3-Ingredient Cinnamon Ornaments

Jump to recipe

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/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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
        1. Ann Post author

          Good point, Laurie. And someone just commented below that she made hers when she was in 3rd grade and she’s 14 now and it still smells amazing!

          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
  11. Dana

    Can you make the cinnamon/applesauce/glue dough ahead of time? I have 28 students and in the past, it has taken a lot of time in order to get each student’s ornament cut out because we only have a certain time each day we can devote to class Ornaments during class. I was thinking I could have the dough already made and then it would go much faster.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Dana, Wrapping the dough well should prevent it from drying out and keep it soft and pliable. I think if you do that you will be fine to make it in advance…and such a fun class project!

      Reply
  12. Patti

    For the cinnamon, it states a 4oz container or a cup? 4oz is only half a cup. I need to make a lot and I’m going to buy the cinnamon in bulk. Do you use the 4oz or do you measure out a cup?

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Patti, Cinnamon is much lighter than liquids and other solids, so this is why the measurement does not appear to be standard. For this reason I was sure to provide both measurements and hopefully avoid confusion. The recipe should multiply well – simply stick with the same proportions.

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Liz, One cup is 8 liquid ounces but that doesn’t apply to everything. Cinnamon is so powdery that, cup for cup, it weighs less than water and many other solids…sort of like once cup of all purpose flour weighs less than 8 ounces. Hope that helps!

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Christine, As I mention in the recipe, we got 11 standard-size ornaments from the pictured batch. Then 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 this helps!

      Reply
  13. Holly

    HI! I would love to make these with my preschool class, but there is someone in our school deathly allergic to cinnamon so we try to keep it out as much as possible. Is there any way to make these ornaments without cinnamon. Maybe a nutmeg/ginger combination?

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Holly, That’s a really good question. I am optimistic that spices like nutmeg and ginger, which are ground to a consistency much like cinnamon, would work. To make sure, I’d try a small sample batch. If you do, please report back, as others may run into the same allergy – and you may just solve the problem for them!

      Reply
  14. Druw Hodge

    We are doing a class experiment with this recipe. However, our class is only 45 minutes long. Where can we store this so we can use this the next day? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Perhaps there’s some free shelf space where you could place the baking sheets? Good luck with the experiment!

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Terrie, I’ve mentioned in some of the other comments that 4 ounces of cinnamon is actually about 1 cup. Because of its powdery consistency, it weighs less than 1/2 cup (or 4 ounces) of liquid. If you measure out the contents of a 4-ounce container of cinnamon, it will make sense. I hope this helps and that you enjoy them!

      Reply
  15. Sheila

    Thank you so much for the recipe! My daughter and I will be making these tomorrow morning for my grandson’s 1st grade class!

    Mrs. Erin, the teacher, had all the kiddos color their own pic of a gingerbread man, then they all marched off to gym class. Upon their return all the gingerbread men disappeared, lol.

    Mrs. Erin has parents and friends writing to the class telling them the gingerbread men have been spotted all over the country, lol.

    Magically the children’s colorings will return on Wednesday and so will our renditions of their colorings, except now they will be ornaments!

    Thank you again!!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Shelia, I just love this! Thanks so much for sharing and have so much fun. I know the children will! I especially like the part about the sitings! 🙂

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Kati, Like any dough, they can stick. Short of parchment, I’d try wax paper or flour your work surface. The latter will cause the one side to have some white dust clinging to it, so you could even try “flouring” with extra cinnamon. Most grocery stores carry rolls of parchment near the plastic and other wraps, so to be safe you could pick up a roll when you buy the cinnamon if you haven’t already.

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Kristie, I’ve never had a problem or received reports of any problems. If you’re concerned, it wouldn’t hurt to store them in an airtight container.

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      That would be prefect, Patti. The ornaments are rather sturdy, but a layer of parchment, paper towel or tissue paper will protect any decorations.

      Reply
  16. Nancy

    Just the recipe I was looking for! I have 2 ornaments that my son made probably 24 or 25 years ago when he was in kindergarten-and they still smell amazing! I’m planning on making them this year with the residents in the care home I work in. I’m hoping that the cinnamon scent helps bring back memories especially with the dementia residents… thank you for sharing…

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Your comment made my day, Nancy. I love that your son’s ornaments still smell good after so many years. My heart is also warmed that you will be making these with the residents you work with. What a wonderful activity that will be, and I love the thought that the scent may bring back memories, especially with the dementia patients.

      Reply
  17. MariaTere'z Williams

    Looking at ornaments this year and found the bell my son made over 30 years ago. This year I want to make some for a few ladies at church. Found your recipe and made my list. Tomorrow I will get to baking. Happy Holidays !

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I bet that bell ornament brought back wonderful memories! How thoughtful of you to make these for some of the women at your church. I’m sure they will be much appreciated. Happy holidays to you, too!

      Reply
      1. Debbi Cook

        We decided to make beads in place of cookie shapes. We rolled the beads and put a hole through the center. Once air dried (4 to 5 days) we painted them with poster paints (red and white /green and white sprayed a clear coat over & strung on twine and put on our tree. They smell fantastic..

        Reply