It’s already one week after Halloween, and if your house is anything like ours, you still are staring at or into a bowlful of candy. Or forget about just staring at it, you are still eating it. Now that’s scary.
Well, if you want to stop, here’s one way you can start to get the stash out of the house without trashing it or just taking it into the office. I’d heard about the “switch witch” but decided against that idea (switching all the candy for a toy) because of T just having had his birthday. I also heard about donating it to a local cause, but I didn’t act quickly enough to get to those locations in time. But thankfully, I remembered a great idea I’d seen several places before through the years: Candy necklaces. Maybe your child is having a birthday or you are hosting a baby or bridal shower and you need some simple (and inexpensive) party favors? Or, maybe your child wants to give a small thank you gift to their teacher or someone else in their life? Whatever you choose to do with them, these necklaces are very easy to make. All you need is some miniature wrapped candy (see leftover Halloween candy), some tulle fabric or cello-wrap, and time.
First, I separated our candy into the stuff that T still wants (lollipops and anything not chocolate), the stuff that C and I will munch on for a few more days (please do not touch the Reese’s or Kit-Kats, and the Twix are long gone), stuff for the trash (Double Bubble? how about a thousand times no), and the stuff to get rid of. Not the totally gross stuff, just stuff we don’t personally love or have way too much of to enjoy. That last group is what I’ll be using for my necklaces. This means the Tootsie Rolls, Snickers, some of those reallllly small Three Musketeers and Milky Ways, and other assorted one-count items we’re tired of eating and frankly don’t need to eat just because they’re here, but we know that many others totally dig them.
Next I rummaged through my bag of wrapping paper, tissue, and ribbons for something suitable for my necklace project. I found a nice six-inch wide piece of blue tulle. I am guessing this is a piece of wrapping saved from our wedding or T’s baby shower. Yes, I am serious! I save most reusable ribbon and gift bags and only buy a new roll of all-occasion wrap (meaning multi-colored stripe or dot paper, something that works for birthdays, baby showers, anniversaries, boys, and girls) or curling ribbon as needed. I buy tissue on sale at Target (it’s ALWAYS on sale in the end-caps near the greeting cards or in the dollar bin at Target). I don’t remember the last time I bought a gift bag. Yes, this is a little pack-ratty, but I save a lot of money on gift wrap, plus I always seem to have that random material on hand that’s called for in that random project, like for these candy necklaces. If you do not have tulle, cello-wrap would work great here also (yes, save your cello-wrap, RMT’ers!).
Then I took the candy and laid it out on the counter in a pattern of how I wanted the necklace to look both in the wrapping colors and the size of the pieces I chose. Or don’t make a pattern. It really doesn’t matter. We’re just trying to use up the candy. I think about 8-10 pieces works nicely so that you can tie the necklace at the back and not have candy sitting on the neck when worn, but the amount used will depend on the size of the pieces overall. The length of the necklace will also depend on if these are for adults or for kids so keep this in mind also.
Now we move into the nitty-gritty of necklace assembly; this is the “time” part I mentioned of the three things needed to do this craft. All I did was take a piece of candy, place it in the middle of the tulle, and twist both ends of the tulle so the candy was completely wrapped up. I then knotted both sides of the tulle to encapsulate the candy inside. Just use one tie, like when you tie your shoe before you make the bow; nothing more severe is needed knot-wise. Also, using this simple closure makes it easy to undo and redo if you need to change a piece out or make the capsule smaller. I continued to wrap, twist, and tie the candies until I had enough for my necklace. As you can see, it’s not hard, just a bit time-consuming, though it goes faster the more practice you get and the more necklaces you make. The second one I made took just over half the time (10-15 minutes) of the first (which took about 20 minutes).
Finally, once I had all my candies wrapped, knotted, and strung together in the order I wanted, I made sure that the length of the strand would slip over my head easily before tying the necklace closed. To close the loop, I tied the back closed using a square knot.
Now some of you might wish to decorate those knots between the pieces with a piece of curling ribbon or other decoration; I however decided I was finished. I made two necklaces in about 30 minutes. I ran out of tulle or I’d have made a few more. I also decided I was done with the candy sacrifice for now anyway.
Other creative ways you and the kids can use up the candy are:
– Set candy packs aside for your Gingerbread Houses come holiday time (just a short few weeks away!). Or better yet, how about making Rice Krispie houses and use the candy to decorate those?
– Bake with the candy (open a few of those snack pack M&Ms and fold contents into simple sugar cookies or blondies; these Brown Butter Milky Way Oatmeal Cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction look lick-the-screen good, too)
– Lollipop bouquets. Gather a few lollipops together and tie with a pretty ribbon to give to friends. Or place lollipops in a small bud vase and place on your desk at work as an alternative to the candy dish.
What are some ways you are getting rid of your excess candy post-Halloween, RMT’ers?