DIY Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments

The recipe that I’m sharing with you today is a family favorite at my house. The cinnamon dough is prepared as if you’re making cut out cookies, but the result is a hard, dry ornament that is sturdy enough to hang on your Christmas tree for years to come. (Trust me–0ur tree still features a dough ornament that I made when I was in preschool.) And the heavenly cinnamon scent that fills the house as these ornaments bake is just an added holiday bonus!

Obviously you can cut your ornaments into any shape, but I love the idea of personalized dog bone ornaments. They are very simple to make, and they are a perfect holiday gift for all those dog lovers in your life. This year I made the personalized dog bones, plus dog breed silhouettes, and a heart/dog bone combo (see the photo below). Your only limitation is the types of cookie cutters that you have available. Although, I did find that large ornaments are much more difficult to transfer to the baking sheet, so I would recommend using cookie cutters no bigger than 5 inches or so in length.

Once baked, these ornaments are beautiful enough to leave plain–just add a piece of ribbon, twine, or string to use as a hanger and call it a day. However, they are also a great blank canvases for all kinds of embellishments. I simply wrote my family’s dogs’ names on the bones using white fabric paint (a.k.a. “puffy paint”). You might also try using acrylic craft paint, spray paint, glitter, sequins, buttons, rick-rack, jingle bells, or any other adornment that can be adhered using craft glue or a hot glue gun. Keep it simple or go crafty crazy: it’s totally up to you.

Christmas Ornaments

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments

Yield will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutters

 

1 cup ground cinnamon, plus more for dusting

3/4 cup applesauce

 

    For this project you will need: cookie cutters, an offset spatula, a plastic drinking straw, scissors, string or thin ribbon, and plus any craft supplies that you want to use to decorate your ornaments. I used white "puffy paint" (pictured here), but you could also use acrylic or spray paint, glitter, sequins, buttons, rick-rack, jingle bells, etc.

For this project you will also need: cookie cutters, an offset metal spatula, a plastic drinking straw, scissors, string or thin ribbon, plus any items that you want to use to decorate your ornaments. I used white “puffy paint” (pictured at right).

 

1. Preheat the oven to 200°F.

2. Place the cinnamon in a bowl. Slowly stir in the applesauce. Continue stirring until the mixture forms a smooth dough.

3. Lightly sprinkle a large piece of wax paper with cinnamon, and roll the dough out into a sheet about 1/4 inch thick. If the dough sticks to your rolling pin or wax paper, sprinkle with more ground cinnamon.

4. Use your desired cookie cutters to cut the dough into pieces. After each piece is cut, press the end of a plastic drinking straw into each piece of dough to cut out a round hole. (This step is VERY important because you will later use this hole to attach the ribbon that will serve as the hanger for your ornament.)

5. Use an offset metal spatula to carefully transfer each piece of dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can arrange the pieces close together on the baking sheet–they will not spread during baking–but the pieces should not be touching each other.

6. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour. Flip each ornament over, and return them to the oven for an additional hour.

7. Transfer the ornaments from the baking sheet to a cooling rack or a paper towel on the countertop.

8. When the ornaments are completely cool, add the hangers:  first cut a length of ribbon for each ornament. (I cut my ribbon pieces about 4 inches long). On each ornament, thread a piece of ribbon through the hole that you poked with the straw. Tie the two ends of the ribbon together (in a bow or double knot) to form a loop that you can use to hang the ornament on your Christmas tree.

9. At this point, you may choose to use the ornaments as-is, or you may want to decorate the ornaments with paint, glitter, sequins, or other embellishments. Once the ornaments are decorated it’s best to allow a full 24 hours for them to dry completely before hanging them or wrapping them up for holiday gift-giving.

 

NOTE:  As always, it’s important to keep a watchful eye on pets during the holiday season so that they don’t get into any decorations that could make them sick. (i.e. eating Christmas ornaments, holly, pine needles, etc). This basic cinnamon ornament dough is completely non-toxic to your pets; however, please take extra care if you add any decorations to your ornaments that pose a choking hazard.

