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Easy holiday ornaments for pennies

The most cherished ornaments on my tree are the ones made by children. You too? Not just my own children but all the young people among my family and friends, many of whom now have families of their own. Each year I treasure those Christmas ornaments and the memories they bring.

My family makes ornaments nearly every year. We make ornaments to attach to gifts, ornaments to mail to family, bring to the retirement homes, give to the mail carrier, the paperboy, anyone and everyone! I have the kids make extra and I put them away to give to them when they’re adults with trees of their own.

Here’s an old favorite recipe for cookie cutter ornaments that’s super easy, inexpensive and fun for kids of all ages. The reason I love this particular one is because the ornaments smell simply amazing while they bake and are pleasantly cinnamony thereafter.

CINNAMON SALT DOUGH

What You’ll Need:

3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup salt

1 (3 oz.) bottle ground cinnamon or ¾ cup

1 ½ to 2 cups cold water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Rolling pin, cookie cutters, drinking straw, string or ribbon. Optional: metallic paint pens, shellac

Here’s How:

Heat oven to 300 degrees. You can mix this by hand but I used my stand mixer and it made fast work of this recipe. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, salt and cinnamon together until well combined. Slowly add water and stir until a soft dough forms. If you reach a soft dough stage before you have used the whole cup and a half, do not add more water. It’s going to smell delicious but you must resist the urge to taste it. You’ll be sadly disappointed.

Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Add a small amount of water or flour if needed.

Roll dough to quarter-inch thickness and cut with cookie cutters into desired shapes. Use your drinking straw to poke a hole near the top of each ornament to thread a ribbon through. Place ornaments about 1 inch apart (they will not rise or spread) on an ungreased cookie sheet.

The larger ornaments will take longer than the small ones. You could elect to bake them separately or just do as I did and remove the small ones and put the rest back in the oven to finish drying.

Bake ornaments 30-60 minutes depending on size, cool completely. When they’re finished they will look dusty white. Put a little oil on your fingertips and lightly rub into the ornament for a rich brown color. Remove any excess with a paper towel. Decorate as desired and hang from string or ribbon.

Enjoy them until they give off all their cinnamon scent then spray them with shellac to keep them forever.

This is a perfect recipe to use for an ornament decorating party because your house will smell absolutely divine as they bake. Just be ready with some snickerdoodles to sooth the cinnamon cravings.

Frugal Festivity contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

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