December 7, 2009

Days of Christmas: Day 7

Hey readers! I'm really excited to share with you, this 7th day of December, a very easy and very rewarding Christmas craft! You ready for this?

Mini Candy Tree Forest:
I can't tell you how Christmasy and, well, awesome, these are in person! And, I really enjoyed making them. So, I'm going to show you how I did it.

First, I visited my local craft store and purchased foam cones of varying sizes.
It's probably best to get all three cones in the same color, but that was not available at my craft store.

Next, you need to select your candies and prepare each kind of candy for quick gluing. In my case, that meant unwrapping circular peppermints:
And pouring Hot Tamales
And large M&Ms into bowls:
Then, heat up the hot glue gun!
(Side note: Troubletron and I somehow have three hot glue guns . . . only one of them was mine pre-marriage).

Beginning at the bottom of the cone, start placing your candies in rows all the way around the cone.
If you are using large candies like I did, you are going to have to use some half-candies to fill in uneven spaces. If this bothers you, don't use large candies.
Continue gluing candies all the way up to the top of the cone. Add extra candies on top to make your cone tall enough for your top row, if necessary. And, I added this top peppermint as a topper.
It turned out beautifully.
The process is the same for the other candy types.
Except half-M&Ms do NOT glue well. The chocolate melts. I feel like I should have expected that. So, when there were issues with spacing with the M&Ms, I just glued one on sort of diagonally, letting one poke out here and there. I think it's charming. But, it might bother a more anal person.
The Hot Tamales tree was BY FAR the easiest and fastest to do.

Things I learned that may help you:

1) Fairly soft, thin candies are the easiest to work with. The Hot Tamales, for example, squished in close together when there were spacing issues. I didn't have to figure out how to fit any half-Tamales in at all. If I were doing this again, I would have done a green or multicolored gumdrop tree instead of the M&M's tree for this reason.

2) Circular candies leave a lot of bare cone visible. I like the look of the peppermint one, so the bare cone doesn't bother me very much. It bothers me more on the M&Ms tree. So, it may behoove you to paint your cones a color you want to see in the background before starting the gluing.

3) Lots of candies are not perfect.
So, be prepared to weed out a lot of the freaks. Just like people.

4. I like the clean modern look of just the candy cones. But, for a more finished look, you may want to consider a thin-ribboned bow on top of each tree, pinned through the top of the foam cone, perhaps with tendrils of ribbons cascading down the sides of the trees.

5. For display: I have mine up high, because we don't have a lot of extra flat space in our home. But, ideally, I would display them on some glitter-sprayed batting (like they are on a blanket of snow), or on a small-patterned, gathered Christmas fabric (as shown).
I also think these would look great as a centerpiece on a Christmas party table.

7 Robot Reactions:

Jillian said...

I like the pepperment one best! Good idea. I'd imagine that they probably should be up high in a kid/dog heavy home.

Ginna said...

cute!!

R. Siren said...

I am sorry, but I must protest this craft. It's a waste of good candy, and encourages young children and 20-something lawyers to digest toxic glue. You don't have a ledge high enough to keep me away from it!

I guess it's pretty though...

Sparklebot said...

R.Siren: There is plenty of good, ready to eat candy at my house. Were you here, you would not be tempted to ingest glue.

Jillian: Yeah. We don't have a dog, but our bird doesn't really care about them one way or the other.

Ginna: Thanks!

Shackles2Garlands said...

I really like the idea, but you may want to spray them with a lacquer so to preserve them maybe?

I wonder for s safe-to-eat edible version (because they would get licked at my house), maybe if you put wax paper or even saran wrap around the cones. Then use honey or icing (probably cheaper if you made it yourself), and covered it with it (like a gingerbread house). Then decorate with candy. This is pricey, of course, but just a thought.

But I do think they're cute though. We are Gobstopper fans ourselves, so they would be a must. I love the peppermint tree :- )

Charlotte said...

Wow...very crafty!

I'm loving your daily Christmas posts.

Also, thanks for the Christmas card! You always have the best cards.

Poor Little Critter on the Road said...

I remember a lot of those Christmas candy trees Snowbird talked about; in fact, we used the idea a couple of years ago and made a fantastic Christmas wreath out of hard candies. Because you can pin them to the styrofoam with straight pins, the candy is edible, and you can pin them very close together so the styrofoam doesn't show through.

The problem for us is that it took a buttload of candy to cover that wreath. It looked pretty, but I kept staring at it and thinking: "Who's going to eat all that candy?" Finally it got thrown away. Sad.

But look at you and the Christmas crafts. I knew you liked Christmas, but who knew about this crafting urge? Who?

Is it really so different from wearing a holiday sweater? I don't think so. The holiday cheer is around you, instead of on you, but that's the only difference I can see.