April 14, 2015

Make Candy Bouquets Lots of Ways

The time of year that I see candy bouquets in stores is mostly
around Valentine's Day. After looking at the price tags on 
them, I looked even closer to see if I could copy the
technique and make some more inexpensively myself. 

Depending on the materials and candy that you choose, 
you can make candy bouquets in any price range.
They are fun and easy plus folks are really thrilled to 
receive them. They can be tailored to any season and
for lots of different reasons.

Most traditional candy bouquets in stores are in vases
or coffee mugs. Keep your eyes open for inexpensive holders
 for your candy bouquets if you are making some in the future.
This vase and coffee mug came from a consignment sale for $1 each. 

You are certainly not limited to using traditional holders
for your candy bouquets. Thrift stores usually have baskets
that you can spruce up with paint. Walmart and Dollar Tree
have inexpensive seasonal items that can be used to
hold your candy bouquets also. 
Metal pail from WalMart $1

Bunny box and pail from Dollar Tree $1 each

Red ceramic pot from Dollar Tree $1. 

Also keep your eyes open for good deals on candy.
The best candy to use for the bouquets has a flat back.
That's where you will add the stick on the candy. 
This is my dining room table with supplies ready to make candy bouquets for Valentine's Day. 

Another element that you need for candy bouquets is a
stick to hold the candy upright. Some folks use craft sticks
(similar to a Popsicle stick) for this purpose. I liked the 
skinny wooden skewers that are used for shish-ke-bobs.
At my grocery store they are on the kitchen supplies aisle.

They can be hidden under the flap on the backside of most
candy bars and make people wonder "how'd she do that?"
More directions for taping the candy on the sticks is at the end of this post. 

Also in the picture above shows another important item 
you need and that is CLEAR tape (not invisible tape).

Another necessary item is foam to hold the candy on the
sticks upright. There are different types of foam that work.
All of the above pictured foams came from Dollar Tree ($1 per pack...duh). 

The green foams are generally floral foams. Floral foams
 have kind of a velvety look. They are not as sturdy as 
styrofoam-type foams but they are easier to cut if needed. 

Styrofoam-type foam looks like lots of tiny bubbles. It is 
harder to cut (if needed) but holds the sticks and candy well.

If you are making lots of candy bouquets and want to save
money on the foam, you can try making your own blocks
from spray foam...it cuts easily too.
For further info on making your own foam click on
"Using Spray Foam in Candy Bouquets".

An optional item is a filler that hides the foam.
This can be tissue paper, paper napkins, basket filler,
Easter grass, curly ribbon, cellophane, cupcake papers, etc. 
For more details on the fillers, click on
"Decorative Fillers For Candy Bouquets".

Honestly, I had so much fun making and giving the candy
bouquets that it is the only craft I have done for about two
months. That means I have lots of pictures and lots of ideas
to share...too many for one blog post. 

Because different folks might be interested in only one 
type of candy bouquet, I am breaking the bouquets into 
categories. You can click on the links further below 
to go to a post for a certain type of candy bouquet. 

For this post I'll share how I made a budget traditional 
candy bouquet in a tall vase.

Here are my supplies...wooden skewers (in background), vase,
foam, paper napkin, and candy (main candy not pictured).

Most of the candy bouquets in stores fill the bottom of the
 vase with a small candy. I was disappointed when these
 heart-shaped candies only filled the bottom of the vase.

 I could have gone back to the store to get more or used
 Hershey kisses instead but, alas, I am cheap.  
I decided to try to make the bouquet without filling the
vase with small candy to save money.

 I placed an unfolded red paper napkin over the vase 
opening and pushed a round piece of floral foam down
 (but not too far that it would fall into the vase) on top
 of the napkin. The napkin will serve to hide the foam.

This was the first candy bouquet that I made and I 
thought that I needed packing tape (which is stronger
than regular tape) for the larger candies. Really, if you
use several rows of regular clear tape, it holds well too
(and to me it is easier to use than the packing tape).
This candy bouquet was for my husband. He loves Lindor truffles. 
I found these small packages at the Dollar Tree. 

Candy bouquets can be a bit of a balancing act.
I added five packs of Lindor truffles to the foam, trying to
get them as near to the center and equally spaced as possible. 

To hide the foam a little better, I cut another red paper 
napkin into fourths, pinched that square in the middle, 
fluffed it upwards, taped it onto a toothpick, and 
inserted it into the foam also. Make as many as needed. 

Because the foam was more or less "floating" in the vase,
 the top was a little wobbly once the candy was added.

 I tied four pieces of thin red ribbon around the napkin and
 below the bases of the candy bags. The ribbon's ends went
north, south, east and west. The ribbon on each side was pulled
tight and then taped securely for a couple of inches down the
 vase.  That made it much more steady. Ends were trimmed.
If you decide to fill the vase with small candy, you could probably push the foam down 
in the vase further and it would have a base to sit on. I'm not sure if you would
still need to use the thin ribbon to secure it or not. 

A red bow made of wired ribbon from the Dollar Tree was
added to the bouquet to make it a little fuller looking. 

This candy bouquet was less than $10. Similar ones in
gift shops were priced at $40. 

Using a similar technique to the vase candy bouquet,

As you can see in the photos above, you can make the
candy bouquets in different sizes. I was able to find the
wood skewers in different sizes to hold up the various 
sizes of candy. If you need to cut a skewer down to fit
the candy and the container, the best thing I found to cut
it is a pair of hand yard clippers...its like cutting a twig.

