Cinnamon Ornaments. A Simple Craft for the Holiday
During a time of year when mass produced, environmentally unfriendly, and personality-free items are consumed more than ever, it’s incredibly refreshing to keep things not only handmade but simple! This becomes especially important once kids are involved, due to the unique combination of immense creativity and short attention span that the youngest of us often have.
Homemade apple cinnamon ornaments make a great craft for families with kids, and are particularly fun for young children – they’re simple to make, easy to personalize, don’t involve glitter or glue, and the dough is harmless if it’s accidentally ingested. An added bonus of this DIY project is that the ornaments smell fantastic, and will continue to add cinnamon-y goodness to your home during the holidays for years to come…
To make your own, you’ll need very few supplies. Begin by making the dough using:
- 1 cup of applesauce
- 1 ¼ cups of cinnamon
Stir the two ingredients together in a mixing bowl. If it’s especially sticky, shake in some extra cinnamon and let some little hands knead it into the dough until it holds its shape a bit more. After you’re done mixing, chill the dough in the freezer (or outside!) for 15-20 minutes. Once the dough is chilled, sprinkle some cinnamon onto a flat surface and roll some out on top of it. Once you’ve flattened it into a ¼ inch pancake, cut it into shapes using cookie cutters – the metal kind works best. Use a toothpick or kebab skewer to embellish the ornaments if you want, and don’t forget to poke holes in them so that you’ll be able to hang them later on. Place the ornaments onto baking sheets and bake at 200 degrees for 1.5-2 hours. To avoid burning the bottoms of your ornaments, use a sheet of parchment paper underneath them. Most non-stick baking sheets should work fine, but if your cookies tend to be dark on the bottom it’s best to add some parchment. You’ll know that the ornaments are done when they’ve hardened. Place them on a cooling rack, and add loops of festive ribbon, string, or yarn later on!
Even young children can help out with most of the steps involved in the process, and they’ll love adding personal touches to the ornaments. Kids can try their hand at forming their own unique ornaments by modifying the shapes made by cookie cutters or using a butter knife or jam spreader to cut out something entirely new. Try stringing a few shapes together, or tracing a personalized message or the year onto larger ones. Traced handprints make excellent gifts, and if you make the project an annual event, your holiday decorations can include a collection of handprints illustrating your children’s growth throughout their childhood.
[Photo credit: (c) Fettle Vegan]