Nia Aretakis, instructor of EAC’s KinderArts Craft-Along video series, presents her latest, Cinnamon Dough Ornaments, in conjunction with the Arts Center’s Festival of Ornaments. Free kits will be available with pre-made ornaments for children to decorate while watching Nia’s video, or those who wish may use supplies from home, and the recipe below to create their own ornaments. 

The video also features a musical performance by Nia’s father, Jonathan Aretakis, a familiar face for EAC-goers who’ve seen him perform with ‘house band’ Keltic Schmeltic.

Geared towards children 3-8 years of age, EAC’s KinderArts Craft-Along videos (this is our 6th in the series!) are fun and easy for all to follow. Materials kits are available by emailing Alison Brennan at alison@eastportartscenter.org; arrangements will be made for pick-up or delivery. Funding for this series has been provided by Belvedere Traditional Handcrafts Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. Donations will be gratefully accepted as well—either in the coffee can provided at materials pickup or via the EAC’s website. Participants are encouraged to send photos of their projects to Alison via the email address above, or those who wish may use supplies from home, and the recipe below to create their own ornaments.
Please check out Nia’s past videos in the KinderArts playlist on our YouTube channel, and stay tuned for new projects each month!

Read on on for the recipe Nia used to create her ornaments. For additional information about the cinnamon dough process, she recommends this article, from which she adapted her recipe.

Cinnamon Dough

Not edible! Makes about 15 ornaments (depending on size of cutters)

Ingredients: (off-brand is fine since they are not for eating)
1 1/2 cups cinnamon
1 cup applesauce
2 tbsp craft glue

Tools: bowl
spoon
measuring cup & tablespoon
plastic wrap
rolling pin (or tall glass)
cookie cutters
baking sheet
skewer/straw/toothpick

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees. Mix the three ingredients in a bowl using a spoon and then your hands to fully incorporate. Mix until dough forms a ball (should not
    be too wet or too crumbly—it is a moist dough).
  2. Lay down a piece of plastic wrap on your work surface. Take a third of the dough and put it on the plastic, with another piece of plastic on top. Roll out the dough to about 1/3 to 1/2 inch thickness. Take the top layer of plastic off and use cookies cutters to cut out shapes, and place them on a baking sheet. (Since the dough is moist and delicate, using a spatula to pick up the shape and put on the baking sheet may be helpful.)
  3. Once you have all your shapes on the baking sheet, you can make sure to fix any areas before baking. Use your finger with some water to smooth out any cracks or rough edges. (The ornaments do not change much while being baked, so make them look the way you want before baking while they can still be molded).
  4. Use a skewer, straw, or toothpick to poke holes in the dough for the ribbon to go through. (I dipped my skewer in water first which helped make a smooth hole. You can always mend any cracks the puncture may make with water).
  5. Bake the ornaments for 2 hours, turning them over halfway. Keep an eye on them as they cook—depending on how thick or thin they are they may need more or less time.
  6. After the ornaments have cooled, you can touch up any rough edges with sandpaper, or a nail file also works great. To decorate you can simply loop a ribbon through the
    hole, or use paint, glitter, sequins, etc . (I’ve read that puff paint is fun, and looks like frosting!)

Hope you enjoy!