DIY Slip-On Dog Collar Bandana

Pacey looking dashing in his new Slip-On Bandana. You might notice that he does NOT look too amused . . . perhaps he’s not into preppy prints as much as I am.

While I would say that my pup Pacey has at least tolerated most of the cute (some might say silly) accessories that I’ve made him wear over the years, he never seems to keep a bandana tied on very long. Like lots of dogs out there, he wriggles and chews and usually manages to lose the bandana in a matter of mere seconds. To avoid this pesky problem, a super smart blogger over at Crafty Critique has created a bandana that slips right onto your dog’s collar so that it stays in place. And since you don’t have to tie any knots, it’s much easier for you to take off and put on. Think of all of the seasonal bandana possibilities!

I am a novice seamstress at best, and I successfully whipped this bandana up in just a few minutes using some scrap fabric that I already had sitting around. Crafty Critique’s tutorial also includes a printable pattern, but I decided to make my own. I just measured out the shape using a ruler and cut it out of construction paper. The pattern size that I used (3-inch straight sides with 5-inch angled sides) fit my 15-pound chihuahua-mix perfectly, and I think that it’ll work well for most toy breeds.

Click the link below to see Crafty Critique’s full step-by-step tutorial:

http://www.craftycritique.com/2011/06/tutorial-slide-on-dog-collar-bandana.html

 

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

Fabric scissors (I used pinking sheers to help keep the edges from fraying); pattern; scrap fabric; a few pins; plus, thread and a sewing machine or hand needle.

Fabric scissors (I used pinking sheers to help keep the edges of the fabric from fraying); bandana pattern; scrap fabric; a few straight pins; PLUS, an iron, some thread, and a sewing machine or hand needle.

 

Once I had the piece of fabric cut out (as you see in the photo above), I chose to hand-stitch my bandana. It’s such a small amount of sewing that I just sat and did the stitching while I watched a sit-com, but a sewing machine would be the simpler and faster way to do it. If you know that your dog is going to be really rough on the bandana, you probably want to choose to machine stitch so that the finished bandana is as sturdy and durable as can be. But whatever floats your boat.

The other place that I cut corners on the tutorial’s instructions is that I did not sew the extra line across the bandana to form a true pocket for the collar. After sewing the edges of the bandana as instructed, I flipped it right-side-out and called it a day. Again, if you want a sturdier, more professional looking product, go ahead and follow all of the steps of Crafty Critique’s tutorial. (As my blog followers may be starting to realize, I tend to be a little lazy when it comes to craft projects so I took the easy route. But I still think the bandana came out looking lovely.)

My finished Slip-On Dog Collar Bandana.

My finished Slip-On Dog Collar Bandana.

Just slide the finished bandana onto your dog's collar, and you're ready for action. No knots needed!

The finished bandana has a wide enough pocket that it should slide onto essentially any dog collar. My bandana fit easily over Pacey’s 1/2-inch wide collar with the buckle and dog tags attached too.

Now just slide the bandana onto your dog’s collar and you’re ready for action. No knots needed!

Peanut Butter Jar Cookies

Finished JarYou’ve probably all seen this cute jar cookie idea used to make people cookies, but it also works nicely for these dog biscuits. It’s very simple to execute, and (if you’ve got the time and inclination) you can use your crafty-ness and creativity to make the packaging really special. This is a great homemade gift for dog-lovers. I’m planning to use it as a “thank you” gift when someone dog-sits for Pacey.

Since you aren’t always aware of the special dietary needs of your friends’ dogs, I made this recipe wheat-free and gluten-free, just in case. Most dogs love peanuts/peanut butter and can digest it well, so it is generally not a problem ingredient.

If you’re not in need of a gift for someone else at the moment, you could obviously forget the jar cookie idea all together and just make these cookies for your dog following the same recipe below.

Here are the craft supplies you’ll need:

1 large mason jar

1 scrap of pretty fabric

Ribbon (1/2-inch wide or thinner)

1 piece of paper to handwrite or print the recipe on

Hole-punch

Scissors (to use on both fabric and paper)

Here are the ingredients that you’ll need:

1 1/2 cups (gluten-free) oat flour

1/4 cup chopped peanuts

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour

1/2 cup all natural peanut butter chips

Here’s how you put it all together:

-Carefully pour each of the ingredients into the mason jar in the order they’re listed above. (The oat flour goes in first and so on.) Gently jiggle the jar after each addition to level off each ingredient and keep the presentation neat.

