Season- Scented Friends

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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.

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