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When I was a kid, we’d always decorate the Christmas tree with candy canes. Other things, too, of course, but we always put up a box of candy canes and tried really hard to wait until after Christmas to eat them. In Hawaii, mints, candy canes, cough drops, gum, and basically everything else has a tendency to turn gooey and mushy after a while. (Depending on the weather and humidity, sometimes a very short while!) That’s why I decided to create and share these rustic twine candy cane ornaments! With this technique, you can spruce up faux candy canes to create an ornament that will last for years, regardless of the humidity.
Materials needed for rustic twine wrapped candy cane ornaments
- Plastic candy canes! It doesn’t matter what color they are because you’ll be covering them up!
- Twine. I experimented with different types of twine and I found that fairly narrow twine, but not the super narrow, smooth hemp cord you use to make bracelets, works best. Unless your candy canes are oversized, thicker twine is more difficult to use. I imagine baker’s twine would be pretty cute, too!
- Hot glue & glue gun (confused by all the different types of hot glue? Make sure to check out my top 10 hot glue tips & tricks!)
- Ribbons and additional decorations (berries, springs, tiny pinecones, etc) – totally optional. I cut apart small pine and berry spray and used the pieces.
- Use indoors or out to decorate trees, wreaths and other holiday decorations or as package tie ons.
- Each candy cane is approx. 7 inches long.
- Bright colors, red and white.Shiny to reflect holiday lights.
If you live somewhere with candy cane-friendly weather, you might be able to make these with ‘real’ candy canes, but be careful because I suspect the hot glue would melt the plastic wrapper and leave you with semi-exposed candy that might attract bugs.
How to make simple twine candy cane ornaments
Wrapping a candy cane will probably take more twine than you’d guess! I recommend not cutting any twine off the spool until you’re almost finished wrapping a candy cane.
1. Heat your glue gun!
2. Lay about an inch of twine down the candy cane, as shown.
3. Add hot glue around the bottom of the candy cane, then begin wrapping it with twine. Make sure to work quickly, before the glue has a chance to set, and carefully (so you don’t burn your fingers!)
Update – You can prevent scorched fingers with these inexpensive silicone finger protectors! I wish I’d purchased some years ago!
- Protect your fingertips: the silicone finger caps can protect your finger tips when you use glue gun to do craft, allow you work with the hot glue...
- Easy to use: made from quality silicone, flexible and won't affect the flexibility of fingers when wearing it, put on and take off easily, suit for...
- Easy to clean: it will become clean immediately just by using some soap and water after wet, wipe dry for next use
You may need to make a couple of wraps that go around existing wraps to help the twine stay in place at the end (you can see in the photo below that not all the wraps are completely on the candy cane – some loop over the twine).
4. Continue wrapping up the candy cane, making sure your wraps are snug and close together. Every few inches, you can add a dab of glue to help hold everything in place, if you’d like (I’ve tried both with and without extra glue and both ways work fine.)
5. When you get just a few wraps from the end, go ahead and cut your twine. Cut it so you’ll have about an extra inch or so more than you’ll need to finish wrapping. If you’re not sure how much this will be, go ahead and finish wrapping the candy cane without adding hot glue and then cut the twine. Unwrap the last few wraps, then add hot glue and rewrap. Add a dab of glue to the very end of the candy cane then curl the extra twine in place to conceal it, as shown:
6. Your twine candy cane ornaments are basically finished now!
However, they can be made even more cute by adding extra decorations, like ribbons, greenery, berries, and pinecones. I glued each piece of greenery in place, then lightly added a bit more glue for each berry, then tied everything in place/concealed the glue with a piece of 1/4″ ribbon.
These cuties would look great on a tree, on wreaths, or as part of a tablescape! No matter how you use yours, I hope you enjoy. =)
What ornaments did you always put on the tree as a kid? Anyone else try to sneak candy canes off the tree ahead of time?
Natasha is a former classroom teacher turned WAHM. She also is a registered yoga teacher and certified life coach. She shares her passion for education with craft tutorials and free printables. She also shares her experience moving through grief after losing a parent and passion for positive parenting. Learn more about Natasha and where she’s been featured.