DIY - Do it Yourself - Cinnamon Ornaments
SUPPLIES: 1 larger 3 or 4 quart bowl 1 small bowl (a cereal or soup bowl will work) 1 rolling pin 1 pastry mat 1 cup measuring cup 1 1/2 cup measuring cup 1 2/3 cup measuring cup 1 mixing spoon assorted cookie cutters (purchase at any craft store, i.e., Joanns or Michaels; or even a grocery or kitchen store) cookie/baking sheets (also may be purchased at any craft store, i.e., Joanns or Michaels; or even a grocery or kitchen store) 1 bag/box of craft straws (purchase at any craft store, i.e., Joanns or Michaels) ribbon, raffia, string, yarn, etc. (purchase at any craft store, i.e., Joanns or Michaels) *Optional: mixer with dough hook
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup cinnamon 2/3 cup applesauce 1/4 cup modge podge or Elmer's glue (purchase at any craft store, i.e., Joanns or Michaels) 1/2 cup to 1 cup of flour Add cinnamon to large bowl and alternately add applesauce and modge podge/glue mixing thoroughly. If you are making these with your children or in a schoolroom setting, you can let the kids stick their fingers in the mixing bowl (NOT IF YOU ARE USING A MIXER) and let them mix the ingredients by hand. If you use the mixer with dough hook method, make sure to mix on low speed. If the mixture seems wet and is not melding together, add a bit of cinnamon or a little bit of flour. If the mixture seems dry add a bit of water. You want mixture to be pliable enough to roll out. And you will want to form your mixture into a giant ball. If your children are help you, you may want to divide the dough in half or quarters and let your children try to roll the dough out, if they are old enough. Next, sprinkle a bit of the flour and/or cinnamon over your clean dry counter or over a pastry mat, if you have one. Then you will place the ball of dough on the lightly floured surface, pat it down with your hands a bit or have your children pat it down. Then you will roll the dough out until it is approximately 1/4" thick. Next you or your children will use the cookie cutters to cut out the ornaments. As you or your children are cutting out the cookies, place the cut our ornaments on cookie sheets.
Turn oven on to 250 degrees to preheat. Next, count how many ornaments you have and then cut the craft straws into 1/2" sections. Place one 1/2" section in the top of each cutout ornament about a 1/2" to 3/4" down from the top. The inside of the straw will fill with dough for easy removal after the cutout ornaments are dried and cooled. After you decorate, you will then be able to insert your ribbon, raffia, string, yarn, etc. into the clean hole for easy hanging. Now you are ready to put the cutout ornaments in the oven to dry. Leave the cutout ornaments in the oven for approximately two hours. Check every 1/2 hour or so to see how they are done. Remove from oven when they have dried. While your cutout ornaments are drying, you can get your decorations ready. Gather poster paints or other tube paints for color; allow to dry and then spray with polyurethane on both sides to preserve each cutout ornament. Or use craft paper cutout in the shape of the cutout ornament, in your favorite design to layer over the cutout ornament and then using a paint brush, modge podge over the craft paper and cutout ornament. And don't forget to add your ribbon, raffia, string, yarn, etc., cut in approximately 4" lengths. If you are using your ornaments to scent things; like a closet or as an air freshener, just insert your ribbon, raffia, string, yarn, etc. for hanging and then you will be done, unless you want to go into more detail. If you are using your cutout ornaments to hang on the tree for Christmas, put in gift baskets, use as special thank to the teacher or another special person in yours or your child's life, you will probably want to decorate the cutout ornaments; the possibilities are endless and the list is only inhibited by your imagination.
And the most important step of all: Have fun!!!