Salt Dough Animals. I saw a Noah's Ark version in a Martha Stewart magazine years ago, and it stuck. I never did hunt down cookie cutters like hers, but found these instead:
HOW TO: Canadian Critters Salted Dough Ornaments1. Prepare a batch of Salt Dough.
2. Cut out your animals using cookie cutters and insert small eye-hooks at the of each animal. I found mine at Home Depot, but you can always make hooks using wire.
3. Bake for 4 hours at 200 degrees. Yes, I know it takes forever, but it's worth it.
4. Once cooled, they will be good and hard. Trace your animals onto pretty paper. I used green scrapbook paper. Cut out their outlines, and Mod Podge them onto the backs of the cookies. I did this to hide the brown spots on the side of the cookie that was face-down on the tray. But it also means your ornament looks pretty on the tree even if it gets trued around.
5. Once dry, draw details onto the non-paper side of each animal.
6. It is important to spray varnish the first coat or the ink will bleed. It may still bleed a little. The next coat can be brush-on varnish.
7. Next, I snipped all but 1 cm off the ends of red-tipped sewing needles. Use whatever colour you like, I just found the red to be very festive. These pins can now be pushed into the dough as embellishments. If they don't go in easily, pre-punch a hole using a thumbtack and then apply a dot of crazy glue to the hole before putting in the pin.
8. Last, feed ribbon or twine through the loop and tie.