Apple Sauce and Cinnamon Christmas decorations

Reindeer apple sauce and cinnamon decoration

If you have never come across Apple Sauce and Cinnamon tree decorations, it is difficult to explain why they are so wonderful to make. Seriously wonderful. Not only do they look cute, but they smell exceedingly festive. They keep from Christmas to Christmas. I keep our expanding collection in an airtight box and each year, it is a real joy to open up the box. Scenting the room naturally. Plus they can also make lovely gift tags!

I love sharing my crafting passions. That is why I absolutely love it when each year the Reception teacher asks when I can come in and do some Christmas crafting with her class. These tree decorations are her favourite, so we do them each year.

This year, I’ve arranged two crafting sessions.Β  We’ve had our first crafting session making apple sauce and cinnamon tree decorations. There are many instructions for apple sauce and cinnamon decorations, but I thought I’d share how to do it with a group or class room of 4 – 5 year olds.

apple and cinnamon decoration ingredients


Makes roughly 25-30 decorations depending on the size of your cutters.

1 cup of apple sauce – I stew apples to make a puree. I haven’t tried tinned puree, but it is another option. I’ve found it best if the sauce is not too watery.
1 cup of ground cinnamon – I get mine in bulk either from Costco or our local health food shop. Comes out at about Β£1.60.
1 tablespoon of PVA glue – it is optional, but I’ve found that the resulting decorations have less tendency to crack. (Yes, I forgot it one year – oops!)

a handful of Christmas cookie cutters
squares of greaseproof paper
ribbon, yarn, elastic, etc for hanging loop
glitter and glue for decorating
a plastic straw
rolling pin

What to do:

I always explain what we are doing to the children first and show them what we are making. I always tell them not to eat the mixture or the decorations. Even if they do look and smell like cookies. It is a strong smell. I think each time I’ve run one of these sessions, one of the children will say its pongy, which sets their friends off too. They soon get over it.

making apple and cinnamon decorations

1. Make the mixture. Have the children measure one cup of apple sauce and one cup of cinnamon into a bowl. Another child will add a generous squeeze of glue which is roughly a tablespoon. They can then take turns to stir until it starts to turn into a dough. Not too stiff, not too sticky. (It kind of crackles like muffin batter.) This mixture will be shared between all the children. If you are short of time, then bring the mixture ready mixed.

2. Hand out the dough. Give each of the children a lump of the dough which is about the size of a large walnut. This will be more than enough to make one decoration. Also give then a square of greaseproof paper about 15cm x 15cm, which they write their names on.

3. Flatten the dough. The children can either use a rolling pin or the palm of their hand to flatten the dough. It should be about 3mm thick. Give or take, but much fatter and it will take longer to dry. Any thinner and it is liable to snap when dry.

decorations after drying

4. Cutting out. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough just as you would when making cookies. As the dough can be quite sticky, I ask the children to leave the cutter in place and remove the excess dough from around the cutter. This avoids the shape being stretched out of shape. Then carefully remove the cutter. Leave the cut out shape on the greaseproof paper. (It will stay on the paper until it has dried)

5. Make a hole. Using the plastic straw, make a hole in the decoration. Not too near the edge. This is for the ribbon to hang it up.

Wash hands.

The cinnamon can irritate the skin, so please make sure they wash hands well.

6. Dry it. The decorations can be dried in a low temperature oven as if they were meringues, but not as long. I put them at the bottom of my Aga and check every half an hour at first, turning them each time. Best to keep an eye on them. (One year I went out and they were slightly desiccated by the time I got back. Oops!) Alternatively, they can be left to dry in a warm room,Β  which will take longer. Turn them occasionally too. The decorations will eventually go hard, like a crisp biscuit.

apple and cinnamon decoration snowman

7. Carefully remove the greaseproof from the back of the decoration.

The fun part is making sure the right child gets the right decoration back. Once they are dry, I cut out the names from the greaseproof paper for each decoration, use a hole punch to make a hole in the label and then thread the ribbon through the label and the decoration. Then its back into school and on with the glitter.

Additional notes:

  • If you are making these decorations for myself, you can use a fine sandpaper to smooth off the edges.
  • If cinnamon is not your favourite, you could use another ground spice. Or even a mixture of spices.
  • Remind them not to eat them.

I hope that you are inspired to have a go at making these decorations. They are easy to make, cost relatively little and make a fun crafting session for the children. What more could you want? Oh, and they smell divine!


Linking to the ever inspiringΒ  #LetKidsBeKids, the newly discovered Christmas Collection over at PinkOddy, and also Creative Mondays for the first time. Special hello to anyone whose hopped in from there!

24 thoughts on “Apple Sauce and Cinnamon Christmas decorations

  • Friday 6 December, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    What a lovely idea – completely new to me but sounds like a great project. Thanks for sharing. juliex

    • Friday 6 December, 2013 at 9:56 pm

      They really do last so long as you store them in the dry……and don’t let anyone eat them.

  • Friday 6 December, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Well you learn something every day, I’ve never heard of this before but I can imagine how lovely they smell.

    • Friday 6 December, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      They are lovely. Instant Christmas spirit.

  • Monday 9 December, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    These are so sweet and very Creative πŸ™‚ thanks so much for linking up to Creative Mondays. I have really enjoyed your posts this week πŸ™‚

    • Tuesday 10 December, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Thanks Claire. Fun to join in too.

  • Tuesday 10 December, 2013 at 10:30 am

    A great idea, I wonder how many would actually make it to the tree? I think my monkey would eat them anyway!

    • Tuesday 10 December, 2013 at 10:43 am

      I’m not sure even the hungriest child would eat them. They really are quite dry and strong tasting. Serious yuk, but they make up for it by making great sweet smelling decorations! πŸ™‚

  • Tuesday 10 December, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Such a lovely idea, and I can imagine the smell πŸ™‚

    • Tuesday 10 December, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      It is one of those projects that really does work. The fragrance is so festive.

  • Tuesday 10 December, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    They look great and it must be lovely for them to smell like xmas too.
    Great idea πŸ™‚
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

    • Tuesday 10 December, 2013 at 10:36 pm

      Making them scents the whole house. Can be a little overpowering, but the children love making them.

  • Tuesday 10 December, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I bet they smell gorgeous and what a lovely activity. Thank you for the mention and linking up.

    • Tuesday 10 December, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      Cinnamon shall forever smell like Christmas to me. Children love making them.

  • Tuesday 10 December, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    aw what fun! we haven’t made these for a couple of years… i so do love how they smell!

    • Tuesday 10 December, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      They last so well, that if it wasn’t for the school sessions, we would not need to make more. We have enough to last us for decades!

  • Tuesday 10 December, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    These sound lovely… Now trying to work out when I can fit these in before Christmas! #LetKidsBeKids

    • Tuesday 10 December, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      Ha! It is a logistic challenge to fit it all in!

  • Tuesday 10 December, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    They look great… although I’d have a job on my hands trying to stop my 22mo from eating them! #letkidsbekids

    • Tuesday 10 December, 2013 at 10:46 pm

      I can see that would be a challenge!

  • Wednesday 11 December, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I’ve never come across this before, what a great alternative to salt dough #LetKidsBeKids

    • Sunday 15 December, 2013 at 1:54 am

      It does make an alternative to salt dough. I have a good collection of both these decorations and salt dough. They both last for years.

  • Wednesday 11 December, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Wow Cheryl you’ve been busy! My toddler would love the Christmas decorations πŸ™‚

    • Sunday 15 December, 2013 at 1:52 am

      They are fun to make. πŸ˜€

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