Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments
Easy and adorable Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments made with applesauce, perfect for decorating your tree or adding Christmas decor. Make it a holiday tradition with your kids, friends, or family!
I made these cinnamon applesauce ornaments for our first Christmas tree when we were first married, and I have absolutely loved them ever since. It all started because we were such poor college students, and couldn’t afford much in the way of Christmas decor. A friend shared the idea with me, and I thought it was perfect. I made a bunch of them and covered our whole tree from top to bottom. They were the only tree decorations we had for the first year or two, other than lights. And I loved it.
Years later, they bring back fond memories of that time, and I just adore their simple charm. They’ve been on our tree ever since! It’s a holiday tradition in our family to make these darling ornaments, and while we don’t need them every year, we always look forward to the time we make them again. Just recently they asked if they could be on our list this year, and I said yes!
Easy Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments (with applesauce)
There is something just so cozy about making homemade ornaments, in all their rustic and lovely imperfection. Perhaps it’s the old-fashioned girl in me that wishes I could sit in a log cabin, string popcorn garland, and hang these on the tree I cut down in the woods. This is my way of capturing a piece of that, and I love it! They are most certainly farmhouse perfection, and are the cutest decorations! There are other ways they can be used as well, and I’m sharing some of my favorites below.
Gift-giving and wrapping ideas
Cinnamon ornaments also make a really cute gift, and you can personalize them with the cookie cutter you choose to use. A hobby, pet or type of animal, state they live in…there are so many fun ways to customize them for those you’re gifting them to. You could even tuck in the cookie cutter as an extra touch when giving.
I also like to tie them on to the top of gifts as a really cute embellishment and gift tag, all In one. Just loop the package ribbon through the ornament loop, and tie a bow to secure it in place. How adorable, right? They can break, so just use caution when stacking gifts or during transport.
Getting together with a group of friends or your extended family is another fun way to make these ornaments. They make the perfect reason to gather during the holiday and make something for your home. Start a new tradition over the Thanksgiving weekend, and have them ready for tree-trimming! If you do a craft night with friends, this is a great idea to add to your list.
Great activity for kids!
It is the perfect activity to do with my kids. They help with the measuring, stirring, rolling and cutting, and make sure the oven light is on so they can monitor the progress while the ornaments are baking. I love holiday traditions, and spending quality time with my kids, so this is a perfect match! Turn on some Christmas music, let them choose their favorite Christmas cookie cutters (the gingerbread man is a must at our house), and get started! I have them take turns with the rolling pin (with six kids, I need an extra one or two!), then we rotate through choosing the cookie cutter and cutting out the dough. I prep all of the pans ahead of time, so we’re ready to go, and I don’t have to stop while we’re in the middle of rolling and cutting.
The hardest part for my kids is waiting for them to cool after they get out of the oven. Once they’re cool, they help string the twine, and brush off remaining crumbs. (We had to repeat over and over again that these were NOT to eat, and I think they’ve finally got it!)
I have a lot of stars on my tree, so that’s what we decided to do, along with gingerbread men, but the beauty is, you can do whatever you like! It’s the cookie cutters that make all the difference, and the sky is the limit. You’ll see that our ornaments are not perfect, but in this case, their charm comes from their imperfection! It’s another reason why these are great for kids–there’s not a lot of pressure to get them exactly right.
One of the most wonderful things about making these ornaments is that they fill your home with the pungent and delightful aroma of cinnamon, and that will continue once they’re hung on your tree. Smelling them as they bake in the oven is one of my favorite things!
Question: How long do cinnamon ornaments keep their scent?
I’ve found that they will keep their fragrancy for at least the first 2 years, with a little fading each year after that. They won’t be as strong, but collectively they smell yummy, even after a few years!
Easy Christmas decor ideas
It’s super easy to do, and if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to trim your tree, this is a great option. You don’t need a stand mixer The only two ingredients are applesauce and cinnamon, and for less than $5, you should be able to get at least 14 ornaments out of one batch. (That’s how many we were able to make–small/medium stars.) I tied my favorite red bakers twine on once mine were dry..and I’m in love. ♥
Another fun way to use these super cute ornaments is to make them into a garland, and hang from a mantel, across a doorway or window, or along a shelf. Tie cute ribbons in between each ornament for added charm. (Anything gingham calls my name…especially at Christmas.)
I’ve also used them as place cards on a Christmas table, with a name tag tied on with ribbon. They can even go home with your guests as a party favor, which is really fun. Use different cookie cutters to match your theme–or a class gingerbread man or Christmas tree. Super cute, easy, and versatile…decor and gift all-in-one.
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SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED:
- Cinnamon (the 4.12 oz bottle is exactly enough!)
- Cookie Cutters (gingerbread are my favorite, but I also do Christmas trees!)
- Baker’s twine or
- Farmhouse cream & red striped ribbon
Check out the video for more details!
