3-Ingredient Cinnamon Ornaments

By Ann Fulton

Jump to recipe More on Instagram

Three simple ingredients come together for a project that’s fun for adults and kids alike. Once dried, you can decorate as desired or opt for a rustic look. Great as a gift and the aroma will last for years! 

 

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.

Three simple ingredients come together for a project that's fun for adults and kids alike. Once dried, you can decorate as desired or opt for a rustic look. Great as a gift and the aroma will last for years! 

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.

Three simple ingredients come together for a project that's fun for adults and kids alike. Once dried, you can decorate as desired or opt for a rustic look. Great as a gift and the aroma will last for years! 

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.

Three simple ingredients come together for a project that's fun for adults and kids alike. Once dried, you can decorate as desired or opt for a rustic look. Great as a gift and the aroma will last for years! 

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
  • ¾ 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 ¾ 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 ⅜-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℉ oven for 1½ 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 & Options

*Note that 4 ounces of powdery ground cinnamon is equal to 1 cup, not a half cup as with a liquid measure.

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.

Tried this recipe?Post a picture on instagram and we will repost it! Mention @fountainavenuekitchen or tag #fountainavenuekitchen!
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

Leave a Reply

Make it? Rate the recipe:

Your email address will not be published.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

Comments

  1. JaneC

    I just found your recipe. I’ve seen others using just cinnamon and applesauce. I want to make a small gingerbread type house. Does adding the glue make it stronger?

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I believe it does, Jane. I haven’t made these with just cinnamon and applesauce to truly gauge the difference, but the ornaments made with this recipe are quite sturdy. I love the idea of using for a house!

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      I haven’t used water in place of the applesauce, Rocio, so I’m not sure if the ornaments would be as sturdy that way. If you try, you might want to test with a half batch, and feel free to report back if you do.

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Samantha, I’ve only used white (Elmer’s) glue, so I can’t guarantee results with something different. If you want to use something different, I’d make a small test batch to be sure. If you try, I’d love to hear what you used and how it worked.

      Reply
  2. Melissa

    Can you give me a comparison texture to look/feel for? I think I got our first batch right but it seemed a bit…wet? Is that right? Also, side note, don’t use tacky glue like I did for our FIRST first batch that I will not be admitting to anyone but you all.

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Haha, Melissa. We won’t tell. ; ) Think of the dough as a pie dough or firmer pizza dough. You want to be able to roll it out without sticking. If it’s too wet, the dough will even stick to the parchment paper. Most of the tall, standard-size containers of cinnamon contain between 2 and 2½ ounces (as opposed to the short alternatives that contain about ½ to ¾ ounce). So you’ll want to look at the weight on the container you have on hand (or purchase) to be sure you have enough cinnamon for the project. I hope this helps. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

      Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Venita, There really isn’t a problem with rolling the ornaments thinner. They will be a little less sturdy, although they will dry faster.

      Reply