Cinnamon Applesauce Gingerbread Ornament Tutorial

Every year a bunch of our school’s parents gather together to make handmade gifts for all of the teachers and faculty members.  For the past couple of years I have been our school’s Chat ‘n Craft lady, and this year I remembered a beloved Christmas craft from my own childhood, and one that I did with my kids back when I home schooled them.

We made 50 or so cinnamon applesauce gingerbread person ornaments!  These are so fun to make and so easy.  Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce (I got mine at the dollar store since we’re not eating these)
  • 1 1/2 cups of ground cinnamon (again, the dollar store is your friend here)
  • 2 Tbsp of craft glue, such as Elmer’s
  • large mixing bowl
  • disposable drinking straw
  • rolling pin
  • gingerbread men cookie cutters
  • baking sheets
  • parchment paper
  • cookie cutters
  • access to an oven
  • acrylic or puffy paints for decorating
  • red and white baker’s twine for hanging

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the applesauce, glue and cinnamon with your hands until you have a dough that is just slightly dry.  You may need to add more applesauce or cinnamon, depending on how wet or dry it is.

Once your dough is a good consistency, separate it into workable chunks by making a few balls of dough.  On a smooth surface, roll out the dough until it’s totally smooth and about 1/3″ thick.  If you roll it too thin your ornaments will be fragile and will break when they’re stored. Ask me how I know. 🙁

Now we cut our shapes!  Once you’ve cut your shapes, use a straw to create a small hole near the the top of the ornament. This is where you’ll thread your twine so you can hang these after they’ve baked.

Then bake these on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper at 200º F for about 2 1/2 hours or until the gingerbread men are hardened and dry.

Allow them to cool completely.

Then the fun part!  Use your paints to make cute little faces on them.  Use your imagination!  I wanted more sophisticated ones since I am gifting these to faculty, so I just used black, white and red acrylic paints with fine tip paint brushes.  Allow these to dry completely and then use pieces of baker’s twine through the holes and hang them!

Aren’t they cute?!

These ornaments will last indefinitely, or at least I think so; my mom still has the ones my sister and I made in the early 1990s!  If you want you can take a Sharpie and write the year on the back.  These smell SO amazing and they make really great gifts.  As with the felt Christmas tree ornaments, these would also make cute gift toppers, in lieu of or in addition to bows.  I hope you have so much fun with this!