Monday, December 9, 2013

Cinnamon Ornaments


I believe in crafts. I do. I believe they are not only fun, but they encourage us to see potential in everyday objects and encourage creative problem solving. I also believe they are messy, and messy=awesome.

We try to do craft time at least once a week. The Personal Assistant is 2 (almost 3) and his skills include gluing, mashing, and cutting shapes from dough. If you are looking for a fun craft to do with your toddler this season, this one is by far my favorite.

Cinnamon ornaments have been a tradition in my family since I was a kid. They are cheap and easy to make, require no advanced skills, look great on the tree or tied to packages, and make your house smell DIVINE. What more could a girl ask for?

You will need:

(4) 3.17oz containers of cinnamon ($1 ea)

(1) 2lb container of apple sauce ($2.45)

(1) 1lb container of corn starch ($1)

Plus 2 more containers of cinnamon for kneeding.

This makes a BIG obscenely huge batch. If you just want a few, cut the quantities by about half (or use this recipe.)

Mix everything in your stand mixer (or by hand) until it resembles a sticky dough. Cover your work surface with a generous amount of the reserved cinnamon, and begin kneading the dough until it forms a ball and is no longer sticky.
I like to knead small quantities at a time because it is more managable.
PLAY! Let the fun begin! This is a great sensory activity for the whole family!
After the Personal Assistant toddled off to bed, I got busy making the actual ornaments. These hearts were formed in a shortbread pan.
Then I had some fun cutting out some funky, not your average Chiratmas ornament shapes. Cowboy hats, boots, dog bones...
...puppies and even some T-Rex shapes. The world has enough gingerbread men.
My mother always baked them on the lowest setting overnight. This year I tried an alternate method of baking at 200 for about an hour, then air drying. I'm not sold on the results, there was quite a bit of cracking and warping (only one dog bone survived,) BUT, in otder to get them all to fit, I had to use my cooling racks, and I was not convinced that they could survive a night in the oven.

Here is a sampling of the finished ornaments. I embelished some with stencil and fabric paints.

Happy Crafting!



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