It’s a dream of mine to be a DIY master. I had grand hopes of moving into our house, carving out a work space of my own and setting to work making cool things like painted mason jar vases, custom wall art, a tufted headboard, refinishing old furniture… the list goes on and not one of those projects have been finished, or started for that matter. We haven’t been in our house too long though, so there’s still hope. At least I have my workspace! And thankfully too, there are some easy DIY projects I can tackle every once in a while without too much commitment.
Several years during the holidays wen I was young, I remember working in the kitchen with my parents and sister making cinnamon ornaments for the tree and to decorate gifts. The sweet and overwhelmingly holiday scent of cinnamon would fill the house - it was like Christmas was giving us a hug. One of the best things about this project is that it requires very few supplies and can be quite a fun process! Plus, for those of you with kids in the house, it’s a great project for them to help with.
In a bowl, combine the ingredients starting with just one cup of the cinnamon. You may need to add a bit more if the mixture is too sticky; I started with more than a cup and needed to add a little applesauce because it wasn’t sticky enough!
You can either use a stand mixer with a paddle, or just a big spoon to start then your hands to shape into a ball.
Place the ‘dough' on a clean surface using a light dusting of cinnamon like you would flour, so the it doesn’t stick to the surface. Then roll out, roll out (sorry, had to do it) the dough to about a quarter inch thick. Even when baked they won’t be indestructible so they need some thickness to them but if they’re too thick they’ll take forever to harden!
Using holiday cookie cutters - I stuck to a star, but a variety would be fun - cut out the ornaments just like you would cookies. It’s pretty simple and as you work through the dough I found it became a bit easier to work with. Lay each ornament on the prepared cookie sheet (wax paper worked perfectly for me).
With the skewer, chopstick or pencil, make a little hole to string the ribbon. Then place in the oven, heated to 225’ and bake for 1+ hours till they’re completely dry. The time will depend on the thickness of your ornaments, your stove and other factors. Mine took close to 2 hours, but I had the temp set a bit lower. You can check them after about 45 minutes, and flip part way through when there’s only a bit of dampness left.
I found this to be the easiest method of separating the stars from the wax paper. They stick slightly to the paper so by tilting up on its side and gently peeling the paper off the back of the star, I had no trouble. Then I flipped them over and kept baking. By now your place is smelling pretty amazing!
Pick a few different types of ribbon or rope to attach to your ornaments. My one suggestion is to keep the width pretty narrow as you have to thread it through the hole. I wrapped a bit of tape around the end of the ribbon and rope that I used to help thread it through because the frayed bits kept getting in the way!
Cut slightly longer pieces of ribbon if you’re planning to use the ornaments on the tree or decorating other areas of the house, while shorter pieces are more suitable when using your creations for decorating gifts packages.
While both ingredients are edible, I don’t recommend eating these ornaments, even though they look as cute as cookies! The taste and texture probably won’t be that great unless you really love cinnamon!
Another easy DIY project I’ve managed to complete for the holidays is this easy and modern garland! With THIS Pinterest image for inspiration, along with a few pieces of glittery paper from a craft store, rope from the hardware store, and regular scotch tape, I managed to get this up in our back room. I also used the same shapes plus sewing thread to make a version of THIS to hang from below our mantle in the living room.
With the weekend just ahead of us, it’s a great time to put on some holiday music, pour some prosecco (maybe even a pomegranate prosecco spritzer?) or hot cocoa, and get your DIY awesomeness on! And then when the cinnamon ornaments are drying in the oven, might as well get some of your holiday cards done (which is top on my list)!
What are you looking forward to this weekend? * Will you be traveling for the holidays? * Have a favorite holiday DIY you’d like to share?