Sunday, December 1, 2013

Candy Wreaths

I remember making these candy wreaths as a kid. 

I think my Mom found the idea and instructions in a magazine and just loved it. I love it too! Several years went by with this craft forgotten, until a few years ago when I saw the instructions in magazine (familiar story...).

And I have made a few every year since!

These candy wreaths make a wonderful holiday gift. I made the one at the very top and center for my boyfriend's family a couple years ago and took it as a gift at Thanksgiving. In fact, his mom liked it so much, she told the grandkids they weren't allowed to eat it. Three years later, it's still hanging up un-touched!

Actually, they're great gifts outside the holidays too. I made this one for my sister when she started teaching in a new classroom. The students and other teachers loved it!

For the base of the wreath, you can buy metal rings at JoAnn stores for under a couple dollars, depending on the size, but even a small one uses a lot of candy. Or you can dig through your parents' closets for some old wire hangers; which is what I was doing until I couldn't find anymore. If you use the hangers, you have to take them apart and create your own circle. The whole hanger will make a pretty large wreath, but not quite large enough to make two smaller ones. I definitely think the metal rings are easier and sturdier; and they aren't that expensive. Although, using the wire hangers I was able to make some awesome candy canes.

Once you've got your base, you'll need lots of candy. I have often bought what I thought would be enough, only to have to go back out for more. I always buy the wrapped candy that twists open on both ends. Then I use floral wire to wrap around one end of a piece of candy and onto the ring (or hanger).

There are several different tutorials on how to make these. I just did a Google search for "candy wreath tutorial" and found three different ways to tie on the candy. Mine is a little different still, but I may be trying out the other ways to see what's easiest.
I have always used floral wire without cutting it til the end. I start by wrapping the floral wire around the ring several times, overlapping itself so that it doesn't just pull off. Then I wrap the wire around one end of the candy wrapper three times; it tends to unwrap itself a little as you go.
I continue wrapping the wire around candy about an inch apart until I have about a foot of wire and candy; any more than that and it usually starts to tangle or is just harder to manage. Take that section and wrap it around the ring, pushing it together to make a nice full wreath.
Keep adding candy and wrapping until it's nice and full. Then wrap the floral wire back over some of the candy to secure it again.
I usually make my own bows with ribbon, but in the picture to the right I used a pre-made bow with a gift tag and added some tiny ornaments around the wreath.

And if you don't have anywhere to hang a wreath, they also make a great candle wreath!

If these aren't already a part of your gifting traditions, now is the perfect time to start.
Happy crafting and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

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