I can not tell you how much fun I have had making these creations! Literally made for pennies and what I had on hand, this is how I did it:
Mix to dough form, applesauce and powdered cinnamon (regular cinnamon in power form, not stick). Little applesauce goes a long way. I used unsweetened applesauce. First mix it dry-ish, crumbley and add applesauce slowly towards end of mixing. I used spatula and did it by hand and then finally used my hands, no machine mixer.
I rolled it flat between layers of parchment paper, and then cut my shapes. I used a toothpick to form the holes for thread or yarn or ric-rac (highly recommended!!). I started the dehydration in the oven on baking sheet at 170 degrees Farenheit, for a few hours. I checked and did not even keep track of time. Then I moved temp to 190 for a while and then had to turn the oven off and go to bed and the next morning I turned it to 200 degrees and finished it off. Somehow, they turned out perfectly!
I simply gathered sticks in my yard, and broke them to be uniform in size. Then on a paper plate, I drew a circle (or rather used the circle of the plate) and drew black dots equal distances from one another on the circle. This became my guide to laying out the star design, and I used hot glue to secure touch points of the sticks. Lastly, I loved it when I could use gold thread (that my mother contributed to my supplies box) to wind it around the point tips, OR the cheap, pliable jewelry wire.
The oranges were sliced and dehydrated similarly to the cinnamon ornaments, totally. Low temperature. I think I did them 170 degrees for all of Sunday afternoon, and DONE. So pretty, and fun to work with...
I thought I might use the candy or peppermint candies but I did not. I am really glad that I bought a small package of star anise because they smell SO GOOD and they are such a pretty design. The big plastic darning needle came in SO HANDY for getting the twine or ric-rac through the oranges. I learned that generally I seem to prefer to work with two holes through my cinnamon ornaments rather than one. The jewelry wire and florist wire that I found in my home crafting stash became one of my favorite supplies, as was the hot-glue gun, and ric-rac, and star anise, and GREENERY from my yard, and.. the cinnamon... I LOVED ALL OF THIS CRAFT!!!
The ornamental objects were laced on twine or small jute rope and greenery was glued for accents as were a few anise stars.
See the plate with black dots, and hot glue gun, and $1 jewelry wire? SCORE!!! Again, 5 dots evenly spaced on a circle (such as in the design of a plate) can help you match up the points of the star/sticks and use hot glue on touch points. The jewelry wire is cheap and pretty and ...helps make the star stronger.
Florist wire or jewelry wire is used to hold greenery and ornaments together. I know you can do this!!! You gotta try, ...and let me know how yours turned out or what you tried! The white feather? Just happened to be in my craft supplies so I put it in. If I had more nature relics or artifacts (shells, feathers, butterfly wings...depending on WHO and for what/how used...could be an option. JUST TRY THIS and have FUN!!
Individual ornaments make a nice gift alone, or as an ornament on a plate of cookies...
The above garland is actually hung above my curtain, where my "curtain rod" is a literal STICK (I have a very "country" house.)
Oh, notice the little heart shape. Some good scissors or kitchen shears can shape a nice heart out of the ends of the peel. The peel maintains its shaper and proportions during dehyration and these little shapes had a nice touch on some of the ornaments.
Try it, and have fun, making some sweet gifts for really cheap. Ask if you have any questions. I know your ornaments will make the ladies smile for sure.
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