Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Probably twenty years ago, I bought a little ornament at a craft fair made out of cinnamon dough. To this day, it retains its fragrance somewhat. Last week I signed up to do a project with Cal's first grade class, and decided to make a batch of cinnamon dough ornaments for them to decorate. I looked at a few different tutorials for making the dough; here's what worked for me. Cinnamon can be purchased inexpensively in the bulk spices area of your grocery store.
Mix together 1 cup ground cinnamon and 1/4 cup applesauce. Stir in 1/2 cup school or craft glue. Stir the dough until the consistency is smooth and dry. Knead for about a minute, then let it stand for 1 hour.
Turn out half the dough onto a flat surface sprinkled with cinnamon. Knead it for a minute or so, sprinkling with cinnamon if sticky, and sprinkling with water if dry. It should be the consistency of cookie dough. Flatten with your hands, then roll it out with a rolling pin to 1/4 inch thick. If it sticks to the rolling pin or work surface, sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Cut into shapes. The dough shrinks in the drying process, so keep that in mind when choosing your shapes. Gather up the scraps and re-roll, as you would cookie dough. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
With a straw, poke a hole in the shape at the point where you'd like the ornament to hang.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place ornaments on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake, flipping every 20 minutes or so (to prevent the edges from curling), until dry, about 2 hours. Once the dough has dried completely, decorate with glitter, beads, and other embellishments of your choosing.
I used baker's twine to thread through the hole and tie to allow for hanging on a Christmas tree or elsewhere. I have this great glitter set I brought in; it worked well for providing a wide assortment of colors for a group of kids to share.
Yield: about 6-8 ornaments