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Super Easy Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments

Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments
Super Easy Cinnamon Dough OrnamentsHomemade Cinnamon Ornaments Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments
Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments

I don’t know what it is about Christmas that brings out the raging craft monster in me, but it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’m covered head to toe in glitter and glue for the entire month of December.

There are so many craft projects that I could never “find time” for during the rest of the year that magically bubble up to the top of the priority list come Black Friday. Suddenly my brain is like, “Oh yeah, I know you have a deadline for an article, but the most important thing right now is for you to drink eggnog, listen to Christmas music, and use lots of glitter. It’s vital. The world will end if there isn’t glitter.”

One of the fun craft projects I took on this past weekend was making cinnamon ornaments. If you’ve never made cinnamon ornaments, they’re crazy easy, smell amazing, and last for pretty much forever.

They’re meant to look like gingerbread, but unlike the regular cookie version with sugar and butter and eggs and all that perishable stuff, these ornaments are made from only three ingredients—ground cinnamon, unsweetened applesauce, and craft glue—which helps them last for pretty much ever. You mix it all together into a dough, cut it out just like regular cookies, dry, decorate, and hang. And you have a bunch of amazing smelling ornaments that will last for years and years!

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Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments

Making these is a super fun project with kids (keep in mind: although the dough isn’t toxic, it also isn’t edible, and keeping little fingers from nibbling might be tricky—you can leave out the craft glue if you want). Juni really got into making these this year, and it’s nice to have some fun homemade keepsakes on our tree that we can look back on and say, “Hey, remember that chilly afternoon when we brought out the puffy paints and glitter glue?”

There are a million different recipes and processes out there for how to make cinnamon ornaments, but let me show you how we did ours. Let’s get to crafting! I’m going to do a full tutorial first, but you can scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable version if you prefer.

First up, as any good crafter knows, gather your stuff. You probably have just about everything you need already in the house.

cinnamon ornaments

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1-1/2 cup ground cinnamon (look for the cheap, off-brand stuff, you aren’t gonna eat it)
  • 2 tablespoons craft glue, optional (I think this makes the ornaments a bit more sturdy, but you can do without it)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Drinking straw
  • Plastic wrap
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking racks and baking sheets
  • Cookie cutters
  • Sandpaper
  • Oven, food dehydrator, or just an out-of-the-way spot (for drying)
  • Glitter, puffy paints, rhinestones, etc. for decorating, optional
  • Ribbon or hooks for hanging

As far as decorations go, these cinnamon ornaments can really be as simple (just plain dried dough on a pretty ribbon) or as crazy (GLITTTEERRRRR!) as you’d like. I really like the use of puffy paint, because I think it looks like big, thick, creamy frosting when dried.

Alright, onto making the dough. First step, the applesauce, cinnamon, and glue go into a mixing bowl.

cinnamon ornaments

And then dig in there with your hands. This really isn’t the job for a spoon, you’re gonna need your fingers to get it all mixed in.

cinnamon ornaments

Depending on a number of factors (wetness of applesauce, humidity, etc.), you might need to add more applesauce or more cinnamon to make the dough come together. You want it to be just a touch dry (because it’ll dry faster), but you also want it to hold together enough to roll and cut.

cinnamon dough

When you can form it into a big ole ball, you’re done mixing. Go wash your hands.

cinnamon ornament dough

Now it’s time to roll. To keep things clean and easy, I just take a hunk of dough (maybe 1/3 of the whole ball) and place it between two sheets of plastic wrap.

cinnamon ornmanets

Now roll. You’re looking for a thickness between 1/3″ and 1/2″. The thinner you go, the quicker it will dry and the more ornaments you can get out of a batch, but it also makes them more fragile and less likely to last from year to year. They also tend to curl the thinner they are. I prefer a thicker ornament (even though it takes longer to dry—womp).

cinnamon ornaments

Remove the top layer of plastic wrap (set it aside to use on the next batch of dough), and then go at it with your cookie cutters.

cinnamon ornaments

Before you transfer your ornaments to baking racks, take the straw and poke holes where you want them to hang from.

cinnamon ornmanet

Unfortunate gunshot wound gingerbread man.

