Crafts for Kids Holiday Crafts

Published on December 17th, 2012 | by Julie Finn


How-to: Cinnamon Dough Ornaments that Smell Delicious and Last Forever

handmade holiday graphiccinnamon dough Christmas ornamentsCinnamon dough is as easy to make (and as fun play with!) as play dough, and the ornaments that you can make with cinnamon dough are both sturdy and sweet-smelling.

making ornaments from cinnamon doughHere’s the recipe:

  • 1 cup cinnamon (Speaking of cinnamon…have you ever made these cinnamon macadamia nut truffles? NOM!)
  • 3-5 t sweet smelling spices of your choosing (I prefer cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and pumpkin pie spice)
  • up to 1 cup applesauce (I find that the amount of applesauce it takes to make the dough really depends on my spices each year, or perhaps the humidity–some years I’ve only used 1/2 c applesauce, and some years I’ve needed a full cup)

Add all ingredients to a single bowl, and combine by hand. Kids usually LOVE to goop around in squishy mixtures, so the good news is that you’ll rarely need to do this messy mixing yourself. I’ve been making cinnamon dough since my older daughter was two years old, and I have never had to actually touch this mixture with my own hands!

For whatever reason, however, this dough does occasionally require some futzing. If it’s crumbly or wants to crack as you’re kneading it, then it needs more applesauce. If it’s sticky, it needs more spice. Ideally, when fully mixed it should be quite pliable and smooth–it won’t have quite the elasticity and texture of homemade play dough, but it should certainly be similar.

You can model with this cinnamon dough, but it’s really fun to roll it out and press cookie cutters into it. We add whole cloves for decorations and detailing (I also use whole cloves in my homemade room scents), and use straws, toothpicks, or bamboo skewers to poke holes in the top for ornament hangers.

Bake the ornaments on an ungreased cookie sheet, in an oven set to its lowest setting, for two hours, then turn the oven off and leave the ornaments inside overnight. Don’t they make your house smell wonderful?

cinnamon dough gingerbread boy

Okay, I *may* save this super-creepy gingerbread boy for next Halloween.

You can save these cinnamon dough ornaments from year to year, and if you store them in a small, airtight container then it will be years before their scent runs out (and when it does, simply place a few drops of essential oil on them for brand-new scent). My sneaky trick, however?

I compost them! Yes, I know that kid-made ornaments are supposed to be keepsakes, but it’s not as if I haven’t taken a million pictures of them, and frankly, I appreciate saving myself the trouble of packing and unpacking them every year.

So far, neither of my kids have noticed…so don’t YOU tell on me!


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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

3 Responses to How-to: Cinnamon Dough Ornaments that Smell Delicious and Last Forever

  1. I made these when I was a kind, and no joke, 25 years later they STILL smell amazing!!! happy holidays and thanks for the pingback!

  2. Tina says:

    We made cinnamon play dough one year and loved the smell of it. We haven’t tried it it years though, because it caused my daughters hands to break out in a painful rash. Might give it a try again soon though as I love the smell of cinnamon and other spices.

    • Julie Finn says:

      A rash?!? Holy smokes! Is she sensitive to cinnamon when she eats it? Or I wonder if it could even be another one of the spices, like the cloves, perhaps? Either way, I bet that you FREAKED–I would have!

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