I get so excited for the day after Thanksgiving when we forgo the nuttiness of the holiday shopping, opting instead for a trip to a local tree farm to cut down our Christmas tree. I’m often tempted to buy new ornaments to decorate the tree with, but last week began thinking about some fun ornaments that could be made at home.

Since I LOVE the smell of cinnamon during the holidays, I decided on some cinnamon applesauce ornaments. These leave a luscious fragrance, require no baking, and can be used for multiple purposes.

So I set out to make them… and the house instantly smelled like Christmas!


Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir carefully until well blended.
  2. Scoop dough onto a cookie sheet and flatten with your hands until dough is about ⅓ or ¼ inch thick. (Don’t flatten more than this or ornaments will be too thin and can break easily.)
  3. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes, removing excess dough as you work. Continue until all dough is used. Poke holes into the top of each ornament with a small straw or other tool.
  4. After shapes are cut out, leave ornaments alone for about 10 hours. Very carefully flip ornaments every 10-12 hours until completely dry. This will take about 2-3 days.
  5. Decorate ornaments or just leave plain and tie a ribbon or string through the top of each one.

Helpful Tips

You will want to work quickly because the dough gets very sticky the more you work with it. Try dusting your hands with cinnamon before working with the dough, or add a little more cinnamon or cloves if dough is too sticky. Choose simple cookie cutter shapes that will be easier to work with (the small stars I tried to cut out were tricky with this sticky dough).

When I dried the ornaments on a discolored cookie sheet a chemical reaction took place that transferred the discoloration of the pan onto one side of the ornaments. I had a (mostly) silver pan again, but blackened ornaments. So be sure to dry them on parchment paper-lined pans or newer cookie sheets to avoid discoloration.

If you don’t want to wait 2-3 days for the ornaments to dry, you can bake them in the oven at 150° for 1-2 hours.


You can also use a dehydrator to dry the ornaments. Just make sure you have a smooth rack that fits into your dehydrator so the ornaments don’t end up with indentations from the slotted racks.

Decorating and Using Your Applesauce Ornaments

Once my ornaments were dry, I pulled out a few craft supplies to decorate with. I chose glitter, jewels, acrylic paint, and some Elmer’s Glue to help things stick.

Here are a few glittery ornaments, using Elmer’s Glue and glitter.

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments 1

I’m a sucker for all things bejeweled… including Christmas ornaments.

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments 2

Personalized ornaments can be used as gift tags. Using acrylic paint and a small brush worked much better than glue for this purpose.

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments 3

These make a cute (and sweet smelling) addition to a pretty package!

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments 4

This makes a great holiday craft for kids since the recipe is so simple. They will especially love decorating the ornaments with paint or other unique craft supplies. Add buttons, beads, ribbon, or anything else you can think of! (Just don’t cover the WHOLE thing with paint, or the cinnamon scent will be lost.)

In addition to decorating my tree with these and topping gifts with them, I’m considering adding them to Christmas wreaths, hanging one in my closet, and maybe even hiding one in my car so I can enjoy the cinnamon fragrance on the go!


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Comments

  1. Brian D. says

    Wow, we would make these the day after Thanksgiving to kick off the Holiday Season. I had forgotten about these little guys. Looks like I’ll be rebooting this family favorite! Thank you so much!

  2. Charli Beyma says

    How do these stand up to humidity? I made salt dough ornaments with my kids one year and had to discard them the next year due to mold. Also, how bug resistant are they. Since it doesn’t get cold here I’m worried that the sugar in the applesauce will attract ants.

    • says

      Cinnamon can actually be used as a natural insect repellent for ants, so you don’t have to worry about this. As far as mold, make sure to dry them completely and if you plan to use them again be sure to store someplace with the least amount of humidity possible.

    • Nancy says

      Also make sure that you coat your salt dough ornaments with some sort of clear coating such as modge podge or a spray on lacquer, or clear nail polish works too. This seals the dough and guards against humidity. Our have lasted 10 years now. Without it, their likely to mold no matter where you live :)

    • Rebecca says

      Long ago I made dough ornaments and elaborately painted them…popcorn strings on the trees, tiny striped candy caneson the trees, ornaments with great details, etc. I used airplane enamel paint. Who would have thought that enamel paint would not seal them. I moved the tree into a vacant room in an old Victorian house we were living in…Mississippi humidity ruined them. I had covered the tree with a sheet to protect from dust. During the summer, I noticed flecks of something on the floor. I uncovered the tree and saw that most of my ornaments were almost bare and the paint had fallen off like a husk. Talk about tears! Lesson learned!!! (I saved those husks of paint for a long time. LOL)

      Also, Aleene’s Tacky Glue used in making bread dough will keep out bugs. That is part of their guarantee.

      • says

        Lol! I can relate to the disappointment of a ruined DIY project and saving the remains for a long time! Part of the grieving process, right? ;-)

  3. says

    I’ve never had them go moldy… my mom has some that are at least 10 years old and still smell wonderful. :)

    As long as they are completely dry they ought to be fine.

  4. René says

    Oh yeah! I’m sooo going to make these as gift tags! Especially since I’m MAKING all of my gifts this year! Love it.

  5. Stefanie says

    I may have overlooked this part, but when do you poke the pin hole in the ornament? Before drying or after? I want to make these this weekend!! :)

    • Betsy Jabs says

      Make sure to poke the holes BEFORE drying, or you run the risk of breaking the ornaments when they are dry. Depending on how you want to hang them when dry, make sure your holes are large enough. Straws work well if you want to tie ribbon through the top. Have fun!

  6. LISA SALCIUS says

    approximately how many does this batch make>>???….im thinking of making these for my sons first grade class christmas party…and i want to make sure i have enough for the whole class to decorate…….

    • says

      It really depends on the size of your cookie cutters and how thin they are rolled. I used a few small cookie cutters, rolled them 1/4 inch, and ended up with about 20 ornaments (after breaking 1 or 2). What a great idea for a class Christmas party!

  7. linda says

    I made these the other day and dried them in the oven. There are cracks in the surface of many, many of them. Is there a way to patch the cracks, or do I need to start over?

    • says

      What a bummer Linda. :( If the cracks can be covered by adding glitter, beads, or another decoration, then that would be easier than starting over. You might also be able to patch the cracks by mixing up a tiny bit of the applesauce/cinnamon mixture and filling the cracks w/ this, then allowing them to air dry.

  8. Rosie says

    To keep from getting really sticky fingers while making this stuff, put the applesauce, cinnamon, and white glue (I always add a bit of this to keep the ornaments from crumbling after they dry.) in a ziplock bag, shut it, and squeeze the contents around while they’re in the bag.

  9. Rebecca says

    When you store your ornaments, do you wrap them in something to protect them…like maybe parchment paper or tissue paper?