Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments - easy to make, in-expensive, and fun for kids!

Several years ago, BC (that's Before Children), I was teaching private Art Lessons in my home to children and adults of all ages.  While most of the lessons were about developing our skills and understanding of art....we also found the time to have a lot of fun! At Christmas we made these super easy, fun, and DELICIOUS smelling ornaments with a very simple recipe!

You need...

1 cup Applesauce
1 1/2 cups Cinnamon
1/4 cup White School Glue

The 4 oz jar of cinnamon gave me about 1 cup.  Luckily I had one other container!  (this is a great opportunity to try those $1 spices at Family Dollar or the Dollar know the ones you always question...because they're only a dollar?)

Mix everything together - I started with a spatula and quickly switched to kneading it with my hands - it's pretty tough dough!

And in a few minutes you get a lovely ball of brown dough!  Let this sit for 20-40 minutes.  A great time to gather up your will need

rolling pins
cookies cutters
a drinking straw
various implements to make patterns
wax paper

I actually found most of these things in with our big tub of play doh!

So here is my son Jack trying to grasp what I am asking him to do.  ROLL the dough Jack...we are making ORNAMENTS.

See? No problem! Of course you don't want it too thin - maybe 1/4 inch thick, and consistent in thickness.  And, although my son is a fairly intelligent, I did have to remind him not to eat the dough several times (I'd also like to take a moment to say that since these pictures were taken, he has gotten a hair cut...why do you never see how long your kid's hair is until you see it in a photo?!?!)

Once you roll the dough, make your shapes! Jack started with this cute Penguin cookie cutter.  He then used the drinking straw to make a hole where the eye would be.  Be sure to explain that the hole should not be right on the edge!

As you line up all of your pretty ornaments on wax paper (I used a metal spatula to transfer them to cookie trays) you can add some detail with whatever tools you find - I used this allen wrench to make these little hexagons.  I could either leave them as-is or fill them with little decorative beads later.

So now you have about 2 cookie trays filled with ornaments! Yay! You can either let them air dry for about 48 hours, or put them in a 200 degree oven for about 2 hours.  We let ours sit over-night (I flipped them occassionally to help them dry flat) and then baked them a little bit the next day so we could start painting. 

This is one great bonus of these ornaments - they smell AWESOME!

Some things you want to gather for decorating...

newspaper or paper plates to paint on
lots of small brushes and water
paper towels
craft paint
glitter glue
and whatever else you want to add! I was wishing I had some pretty lace that I could use to make patterns on them somehow...maybe by painting the lace and pressing it on the ornament?
There's always more things to try!

So Ari woke up from her nap, and she joined right in - grabbing a brush and...painting right over my ornaments! O well....she's 2.  What can you do?  She was very happy with hearts and butterflies!

Jack decided to label each ornament with the first letters of his friend's and teacher's names...they will make cute gifts for his class.

Here are a few of the finished ornaments!  We are going to add our ornament hangers and we'll be all set.

I also think they look very pretty without a lot of paint (but it's hard to tell the kids that!) I tied a few of them to some of my Angel Cards, ready to give as little extras to teachers, classroom moms and friends!

I've checked a few other websites for cinnamon ornament ideas, and some recipes eliminate the glue, or add extra spices such as nutmeg.  This very versatile recipe can be used in a lot of different ways.  Have fun!


Alyice said...

Such a cutie your kid is! We made cinnamon ornaments last year, fun!

Krystyna81 said...

Thank you kiddo is a keeper :)