If you are using a wider craft stick you can just tape it on
to the backside of the candy securely with clear tape.
If you want to hide the skewer on candy with a flap on
the back here's how...

Pull the flap up and place the skewer next to the fold.

Tape the skewer onto the candy bar well with clear tape.
You can run the tape along the skewer vertically or 
tape several times across with shorter tape horizontally.
If you are going across horizontally, be sure not to tape the flap open. 

Then close the flap over the skewer and tape the flap
down so it hides the skewer. 

When you are pushing the candy bar into the foam, push
on the stick and not the candy. 

For the smallest candies you can use toothpicks even.
Another thing I found a Dollar Tree are these plastic
"cocktail forks" that worked for small candy too.

No telling what YOU will find to make creative candy bouquets
when you keep an open mind and open eyes!

Make A Candy Bouquet In A Coffee Cup

Pick a themed cup to make the perfect base as the holder
for a candy bouquet in a coffee cup. It would be the perfect
for Mother's Day, Father's Day, teacher's gifts or any occasion.

It's like two gifts in one...the candy AND the coffee cup.

You can personalize a plain coffee cup with a special 
saying that you like, a name, an initial or a cute design
to make it even more special.
There are further directions later in the post about how to make the design 
you do yourself  last through dishwashings.

In addition to a coffee cup you will need candy, clear
tape, wooden skewers and foam. 

Since a coffee cup is relatively small, you can get by
with putting small (and less expensive) candy in them.
These candies came from a bag of miniature candies.

Although if you want to use full-sized candy, the 
weight of the cup will support those too. 
This red pot (from Dollar Tree) is not officially a coffee cup but it is ceramic and
has about the weight of a coffee cup...it just doesn't have a handle. 

Use clear tape to attach the candy bar on to the skewer.
Wooden skewers can be found in different sizes in the kitchen aisle of most grocery stores.
A craft stick (like a popsicle stick) or candy sticks (in the cake/candy section at craft stores) can be also.

If you want to hide the skewer on a candy bar, pull up
the flap on the back, place the skewer along the fold,
and tape it down securely. Then pull the flap over the
skewer and take the flap down. 

The larger the candy, the larger the skewer you will need.

Really small candies can be used as "fillers" and taped
on to a toothpick even. I have also used these plastic cocktail
"forks" I happened across at Dollar Tree to tape candy on.

You can use floral foam (usually it is green) or styrofoam
inside of the coffee cup to hold up the candies on skewers. 
These foams came from the floral aisle at Dollar Tree.
 The floral foam is easier to cut to size, the styrofoam (above, white) is harder to cut but sturdier.

Cut the foam to fit as snug in the cup as possible. 
You might need to "whittle" the bottom of the foam some
 to fit the narrower bottom of the cup. 
If you are making a lot of these at one time, you might
consider spray foam to save money on foam. It is trickier 
to use than pre-made foam but if you want to see more
info on using it click on 
"Using Spray Foam In Candy Bouquets".

When you are pushing the skewered candy into the foam,
push on the stick and not the candy. The candy might pop
off of the stick if too much pressure is applied to it.

If you want to hide the foam or just add some more interest
 to the candy bouquet, you can use crinkly basket filler or
these paper "fluffs". The "fluffs" can be made with tissue
paper, paper napkins or even cupcake papers.

Cut the tissue paper or napkins into small-ish squares.
This napkin from the Dollar Tree had squares already mapped out for me.
If a napkin is two-ply and the second ply is white, you might want to pull it off to keep the fluff colorful.

Pinch the paper square in the middle and make a "stem".
Tape the stem in place. Fluff the remainder of the square
upwards to make it almost like an opening flower. 

You can push the "fluff" in between the cup and foam or
you can tape the "fluff" onto a toothpick by the "stem" and 
push it directly into the foam. 

If you want to see more ideas of how to embellish  the top
 of your candy bouquet or hide the foam, click on this link
"Decorative Fillers For Candy Bouquets".

I did some research on Pinterest and it seems that if you 
want to personalize your coffee cup yourself, you need to
use an OIL-BASED pen to keep your design from coming 
off in the dishwasher. (Who wants to hand-wash? Not me.)

 I could not find an oil-based Sharpie but I did find oil-based
 paint pens at Michaels. They were about $5 each...you
could use discount coupons if you have them. 
You don't have to use two colors or colors at all...black would work well too. 

Although I did practice using the oil-based paint pens
before writing on the white coffee cups, I don't like how
my writing turned out. You can probably do better than me.

I wish I had seen this tutorial by Cassie at
Pink Heels Pink Truck blog about how to transfer a 
saying onto a mug before drawing mine on. 
painting on coffee mugs for your coffee cup candy bouquet.

Even though I probably won't give my "less than perfect"
hand-written coffee cup candy bouquets to anyone else,
I will enjoy reading the sentiments myself in the mornings.

I'm gonna put them out there anyway... (cringe)....
to show the candy placement, etc....

Here are some other candy bouquet coffee cups
with professional designs on them...

Depending on where you buy your coffee cups and
how much you want to spend on candy, these candy
bouquets can cost as little as $3 each...and up from there.

Folks will love getting these two-gifts-in-one
from you!

If you want to see ideas for candy bouquets
click on this highlighted link
"Make Candy Bouquets In Lots Of Ways".

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