-Place the metal cap onto the top of the jar to seal it.

-Cut your desired fabric into a circle large enough to cover the top of the jar. Depending on the look that you want, you could use regular scissors or the pinking shears kind.

-Place your fabric circle on top of the metal cap on the jar. Place the metal ring (that is made to secure the lid on the jar) on top of the fabric circle. Twist the metal ring to close the jar as you normally would, trapping the fabric tightly between the two metal pieces of the lid.

-Print the recipe onto your desired paper. This is where you can get really creative if you want. You can simply print the recipe out onto white printer paper using your computer (like I did), or you could use colorful printer paper or pretty scrapbook paper. If you’re feeling really fancy, you can handwrite the recipe or even use calligraphy.

-Once you’ve got the recipe printed on the paper, use the hole-punch to put a round hole at the top of the recipe. Then use scissors (again, plain edge or decorative ones) to cut the recipe out. I just did a plain-Jane rectangle, but you could do a circle or whatever shape you like. As long as the recipe card fits neatly against the jar, it doesn’t really matter.

-Cut a length of ribbon long enough to tie in a bow around the lid of the jar.

-Thread the ribbon through the hole that you punched in the recipe card, and tie it into a bow around the metal rim of the jar’s lid. And . . . VOILÀ! You’ve got a personalized gift for your favorite dog-lover!

Below is the recipe as I printed it out for my recipe card. This one is formatted a little differently from the way I typically post my recipes–simply because I wanted it to fit neatly onto a small recipe card.

PB Jar Cookies

PEANUT BUTTER DOG COOKIES

MAKES ABOUT 50

 

Transfer the ingredients inside the jar to a mixing bowl, and stir to combine. Add 1 egg and 3/4 cup of water, and stir to combine. Use your hands to knead the mixture into a dough that will hold together.

 

Roll the dough into small balls about 1-inch in diameter, and arrange on an ungreased baking sheet. Use your hand to flatten each ball into a cookie shape.

 

Bake in a 350°F oven until the cookies are firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Cool completely before serving to your four-legged friends.

 

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

DIY Doggie Bow Tie

Pacey looking dapper in his brand new bow tie

Pacey looking dapper in his brand new bow tie

Last week I stumbled upon a really cool tutorial on how to sew your own kid-sized bow tie on a blog called “A Lemon Squeezy Home.”  I’d seen these types of tutorials before, but I thought this one was particularly well done. The size of the bow tie and its Velcro closure made this particular pattern easy to use as a dog bow tie, so I decided to try making one for Pacey.  I followed the instructions, except I cut the pattern pieces a little bit smaller to be exactly Pacey-sized. Please visit http://www.lemonsqueezyhome.com/2010/04/bow-tie-tutorial.html for the full tutorial.

I consider myself fairly crafty, but I am new to sewing. I do own my own sewing machine, but I am a very, very, very novice sewer. However, these bow tie instructions proved super easy to follow, even for me. And for my first attempt I think that Pacey’s new bow tie is pretty frickin’ adorable. In the spirit of full disclosure, I did cheat a little bit when I made it . . . I didn’t sew the extra pleats into the bow itself. I also didn’t actually hem the ends of the collar, because Pacey’s fur is long enough that it’ll never show, and I hot glued the Velcro pieces on instead of sewing them nicely as the tutorial instructs. I used a sewing machine, but this is a small enough project that you could really sew it by hand if you wanted to take the time and effort. It took me less than an hour from start to finish—again, I’m a beginner–so it’s a great little project for a Saturday afternoon. This bow tie would be extremely cute for your dog to wear for a wedding celebration, on holidays like Easter or Christmas, or for any other formal occasion on his/her busy social calendar. It would also make a sweet homemade gift for a fellow dog-lover.

Here are the materials I started with.

Here are the materials I started with.

And here's the finished product. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

And here’s the finished product. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.