Season- Scented Friends

Easy-to-make holiday ornaments.


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For decorating windows, trees, tables, or gifts, these scented ornaments—while unedible—are simple enough for children to make, and allow for all of the creativity adults can muster. Pull out your favorite cookie cutter or use your hands to shape a snowman. Then display them as scented decorations or give them away as gifts.

Snow friends

Makes about 1 dozen
These lively figurines make great table decorations. Although they take a bit longer to dry than the cutter friends (on page 22), you can dress them up with miniature accents from your local craft store or simply decorate them with spices.

1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup white glue
1 cup mixed ground spices (such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, coriander, or mace)
1/2 cup white or silver glitter
3 popsicle sticks
Whole cloves, star anise, rosemary sprigs, cinnamon sticks, small holly leaves, or dried flowers (for decorating)
Colored ribbon or colored felt (for decorating)
Hot glue gun

Mix the applesauce, glue, and spices in a bowl. Roll the dough into three different-sized balls. Make an even number of 1-inch, 11/2-inch, and 2-inch balls. (You can experiment with different sizes, but if they’re too large, they will take several days to dry.) These will be used to make the head, middle body, and lower body of your scented snow friend. Pour glitter into a separate bowl. Roll each ball in the glitter, carefully setting each ball on a sheet of waxed paper when finished.

Estimate the height of your scented snow friend based on the size of the balls and break about 1 or 2 inches of the popsicle stick off so that it will be shorter than your finished snow friend. Beginning with the largest ball (lower body), stick the rounded end of the popsicle stick through the center from the top to the bottom—but not completely through. Take the middle-body ball and carefully press it over the popsicle stick until the middle ball rests on the bottom ball. The popsicle stick should be sticking up slightly (about 1/4 inch) from the center. Carefully press one of the smallest balls onto the protruding popsicle stick. It should not go all the way through before the top ball comes to rest on the middle ball. If the popsicle stick is too long, remove it from the center two balls, shorten it, and re-insert it before placing the head ball on top.

Check for any unglittered spots that may have been disturbed in the process. Gently sprinkle or pat glitter onto those spots. If you’re decorating with cloves or cinnamon sticks, they will stick better if pressed into the surface of the snowman, so insert them now. Set your snow friends aside to dry, untouched, for a couple of days.

Once dry, add any other decorations. Cinnamon sticks may need to be secured in their sockets with hot glue. Tie a ribbon or some felt around your snowman’s neck and let him carry a rosemary sprig as a tree.

Cutter friends

Makes about 1 dozen

Mixing and cutting these decorations is the easy part. After that, you can decorate them as festively as you like.

1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup white glue
1 cup mixed ground spices (such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, coriander, or mace)
Shaped cookie cutters
1 plastic drinking straw
Glitter (enough to lightly dust each ornament)
Whole cloves
1/8-inch-thick colored ribbon (one 12-inch length for each ornament)
Star anise, holly leaves, or whole allspice (for decorating)
Glue for decorating

Mix the applesauce, glue, and spices in a bowl. Pack the dough into a ball in the center of the bowl. Press plastic wrap around the ball to seal. Chill for 30 to 40 minutes.

Place the chilled dough on a piece of waxed paper and press flat with your hands or roll out with a drinking glass to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out scented decorations. At the top (or the most suitable hanging spot) make a hole using the straw.

If you choose to use glitter, pour it over the top of each cutout. The glue in the mixture will make the glitter adhere. If you want the glitter to be thick and cover more solidly, gently press the glitter into the shape. If you are using whole cloves to decorate, press them in now, stemside down. Set ornaments aside to air-dry completely. Depending on the size and thickness, they could dry overnight, or it may take a couple of days.

Once dry, string a piece of ribbon through the hole and tie it at the end. Add other decorations using white glue or a hot-glue gun to attach them. Allow the glue to dry completely before hanging.