How to Make Cinnamon Ornaments With Applesauce

3 Materials
2 Hours

Learn how to make cinnamon ornaments with applesauce as an easy family Christmas craft. Use them to decorate your tree, as festive gift toppers, or as air fresheners throughout your home during the holiday season.

These naturally scented DIY reindeer ornaments have been popular for years. Not only are they easy to make, but they also smell wonderful. Try this fun homemade ornament idea for your own tree or to give as DIY holiday gifts to friends and family.

When I was a kid, I remember making cinnamon ornaments with applesauce with my mom and brother. We got to mix the dough, then roll it out flat before cutting it into fun shapes using cookie cutters. My mom would then bake them in the oven. Once they cooled, we added string to make a simple homemade ornament. Those Christmas ornaments lasted many years. In fact, I found some recently after digging through some old boxes my parents had in storage. Some of these were still tucked away inside. And, believe it or not, they still smelled like cinnamon! Talk about nostalgia.

After being reintroduced to this fun holiday craft, I was inspired to make them again! Not only is this a great project for adults, but these easy cinnamon applesauce ornaments are perfect for kids to make, too. They’re also perfect for a craft night with friends!

This year, I’ll be giving extra ornaments as homemade Christmas gifts in addition to using them to decorate my own tree. However, you can also make this easy Christmas craft to use as seasonal hanging air fresheners. Rather than hanging them on your Christmas tree, you can also hang them in your kitchen and living areas to use as decorations and natural air fresheners in lieu of a holiday room spray.

Here's what you need to make these DIY Christmas Ornaments:

  • 1 Cup Applesauce
  • 1 1/4 Cup Ground cinnamon

Other Material and Supplies:

  • White puffy paint: This will be used to paint the antlers, eyes and ears onto your reindeer ornaments.
  • Black puffy paint: Additional details, such as the eyebrows and mouth, are painted on with black paint.
  • Small red beads : Small red beads are used to create a three dimensional nose each of the reindeer Christmas ornaments. Choose the best size bead for the size of your chosen cookie cutter, between 3-5mm.
  • Gingerbread man cookie cutter: You can use a reindeer cookie cutter if you like. However, a gingerbread shaped works as well! You just want to be sure use one without feet.
  • Baker’s twine: Twine is used to hang your holiday decorations on your tree or somewhere in your home. It can also be used to tie them onto holiday presents as gift toppers.
  • Glue: You can use white glue to adhere the twine to the back of each ornament as well as to glue the nose onto your reindeer. However, for lasting durability, I recommend a stronger glue, such as E600.
  • Baking sheets: You’ll need two baking sheets for baking your reindeer cinnamon ornaments in the oven.
  • Silicone baking mats or parchment paper: You can use either of these to cover your work surface to help prevent sticking. Additionally, you’ll also need to line the baking sheets.
  • Mixing bowl: You can mix the ingredients for this recipe on the counter. However, a bowl will help prevent messes.
  • Measuring cups: Use measuring cups to measure out the applesauce and cinnamon for these ornaments.

How to Make Them:

1. Combine the applesauce and cinnamon together either in a large bowl or on a covered counter surface. (I recommend covering your work surface with parchment paper. Otherwise, you can also use a silicone baking mat.)

Mix until it forms a moist dough that’s easy to work with. You don’t want it to be sticky. If the dough is too dry, you can add more applesauce. Otherwise, if it’s sticky, use additional cinnamon. (It’s not always an exact science. So, don’t be afraid to adapt the recipe as needed.)

2. Once the dough is formed, roll it out to ¼ inch thickness using a rolling pin. To prevent sticking, you can dust your surface as well as the rolling pin with additional cinnamon.

3. After the dough is rolled flat, use the gingerbread man cookie cutter to cut out several shapes. Place the shapes as closely together as possible to make quick work of the task. Then reshape any remaining dough from the outside edges and repeat the process.

4. Once all of your ornaments have been cut out, place them onto two parchment lined baking sheets. (You can also use silicone baking mats in place of the parchment paper.) Bake in a preheated oven at 200°F for 90 minutes. Or up to 2 hours if needed.

5. Now remove them from the oven and allow them to completely cool before proceeding to the next step.6. After the reindeer ornaments have cooled, use white puffy paint to paint antlers, ears, and eyes onto each of the ornaments.7. Then use the black puffy paint to create a mouth for each reindeer along with eyebrows.

8. Next, add a small drop of glue to each of the reindeer where the nose should be. Place a red bead onto the glue and allow to dry.

9. Finally, attach the baker’s twine to the back of each reindeer using your chosen glue. I recommend using a stronger glue to ensure a better hold. The twine will allow you to hang your ornaments on your Christmas tree.

Alternately, you can also create a hole in the top of each of the Christmas ornaments using a straw. However, this will need to be done prior baking.

10. Once the paint and glue have completely dried on this easy Christmas craft, they are ready to be displayed or used as holiday gift toppers.

Suggested materials:
  • Applesauce
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Gingerbread cookie cutter
Rebecca D. Dillon
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Lisa Lisa on Dec 05, 2021

    Is it 1/4 cup cinnamon or 1 and 1/4 cup cinnamon?

  • Susan Susan on Dec 06, 2021

    If kept after the holidays don’t they mold?

Join the conversation
2 of 6 comments
  • Kathie Konzak Kathie Konzak on Dec 21, 2021

    Where did you buy your gingerbread man cookie cutter? All that I find, do not have long enough legs to make the perfect reindeer antlers.

  • Kathy A Kathy A on Jan 03, 2022

    Great project! It took me a minute to recognize the reindeer as a gingerbread boy! When my kids were little and we made sugar cookies, we used the ice cream cone cutter to make a witch; just pinched the top of the ice cream to make a pointy chin, then added a chocolate chip to make a hooked nose! Miss those days!