cinnamon ornament

Once all the ornaments are cut out, they go onto a baking rack on a cookie sheet, if you want to bake them to dry them.

cinnamon ornaments

There are three methods that work for drying the ornaments:

  • Baking: Pop the ornaments on a baking rack on top of a baking sheet in a 200° oven for about 2-1/2 hours until the ornaments are dry and hard. This is the fastest method, but it also results in a little bit of curling and bubbling.
  • Food Dehydrator: Place the ornaments on the racks of a food dehydrator, and dry at the highest setting for about 6 hours.
  • Air Dry: You can just put these ornaments on baking racks and dry them in an out-of-the-way place. This method takes a few days, and obviously works best in dry climates (I wouldn’t try this method at the beach house in Florida). We can get our ornaments dry in about three days on top of the fridge.

I’m usually pretty impatient, so we almost always bake them.

oven cinnamon ornaments

After a glorious, snowy day nap with the scent of cinnamon wafting around, these ornaments were ready to get glammed up. Just let them cool out of the oven, and then you can start decorating. Or, if you prefer, you can just tie a pretty ribbon through the hole now and hang them.

But we glittered the heck of these guys.

cinnamon ornaments

You might notice that the edges of the ornaments look a little rough.

cinnamon ornament

Nothing a quick buff with a fine-grit sandpaper won’t cure.

cinnamon ornament

Then let your creativity go wild. If you like the shimmery, snow-fallen look, I highly recommend picking up an extra fine translucent glitter to go over everything. It makes everything look like it was kissed by a sunny snowy day.

glitter cinnamon ornaments

This recipe makes about 20 or so medium-sized ornaments.

ornaments

Because we were heavy-handed with the glitter glue and puffy paints, we let them dry out on the kitchen table overnight.

cinnamon ornaments

And then we strung the cinnamon ornaments with coordinating ribbon the next morning.

cinnamon ornament

And wrote the year on the back with a Sharpie. Because it’s always nice to know when something handmade was handmade. I have a handmade ornament on our tree that I made in Kindergarten, and I always get a kick out of seeing the year “1989” on the back.

cinnamon ornament

And up on the tree they all went.

cinnamon ornament tree christmas

Making these was so fun and so delicious smelling that this might have to be a new yearly tradition for us. Although our 9′ tree is so packed with ornaments (as you can see), that we might have to get a second one just for a cinnamon ornaments!

Happy crafting!

Print
Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments

super easy homemade cinnamon ornaments


  • Author: Cassie Johnston
  • Yield: 20 medium ornaments

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1-1/2 cup ground cinnamon (look for the cheap, off-brand stuff, you aren’t gonna eat it)
  • 2 tablespoons craft glue, optional (I think this makes the ornaments a bit more sturdy, but you can do without it)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Drinking straw
  • Plastic wrap
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking racks and baking sheets
  • Cookie cutters
  • Sandpaper
  • Oven, food dehydrator, or just a spot out-of-the-way (for drying)
  • Glitter, puffy paints, rhinestones, etc. for decorating, optional
  • Ribbon or hooks for hanging

Instructions

  1. Mix the applesauce, cinnamon, and glue in a mixing bowl. You’ll probably need to stir with your hands, as a spoon won’t get the job gone. Add more applesauce or cinnamon if needed – you want the dough to be a touch dry, but it still needs to hold together when you roll it out. When the dough can be formed into a ball, you are done mixing. Wash your hands.
  2. Place 1/3 of the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap, and use the rolling pin to roll the dough to 1/4″ – 1/3″ thick.
  3. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap and use cookie cutters to cut out ornaments. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  4. Use the straw to poke holes for hanging in each ornament.
  5. There are three methods that work for drying the ornaments:

Baking:

  1. Pop the ornaments on a baking rack on top of a baking sheet in a 200° oven for about 2-1/2 hours until the ornaments are dry and hard. This is the fastest method, but it also results in a little bit of curling and bubbling.

Food Dehydrator:

  1. Place the ornaments on the racks of a food dehydrator, and dry at the highest setting for about 6 hours.

Air Dry:

  1. You can easily just put these ornaments on baking racks and dry them in an out-of-the-way place. This method takes a few days, and obviously works best in dry climates (I wouldn’t try this method at the beach house in Florida).

