The holidays are the perfect time to round up the kids for some fun arts and crafts. Some darling beaded candy cane ornaments are just the thing. My mother had one on our tree for ages, and it was one of my very favorites. She passed it along to me when I married, and now it hangs on my tree. I like this shiny little ornament so much that I made more of them with my boys when they were small. Now, we have over a ozen glimmering on the Christmas tree. Also, these make fantastic craft for class parties.
These candy cane ornaments are crazy easy, inexpensive and require very few materials. I suggest making several. I used classic red and white (clear) for this example, but you can get creative with your color combos. Maybe pink or light green instead of red, maybe even black or gold. Or, make them one solid color–white or clear, perhaps. Try different shapes, too, like the hearts and circles shown here.
Red and clear tri-beads or red and white pony beads
Red or white pipe cleaners
Small needle nose pliers
A tray to use as a work surface that prevents little beads from rolling away.
To start, cut the pipe cleaners in half with you scissors. If you are making candy canes, bend one end of each length of pipe cleaner over itself about 1/4 inch and crimp with the pliers. This prevents the beads from sliding off the end, and will be the bottom end of your candy cane. If you’re making circles or hearts, just leave about half inch of length on each end of your pipe cleaner. You’ll need that extra length to connect the ends later.
Next, simply add your beads in alternating order and slide them down the length of pipe cleaner. Alternate one by one, or any pattern you like. Leave about a 1/4 inch of pipe cleaner exposed at the end, then bend it over and crimp as you did with the bottom end. Try to tuck that pointy wired end into the bead to prevent beads from falling off and to keep little fingers from getting pricked.
Finally, gently shape your candy cane, and that’s it! For circles, twist the two exposed ends of the pipe cleaner together to form a loop, or tuck the ends into the end beads and tie on some ribbon for hanging. If you prefer, shape your circle into a heart. Done! That’s it! So easy, so cute. Now, go hang them on your tree or give them away.