The Great Candy Cane Post of 2008

This post originally appeared on one of my other sites: "Modern Minerals". You can find more ideas for beaded ornaments under the "ornament" category.

I'm lumping all of these in to one post because they are all so simple to make.  When I said that I was going to start with the easy stuff, I wasn't kidding. I have very fond memories of making beaded candy cane ornaments with my brother and sister when I was very young. We had so much fun, we just couldn't make enough of them. I'm not sure how many we made. Over the years some have fallen apart. Some have gotten lost, but I know we made a ton because I am pretty sure my mom still has some left on her tree thirty years later.       One of the best things about the holiday season is the potential for new happy memories. If your kids are little I encourage you to buy a bag of pipe cleaners and some red and white beads. Make some hot chocolate, with marshmallows and a mini candy cane and let your kids go to town. It will be ten dollars well spent. Keep an eye on the younger guys though. Beads  provide an opportunity for choking. Also, they are just the right size for going up noses!  I believe the suggested age for beads is 7 years old. My kids are a little bit older and can entertain themselves for hours with a bag of pipe cleaners, a pair of scissors and a mixed bag of beads. It is a bonus if I let them get out the glue.   So l'll start with the super easy stuff.

Pipe Cleaner Candy Cane, Martha Stewart Style

Pipe Cleaner Candy Cane, Martha Stewart Style

It doesn't get any easier, or cheaper than this one. I have to admit. I've been putting beads on pipe cleaners for years, but it never occurred to me to make an ornament with just pipe cleaners before. Thank you Martha Stewart. You will notice in her photos that she has a cute green tinsel holly leaf attached to her candy cane. Some even have bows. I'm going to be brutally honest, my leaves just didn't look like hers. Also, getting out the glue gun just to attach a bell seemed like a lot of work and this is supposed to easy. Besides, I think it looks cute the just the way it is, and if I glued stuff to them I couldn't make the next ornament. All I did was twist two metallic pipe cleaners together. I cut my twisted pipe cleaners in the middle, and then shaped them in to two candy canes. These are very simple ornaments to make. They are pretty small and would be perfect for a small desk top tree.

Twice the fun of Martha

Twice the fun of Martha

If you want something a bit different, take two of your candy cane ornaments and twist them together to make a heart ornament. Don't go looking for that on Martha's site, it isn't there. :p Lets add some beads...

The Classic Beaded Candy Cane Ornament

The New, Classic, Beaded, Candy Cane Ornament

This is the original, Beaded candy Cane ornament that I made as a child. It might even be the very first thing I ever made with beads, unless you count macaroni as a bead. Take your pipe cleaner and add on those little tri beads. I like two red, two white, my brother liked one red, one white, and I've seen them done with three of one color and one of the other. Have fun! Just bend the bottom of the pipe cleaner a bit, string on your beads to the desired length, trim off the extra pipe cleaner but leave enough to bend over at the top. As always, if you are going to bend the pipe cleaner, which is pretty necessary in the Candy Cane making process, you'll want to leave just a smidge of leeway at the end. The slack will be taken up when you bend the pipe cleaner.

Another easy candycane ornament

Another easy candycane ornament

Again, pipe cleaner and beads. These are just plastic craft beads out of the kid's aisle at JoAnns. I like this one, even though the beads are plastic they catch the light a little bit.

The Spendy, Beaded Candy Cane Ornament

The Spendy, Beaded Candy Cane Ornament

This one isn't really for the kids, but it is a beaded candy cane ornament so I am sticking it in this post. Instead of using pipe cleaners, I have moved up to craft wire. I cut a piece of wire about 9 inches long and made a small loop in one end. I then threaded on red and white 6mm swarovski crystal bicone beads until I had about 6 inches in length. I left a little bit of extra wire, trimmed it and made another small loop.

Swarovski Beaded Candy Cane Ornament

Swarovski Beaded Candy Cane Ornament

Then I shaped it in to a candy cane. This Beaded ornament costs considerably more to make, but it is worth it. The crystal catches the lights on the tree beautifully. I wish I could have captured how much it sparkles. The Crystal beads were on sale today at Michaels. I got one pack of red and one pack of clear beads. Together the beads only cost me $6. I have craft wire so I didn't have to buy it. I think that this would be gorgeous if it was made out of larger, faceted round, swarovski crystal beads. I think the man of the house would have a heart attack though if I told him I spent $15 making a candy cane ornament so you are just going to have to trust me on this one. But I'm still holding out for a good sale....

The beads came with a disclaimer on the back, so I feel a need to share it here. I think it is good advice for all beads, but especially so when it comes to leaded crystal.    "NOT A TOY. Not intended for children under 7 years. Certain items may contain trace amounts of lead. Intended for fashion and decorative uses only. Do not put items in mouth or ingest."

PomPom Candy cane Ornament

PomPom Candy cane Ornament

This PomPom Candy Cane Ornament was designed by Margaret Davaz. Directions can be found here. This was super, super easy. The only obstacle that I had was that I used too big of a needle and it wouldn't pass through the starburst beads. Once I switched to the smaller needle they went together in minutes. I used the sparkly pompoms for my ornament. The most expensive part of the ornament was the holly leaf. Initially I looked at holiday picks but I couldn't find any that I liked and I didn't want to spend an extra $1 per ornament. Instead, I bought a whole garland. It was $10, but I got it for 50% off and I had enough holly leaves to make dozens of ornaments if I wanted to.

Naked PomPom ornament

Naked PomPom ornament

I like it without the holly leaves even more than I do with them. The wire that I used to make the ornament is very soft, so I had to reform them a couple of times. I am confident that once they are on the tree, and out of the hands of children that they will retain their shape.    I have one more candy cane ornament, but it deserves its own post!