Homemade Cinnamon OrnamentsPRINT RECIPE
- 3/4 cup applesauce
- 1 cup cinnamon ( or 1-4.12 oz. bottle of McCormick Cinnamon)
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- cookie cutters
- drinking straw
- ribbon, twine, or jute
- 1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Combine cinnamon (1 cup + 2 Tablespoons or a 4.12 oz. bottle of McCormick Cinnamon) and applesauce (I use unsweetened applesauce) in a small mixing bowl until a smooth ball of dough is formed. (You may need use your hands to incorporate all of the cinnamon, or use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.) *I ended up adding a little more applesauce–mine was still a little crumbly. Using about 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll dough with a rolling pin to 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Peel off top sheet of plastic wrap. On a clean surface, cut dough into desired shapes with 2- to 3-inch cookie cutters. Make a small hole at top of ornament with drinking straw. Place ornaments on baking sheet. *I covered my sheet with parchment first.2. Bake 2 1/2 hours. Cool the ornaments on wire rack or cooling rack. Or, to dry ornaments at room temperature, carefully place them on wire rack. Let stand 1 to 2 days or until thoroughly dry, turning occasionally. 3. Insert ribbon (I used bakers twine!) through holes and tie them in loops, to be able to hang on your tree. If you pack them carefully, your ornaments can last 3-5 years, and even longer! I place them between paper towels, then into a ziplock bag to keep them fresh.
More Christmas ideas you might like…
- How to Wrap Baked Goods for Christmas
- How to Tie a Fancy Bow…the Easy Way!
- Easy Hot Chocolate Gift Mug
- Crockpot Hot Chocolate
Kierste Wade is a published author, blogger, and mom to six. With more than 20 years DIY and project experience, she has been sharing ideas on her blog since 2009. Focusing on simple and doable projects, she loves to share attainable ideas for all things home, holidays, and family. Kierste has been featured on Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV, American Farmhouse Magazine (print and online) Taste of Home, Country Living, and more.
Yay! Because I bought the bakers twine from the Twinery! Thank you for another way to use it! I will do this in my classroom as well! I can’t wait!
Yay! I’m so glad you got some twine–you are going to LOVE it!!!
How many ornaments does one batch usually make, I know it depends on size iof cookie cutter
I used a medium size cutter, and I got about 15-18 ornaments!
What a wonderful idea. I bet the house smells amazing when you come back inside. Thanks!
The way the house smells is one of my favorite things about it, Shannon!!!
One of these years I will make these ornaments…perhaps this is the year! I need to get me a star shaped cookie cutter :)
Yes you do, Miss Katie!!! Mine is by Wilton–I got it at JoAnn Fabrics using a 40% off coupon, and it was pretty cheap.
Oh I love making these! Love the idea with the twine :) Thanks for the inspiration everyday……your blog is my happy place!
Thank you so much, Michelle!!! The twine is lovely–it’s definitely one of my favorite things!
I keep looking at this idea on Pinterest, but hadn’t decided whether to try them. You make them sound so wonderful and easy. I’ll have to look for baker’s twine – it’s so pretty. Thanks for the inspiration!
Definitely try them! They really are easy, and totally worth it. You’ll have to let me know if you do. :)
Hey I love these I’ve have some I made about 15 yrs & they still have smell.But I put them in plastic shoe boxes when done & it keeps smell .Going have get them out see if they like that this yr. Thank’s …
Mine lasted for a long time too, Cookie–I love it! It’s nice to know that I can have them for awhile, and it’s so fun to open that box each year and have that yummy smell come pouring out! XO
What a neat idea! Thanks for the printable version, I have already printed this out to do with my 4 year old. I really enjoy your blog, you have such great ideas. :)
Thank you so much, Laura!!!! XO It really is so fun to do with kids–mine are still talking about it, lol.
These are so cute and I bet they smell delicious, I am old fashioned too and am hoping to do an old fashioned Christmas tree this year…I will be adding these. Thanks for sharing
Kierste! What perfect timing – I am printing the recipe out as I type – I have been looking for rustic type ornaments to make for my farmhouse tree and these will be a perfect addition. Thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to make these. :)
I can’t wait to try these with my kiddos. They will love them!
I made these years ago and they fell apart. Would you recommend adding a little white glue to the mixture? I would love to make these for my pre-k students. We do a gingerbread man unit and these would be the perfect gift.
I think you could do a trial batch and see what happens, or even search for another recipe that uses white glue. If you’re going to do it via trial and error, I would start with a smaller amount, and move up from there.
I’ve never had mine fall apart once they were baked, but I can see with pre-k students how that might be a problem. :) Good luck!!!
I’ve seen some recipes that use glue (Martha Stewart for one), but it may just be that the ornaments were too thin. I’ve had that problem when I tried to stretch the last of the dough. :)
Thank you so much! My mom tried a recipe with bad proportions and it was an awful experience. She was ready to scrap the project. This one was so much easier and even gave me confidence to try making sugar cookies for the first time. The ornaments are lovely!
