and no-bake options)
Glue is used to make the ornaments sturdy and prevent crumbling, so while they are inedible, these fun-to-make ornaments will last for years to come.
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) applesauce (plus a few tablespoons as needed)
  • 1 (4-ounce) container ground cinnamon (or about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) white liquid glue (such as Elmer’s glue)
Extra Supplies
  • Twine or ribbon for hanging
  • Straw, skewer, pencil or piping tip to make hole
  • Royal icing, glitter glue, small beads, etc., for decorating
Instructions
  1. Mix together the 3/4 cup applesauce, ground cinnamon, and glue until well combined. Add more applesauce, a tablespoon at a time, as needed, to form a soft dough. Knead with your hands until the dough is smooth.
  2. Roll out the dough. I like to roll it between 2 pieces of parchment paper to approximately 3/8-inch thickness. (You can make thicker ornaments; they will simply take a little longer to dry out.) Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Use a straw, skewer, piping tip or pencil to punch a hole near the top of the ornament for a ribbon. (Make sure to do this now. Once the ornaments have dried out, they will be too hard to make a hole.)
  3. Place the ornaments on a parchment-lined baking sheet. As I transfer them, I use my finger to soften any rough edges. Dry in a 200-degree F oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I usually flip them halfway through, but this isn’t critical. As an option, you may allow the ornaments to air dry for 3 to 4 days, flipping about once per day.
  4. Once dry, decorate as desired and then insert a ribbon through the hole for hanging.
Notes
  • To vary the aroma, ground cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and/or pumpkin pie spice can be mixed with the ground cinnamon.
  • We got 11 standard-size ornaments from our last batch. I used the scraps to make a few smaller shapes and a bunch of beads for my nieces to make necklaces. The yield will vary based on the thickness of the dough once rolled and the size of the cookie cutters used.
  • The recipe may be doubled if desired.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

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Comments

  1. Terry Post author

    I used to make these for our tree. One year my grandmother ended up living with us when she was in her 90’s. I came home from work one day and she informed me that my Christmas cookies didn’t taste very good. You just reminded me of that Christmas memory!

    Reply
  2. Susan

    So excited to see this- recipe is far more do-able for 9,7,&5 yr granddaughters! I could even make all then drive to CT with decorations, ribbons etc for them to finish with me!! So much safer than old salt/dough mix! Thanks

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      So much fun in store! Thanks for taking the time to comment, Susan. I hope your granddaughters enjoy them as much as we have!

      Reply
  3. Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens

    What a fun idea – and such gorgeous photos! I totally agree about how wonderful handmade ornaments are. Even now that my kiddos are teens, and they smirk at the lopsided ornaments they made as toddlers, I treasure those early artistic attempts so much! Making memories together while making special gifts to share – it’s a great combination! 😀

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Bet, It wouldn’t hurt and would certainly add some protection. That said, I have never done it, and the ornaments hold up quite well over the years.

      Reply
  4. Anna Rich

    Hi! I would love to make these for my Christmas party as a favor, so I’m just wondering how many ornaments this recipe will make?

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Anna, I mention in the recipe notes that I got 11 standard-size ornaments from the pictured batch. I used the scraps to make a few smaller shapes–and some beads for my nieces to make necklaces. The yield will vary based on the thickness of the dough once rolled and the size of the cookie cutters used, but that should give you a rough idea.

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Leslie, I really like royal icing and glitter glue pens, but you can definitely look around the craft store for other options.

      Reply
  5. Sharon

    Hi Ann! I can’t wait to make these with my kindergarten students! Can you make the dough in a Kitchen Aid or a bread maker on the dough setting, or must it be done by hand? Thanks so much!!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Sharon, This will be a wonderful class project. How great of you to organize it! I mix this by hand, but I think it would be fine to use a stand mixer. I don’t have a bread maker, so I’m not as familiar with how that might work. Have fun!

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Elaina, I mention in the recipe notes that, for the pictured batch, I got 11 standard-size ornaments from the first rolling of the dough. That time, I used the scraps to make a few smaller shapes and a bunch of beads for my nieces to make necklaces. The yield will vary based on the thickness of the dough once rolled and the size of the cookie cutters used. Hope that helps and that everyone enjoys!

      Reply
  6. Robin

    This is an awesome recipe. I love making these ornaments. I make them with my 2 & 3 year old Sunday school class. They love cutting out the ornaments and decorating them. I premix the dough, so all they have to do is cut them out and decorate. My great grand daughter loves to make these and helps mixing the dough. This is such a fun craft to do with the children and they smell so good. I highly recommend this for everyone. It’s a fun family thing to do for the holidays. Thank you for sharing this fun craft for making ornaments.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      You are most welcome, Robin! How wonderful of you to organize the project for your Sunday school classes. I’m sure the children were very proud of their ornaments!

      Reply
  7. Kay

    Hello! Thank you for this wonderful craft idea. My 9 year old daughter and I had so much fun making these for her classmates and teacher. We did not have any luck with the parchment paper. It kept leaving crease marks in the dough when rolled. Then I tried waxed freezer paper. Worked like a charm! Merry Christmas!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Kay, They do make such wonderful gifts for teachers and friends. I’m thrilled it was a fun project for you and your daughter. Thanks for mentioning your success with the waxed freezer paper, and Merry Christmas to you, too!

      Reply
  8. Holly

    Hi all, I am about to tell my age … My friends and I use to make these in the 1980s lol. We would make hearts and make holes for jute through to connect about 5 or 6 heart, then hang them in our kitchens

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      So you’re 29! 😉 Strands of hearts hanging in the kitchen would be so festive. I love that idea! Thanks so much for your comment, Holly.

      Reply
  9. Andrea

    My kids made these years ago in kindergarten. I loved them. I recently found that ants do not care for cinnamon, I plan on making several and hanging them from twine near my kitchen window in hopes of getting rid of the cinnamon sprinkled all over my counter. WISH me luck! LOL.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Your comment is so timely, Andrea, because I just heard the same thing a few days ago. I had not, however, connected that new piece of information with these ornaments. Such a great idea…and I hope it works!

      Reply
  10. Gerri Jacob

    How do I make hardened frosting for cinnamon ornaments. Also, is there recipes for white and translucent ornaments

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Gerri, Following is a link for royal icing, which creates the hard, smooth coating you want. I’m not sure what you mean by translucent ornaments, other than the glass balls that you can purchase and fill. If this isn’t what you’re referring to, feel free to provide more details and I’ll try to help!
      https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/royal-icing/

      Reply