I made these this morning with five kids ages six and under. The mess was really minimal! :)
Mix together 4 cups cinnamon (use the dollar store variety!), 3 cups applesauce, 2 spoonfuls of cloves and 1/2 cup white glue. Mix and mash and knead these ingredients together.
Divide out the dough in small batches. I gave each kid a small hunk like I would have if they were playing with playdough. Roll the dough out (we just used our hands) and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Lay them out on a cookie sheet and poke a hole in each one (I used a straw). Let them dry. The recipe I used says bake at 200 for 6 hours or let them sit out on the counter for four days! However, please note, I did this this morning and it didn't take NEARLY 6 hours. Mine were dry in 1-2 depending on the thickness of the ornament. Check on them after about an hour, if they still have a little give when you squeeze them let them dry longer. If they're all dry, they're all dry.
We plan to paint these, leave some plain and use glitter on some.