Oh, I’m so glad!! It is a great recipe, and I’m so happy it turned out for you, and that you tried sugar cookies, too! Merry Christmas!!!! XO
Great recipe, thanks. One note, my teenage daughter had an allergic reaction to the cinnamon. We had no idea she was sensitive.
Hi, I’m so glad I stumbled upon your site! I’m wondering if you have ever decorated these and what you would recommend to do so…. I want to make these for a third grade party and have them decorate them (but quick and minimal mess).
Acrylic paint (on pencil erasers for eyes and cheeks)
Hi there! I think Sharpies would be quick and easy, and they make them in a variety of fun holiday colors–red, green, gold, and silver. I think it would be less messy than paint, but you could certainly use the paint bottles with the pointed tip, so it would be easy to draw with. You could also experiment with stamps–Christmas stamps, monograms, etc.!
Good luck, and have fun!!! XO
Hey Keirste…I’m so excited about trying to make these ornaments! Quick questions though…The recipe shows 1 c. + 2 T. of cinammon (1 bottle-4.12 oz McCormick cinammon). So are you saying just use one 4.12 oz container or use McCormick brand cinammon to make up the 1 cup that it calls for? Sorry for being so literal, I just want to be sure I get it right. :-)
Thanks for the question–I can see how that would be confusing! I just wanted to indicate how much came in one bottle of cinnamon–I did use that bottle to make up the cup + 2 T. I’m so excited you’re making these—they smell SO good, and are so cute!!
Thank you for such clear, simple instructions! I just printed and have my supplies to make these today with a friend and her daughter. I appreciate your site! Merry Christmas!
You are so welcome!!! I think you’re going to love them–they smell amazing! What a fun thing to get together with friends–have a great time! Merry Christmas! xo
Thank you for the inspiration to make these! My daughter and I had a blast making them today and they made the house smell wonderful :)
The smell is one of my very favorite things about these ornaments. ☺ So glad you made them, loved them, and had a great time!! xoxo
These are fantastic. Thank you for the easy recipe. I am doing these up for our family christmas party. Not only will they smell great but the family will have something great to take with them.
You are so welcome! Have a wonderful party!!! xoxo
Made these today and they turned out so great! Our house smells like heaven!! :)
Yay!!! I’m so glad!! I’ll tell you, their fabulous smell is one of my favorite things about them! Merry Christmas!! xoxo
Wow! I love these decs! Used a similar recipe and was so skeptical about the ingredient apple sauce!
I also LOVE the smell :D
But I LOVE how they turned out! in true smileyculture style I think I over decorated them! Would love to see what you think
They turned out darling! Thanks for sharing!
If I don’t have a wire rack, is it okay to leave them on a baking sheet to cool? Thanks! :)
Yes, I think it would be worth a try! You maybe could even try moving them to a sheet of wax paper, in case they keep baking on the hot cookie sheet.
If you have an extra oven rack you can use it for a cooling rack. Just take it out of the oven before you turn it on and cover it with either parchment paper or wax paper. Although if you use parchment paper on the cookie sheet just slide it onto the cold oven rack.
Thanks, Pam–great idea!!! xoxo
I make these every year with my nieces and nephews! We love the way they turn out and they always smell sooo good!
Yes–the smell is one of the best parts. :)
I made these with my cub scouts last night–they were easy and turned out super cute! Thanks Kierste!!!
Yay! So glad you guys had a great time making them!!! xoxo
Do you throw them away after the one season, or do they keep for several years?
Mine have lasted several seasons! I usually make them every few years, but I’ve always been pleased with how long we are able to keep them. Keeping them in a cool, dry place makes a difference too! xoxo
I would love to make these, but I have one question first…does this recipe use sweetened or unsweetened applesauce?
I don’t think it matters, since they’re not for eating. I think you can use either one!
I have some in the oven now! Just made a small batch as a “trial run” but since they turned out so great and smelling wonderful I will defanitly be making more over the weekend! Thank you for the recipe…it will be a new tradition adding to every year!
I just pulled a small batch out of the oven. I wanted to do a “trial run” and since they came out looking and smelling wonderful I will defanitly be making more this weekend! This will be our new tradition and adding on new shapes every year! Thank you!
YAY! I’m so happy to hear this! They really are such a fun tradition, and I’m glad you love them and are adding them to your lineup. :) xoxo
I would love to make these even though the holidays are over I could use them for Easter. My only problem is trying to keep my very large pups away from them when drying them, 1 to 2 days is a long time. Is there anyway to dry them faster?
I haven’t tried any other way–but you could maybe keep them in the oven a bit longer. I just hesitate to have you put them in there too long or they’ll get too brittle and break. Or is there a place you can put them up high to dry? On top of the fridge or other shelf?