To Finish:

  1. When the ornaments are completely dry and cooled, buff the edges with fine-grit sandpaper (optional). Decorate however you’d like, then string the ornaments on a ribbon. Write the year on the back with a Sharpie.
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56 comments

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  • Holly SAYS

    Wow! These are absolutely gorgeous! They look like they came from a store they are so perfect. You have a great attention to detail. I’m saving this for future use. Maybe for gifts next year!

  • Kristin SAYS

    These are awesome. This is my first year with my own full sized Christmas tree so I’ve been making a ton of ornaments to fill it with. These would be a great addition. I may just have to make some this weekend! Glad to see you are back to the blog too! I missed your posts :)

  • Kelly SAYS

    These are so fun! And I love how the tree one came out, heck, I love them all and all.the.glitter!

  • Shauna SAYS

    I love these! I especially love that Rory’s ornament includes her ladybeard. :)

    Is the leg lamp an actual cookie cutter or did you do it the same way you did Rory and Sookie’s? If it’s an actual cookie cutter, I need to find one! And make a bunch of leg lamp cookies and ornaments!

  • Shauna SAYS

    Yay! It worked! I think I had too many things running on my iPad. Poor Katniss.

  • Oooh my goodness these are so cute!!! I couldn’t put them on my tree though- Lance and Jackson would DEFINITELY eat them. :)

  • Deirdre SAYS

    I was hoping for a post after I saw your photo on Instagram! :)

  • After my parents got divorced I was really upset that my dad didn’t have any Christmas ornaments. He and I made a batch of these together 19 years ago that he still hangs on his tree. It might just be time for me to make my own. Thanks for a fun trip down memory lane :)

  • Andrea SAYS

    What temp and how long did you bake these for?

    • Cassie SAYS

      There are three methods that work for drying the ornaments:

      Baking: Pop the ornaments on a baking rack on top of a baking sheet in a 200° oven for about 2-1/2 hours until the ornaments are dry and hard. This is the fastest method, but it also results in a little bit of curling and bubbling.
      Food Dehydrator: Place the ornaments on the racks of a food dehydrator, and dry at the highest setting for about 6 hours.
      Air Dry: You can easily just put these ornaments on baking racks and dry them in an out-of-the-way place. This method takes a few days, and obviously works best in dry climates (I wouldn’t try this method at the beach house in Florida).

      • Amy SAYS

        I used to make these with my students in Florida. It took a few days to dry, but they dried just fine. Flip them every day and they should be finished in 2-4 days.

  • Pamela SAYS

    Oops!
    I mixed the glitter in the dough and it turned out amazing!!’ We added lots of top too and then put back the plastic wrap to press them with the rolling pin… Extremely shimmery!
    We did it to discourage the toddlers at the daycare from eating them and it definitely worked!

  • Kaila SAYS

    Wow!! what a terrific idea you have. Your such a creative person.
    I really like this one and maybe I’ll try this one this holiday.
    Anyway, thanks for sharing :)

  • Nora SAYS

    How long can you hold this dough before using it? Can you make it a day beforehand? .

  • Carol SAYS

    These look amazing. Do they smell of cinnamon?

  • Marion SAYS

    How many ornaments does this recipe make?

  • Connie Vautz SAYS

    Any idea how many ornaments (roughly) this recipe makes? I am looking to make about 21 gingerbread men. Thanks!

    • Cassie SAYS

      My gingerbread man cookie cutter is on the smaller side (about 2 1/2″ high) and I can easily get two dozen out of the recipe. :)

  • Gaye SAYS

    I’m a school volunteer, and I made these for the kindergarten teacher to give her class this holiday season. They started the year by reading “The Gingerbread Man” and touring the school. Gingerbread Man has remained the class’ mascot.

  • Katie SAYS

    Safe to bake glue??

  • Renee SAYS

    Love this! Would the texture of this dough work for a foot or hand imprint? If not I could use paint on a flat cookie, but I just love an impression, lol!

    • Cassie SAYS

      Sure would!

