Festive Christmas Crafts Made From Candy

Sweeten the season with these confectionary creations. Decorate your home for the holidays or make a delicious gift for your favorite person. All you’ll need are a few craft supplies and a sweet tooth!

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Santa’s Sleigh

Turn small presents such as gift cards or jewelry into charming toy toboggans. Hot-glue two candy-cane runners under your wrapped box. For the reins, tape or glue one end of a 12-inch piece of ribbon underneath the gift, slide on a paper gift tag, and tape down the other end beneath the gift.

Candy bar critters

Jennifer Causey

Candy-Bar Critters

Dressed-up chocolate bars make thoughtful gifts. Wrap bars in paper, and download our templates to trace and cut out features and body parts. Adorn with ribbons, jingle bells, or candy canes.

How to Make Candy Bar Critters

Jennifer Causey

Star Light, Star Bright

No needles required for this easy-to-make garland. Mint candies are melted right onto the string! Preheat your oven to 275°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut your desired length of baker’s twine. Snake it around the baking sheet and place unwrapped candies on top with at least an inch of space between each one. Place in the oven, watch as it bakes, and remove just after the candies begin to flatten, about 5 to 9 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before handling.

Beaded candy ornament

Jennifer Causey

Candy Necklace Ornaments

Kids ages 4 and up can turn candy necklaces into ornaments. Cut the necklace elastic, empty the beads into a bowl, bend chenille stems into simple shapes such as candy canes and wreaths, and let the kids thread the beads. Twist the ends to prevent beads from sliding off. For snowflakes or trees, twist short pieces together to create a frame.

Snowman ornament

Jennifer Causey

Swingin’ Snowman Ornament

Kids will love hanging these jolly gumball ornaments on the tree.

What You’ll Need
1 regular white gumball, 2 large white gumballs, hot-glue gun and glue sticks, 1 orange sprinkle, 1 black spice drop (small gumdrop), small knife, 3/4-in. hand-cut or punched circle of black cardstock, permanent marker, 4-in. piece of baker’s twine or yarn, fillable plastic ornament ($1.25; craftoutlet.com), 1 Tbs. white sprinkles, ribbon

Make It

  1. Hot-glue gumballs together (grown-ups only), with smaller gumball on top. Squeeze a tiny dot of hot glue in the center of top gumball, and add orange sprinkle nose.
  2. To make a hat, cut off and discard bottom third of spice drop. Hot-glue cut end to center of black cardstock circle. Hot-glue hat to top of head.
  3. Use permanent marker to draw eyes, mouth, and buttons.
  4. Tie twine around snowman’s neck for a scarf.
  5. Hot-glue bottom of snowman to inside bottom of lower half of fillable ornament; hold in place while it cools. Pour white sprinkles around base of snowman. Add a few dots of hot glue to rim, and attach other half of ornament. Thread ribbon through hook at top of ornament to hang.

How to Make a Gumball Snowman Ornament

Jennifer Causey

Holly-pop Tags

Red lollipop “berries” brighten up these holly-leaf gift tags. Download our template, cut it out, and trace two leaf shapes onto green cardstock. Cut out with scissors and fold the leaves in half lengthwise. Punch a hole at the base end of each leaf and slip in a red lollipop or two.

Candy cane wreath

Jennifer Causey

Candy-Cane Wreath

Candy, a piece of cardboard, and a hot-glue gun are all you need to make this festive wreath.

What You’ll Need
Heavy cardboard, pencil, scissors, craft knife, about 27 candy canes, hot-glue gun and glue sticks, 27 cinnamon candies (such as Red Hots), 10 to 12 peppermint-swirl candies, ribbon

Make It

  1. To make the base, use a round object to trace a 3-in. circle onto cardboard, then trace a smaller circle (1 1/2-in.) inside larger one. Cut out outer circle with scissors; use craft knife to cut out inner circle.
  2. Arrange candy canes around resulting ring-shaped base with straight ends of canes on the cardboard and the hooks overlapping. Hot-glue bottom of canes to ring and undersides of each hooked end to next cane (grown-ups only). Work around the entire wreath, making sure that the top of each cane overlaps the adjacent one while the bottom is secured to the base.
  3. Once wreath is assembled, add additional beads of hot glue where each cane meets cardboard base.
  4. Hot-glue peppermint-swirl candies around inner circle of wreath, spacing evenly. Hot-glue individual cinnamon candies to hooked end of each cane.
  5. Thread a ribbon through two candy-cane hooks to hang.

How to Make a Candy Cane Wreath

Jennifer Causey


Cardboard-letter cutouts covered in colorful spice-drop candies can hang from the tree or decorate a mantel.

Originally published in the December 2014 issue of Parents magazine.

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