This project started off as an advent calendar and kind of took on a life of its own. I was going to make fluted circle ornaments with the calendar numbers cut out of the middle, but then I realized that numbers like “6” and “8” were going to look a little odd because their entire interiors would be cut out. D’oh! So, I morphed the project into a riff on the polymer clay wreath ornaments that I made earlier this year.
The possibilities are endless with this project – tie the ornaments onto gifts as embellishments (I really like how the monogram ornaments came out), hang them on the tree, or string many together on twine or embroidery thread to create a garland. You can also use polymer clay (Sculpey has a color called “Hazelnut” that’s a pretty good match for gingerbread cookie dough) to create something very similar. I like using the cinnamon dough, though, because it smells so good and because it has a texture like that of real gingerbread cookies.
I left the ornaments/embellishments undecorated, but you can use dimensional paint and/or glue and glitter to decorate them. After I finished the project, I also had the idea to do a color wash over them (i.e., white paint mixed with water to thin it out), so I’ll have to try that out with the leftovers. See, endless possibilities!
Cinnamon Dough Ornaments + Gift Embellishments
dough recipe from Martha Stewart Living
for the dough
1 cup ground cinnamon
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup school glue
a mixing bowl
a cookie sheet
for the ornaments
a toothpick, wooden skewer, or drinking straw
a polymer clay roller or rolling pin
twine, embroidery thread, or string
1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cinnamon and applesauce using a rubber spatula. Add the school glue and stir until the consistency is smooth. The dough should not be sticky. Let stand for 1 hour.
2. Break off 1/4 of the dough, covering the rest with plastic wrap so it won’t dry out. On a flat surface that has been covered with oven parchment, start to flatten the dough with your hands and continue flattening with a clay roller or rolling pin until the dough is 1/4 inch thick. Note: I didn’t have any problems with dryness or stickiness, but Martha says to have a spritzer bottle on hand to use if the dough starts to dry while you’re working with it, and extra cinnamon if the dough starts sticking to the roller.
3. Use various cutters to create the ornaments, and use a toothpick or skewer to create a hole that you can thread twine or string through to hang the ornaments or tie them onto gifts. If you’d like to thread ribbon or something thicker, use a drinking straw to create a larger hole. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the remaining dough.
4. To dry the ornaments, you can either lay them on a cooling rack covered with paper towels for 24 hours, turning them over every 6 hours or so to prevent warping, or you can bake them on a parchment lined cookie sheet in a 200 degree F oven for about 2 hours, or until they’re completely dry. I used the oven method and baked for about 2 1/2 hours, but some of my larger ornaments still warped over the next several days. I’d recommend using smaller cutters because I had no warping problems with the smaller ornaments. For larger ornaments, I’d suggest using polymer clay.