    • Cassie SAYS

      One and a half cups of cinnamon? As in 12 ounces?! I see you only have 2 containers of cinnamon in your picture.. Aren’t those about 3-4oz each? So did you use 3-4 containers?
      Also we cut the recipe down and made some tonight and it’s like death by cinnamon over here. Am I the only one? Did we do something wrong? Haha excited to decorate tomorrow if we survive ;)

  • Kelli SAYS

    Could you mix in some flour o use less cinnamon?

    • Cassie SAYS

      I’ve never tried it! Let me know how it works out if you end up trying it.

    • Erin SAYS

      I did this as a preschool project and we ran out of cinnamon and it was too sticky to work with still. So I added flour and it seemed to turn out fine. The whole room still smelled good.

  • Bobie SAYS

    My kids made these last night and we let them dry over night. Can I stick them in the oven today to speed up the process? Or is it once you leave them out to dry you have continue it that way?

  • Anita SAYS

    I have been making these for years. Became a family tradition to send them to school with my kids for their classmates. Now, we do it with grand kids. However, I never used glue in mine and they last forever.

  • Jordan Paul SAYS

    These are so lovely & rustic, I am totally making them with my daughter this weekend, can’t wait!

    Our favourite craft to make & gift is the clothespeg ‘snowflakes’ & then the stars made with the hinges. We glue them together, paint them, then glitter them up, both the wooden part & the metal hinge stars, & then string them & hang them, they look amazing! I’m sorry I don’t have a picture for you on this computer, but they are on Pinterest & you can find if you google too. All the components are from the dollar store, so it fits in our budget, & we have loved to have a unique teacher/co-worker/hostess gift. We started by just paint & glittering in snowflake colours but then we decided to kind of go nuts, so we’ve done them in turquoise, green, burgundy, silve & gold, you name it. The white looks beautiful, but the colours have been so much fun to put together!

  • Jo Ann SAYS

    Fantastic way to make permanent cookies

  • Kristy SAYS

    Those are beautiful ornaments!! Was the leg lamp a cookie cutter or did you make it yourself?

  • Nancy SAYS

    Does the glitter stick to the dry ornament or did you have to go over it with glue first?

  • Rachel SAYS

    I’m wondering if these would dry if left out on parchment paper instead of on a baking rack?

    • Cecilia SAYS

      I’ve made these before and dried them on waxed paper, so parchment should work fine. It does take longer, though.

  • Kimberly SAYS

    I’m trying to print this recipe…please help.
    Thanks!

  • Kim SAYS

    I have these in the oven today!! Going to make a beautiful addition to my primitive christmas tree this year. I am making all the ornaments for it.

  • Tammy SAYS

    Hello do you know where I can find a female gingerbread Cookie cutter I have a male would love a female

    • Donna Peek SAYS

      Amazon sells family sets of gingerbread people. Just list gingerbread cookie cutters and several sets will pop up. Wilton has a dad, a son, a daughter, and a mom set.

  • Makayla Powell SAYS

    This is a very good way to make cheaper ornaments

  • Becky Bawks SAYS

    This recipe worked great! Not too sticky even with the added glue. We used glitter glue to decorate with instead of puffy paint and found it to be a good choice for us.

  • Joan Lynch SAYS

    What kind of puffy paint did you use

  • Janette SAYS

    Could you use sweetened applesauce in this recipe?

  • Beth SAYS

    They were perfect! I did have to add about another 1/2 cup of applesauce. I used sweetened because that’s what i had. I also added 1 tsp cloves and 1 tsp nutmeg and a drop of cinnamon oil

  • Leslie SAYS

    Does the recipe call for 1 and 1/2 cups or 1 to 1/2 cup of cinnamon?

  • Christine SAYS

    Do you need to spray the finished ornaments with anything so they keep for future years?

  • deb c SAYS

    I had a blast making a batch for gifts…..stuck them in the dehydrator at 145….it probably ran for 18 hours…I was also drying some dog biscuits at the time. They may have been done earlier, who knows, I don’t worry about it….you can’t over-dry dry! My house smells amazing! Thanks for the fun recipe! Merry Christmas !!!

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