DIY Candy Canes Ornaments Made with Clay

November 19, 2023

Learn how to make these handmade candy cane ornaments for Christmas using air-dry clay.

CHRISTMAS   |   Updated November 19, 2023

Candy canes are one of those symbols of the Christmas season that can fit into any decor.

These ornaments are no exception and they can be made very primitive or left clean and modern. They have an little added sparkle thanks to a dusting of mica flakes.

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What You'll Need

The base of these ornaments is a a plastic candy cane from Dollar Tree. I love being able to turn something from the dollar store into a creation that looks like it costs a lot more.! To make these candy cane ornaments, here are the supplies you'll need:

  • plastic candy cane ornaments
  • air dry clay - I used FIMO brand
  • acrylic craft paint - you'll need a shade of red and cream or white that you like. I used Tuscan Red and Buttermilk from Americana brand paint
  • acrylic sealer or polyurethane
  • instant coffee - if you'd like to give the candy canes a primitive stained appearance
  • Mod Podge choose the matte finish, unless you want a really shiny candy cane
  • mica flakes - adds a lovely old-fashioned touch to your candy canes

How to Make Candy Cane Oranments

STEP 1: Cover the plastic ornament with a thin layer or air dry clay. This can be thick or thin depending on the thickness you'd like the candy cane to have when you are done.

Don't worry about making the clay completely smooth in this step. As the clay dries, it will get little cracks in places, so you can fill those and smooth the clay in the next step.

Allow the candy canes to dry overnight.

STEP 2: Once the clay is dry, you can fix the cracks that have appeared and smooth out the clay where necessary.

To do this, put a tiny amount of clay over where you want to fix. Wet your finger and use it to smooth the clay. You do no need to let them dry before moving on to the next step.

STEP 3: Now for the part that requires some patience and time.....the stripe. This is the part that makes the ornaments truly special.

To make the stripe, take a chunk of clay and roll it out into a long snake shape. The stripe can be as thick or thin as you'd like.

The secret to the stripe is to make sure your hands and rolling surface are dry.

Also, I rolled my clay out on an old glass storm gave me a large, smooth rolling surface that could be easily cleaned. The glass out of a large thrifted picture frame would work well, just be careful to not get cut on the edges.

STEP 4: Wet the candy cane slightly, then dry your hands.

Using a gentle touch, apply the stripe onto the clay cane. Start at the bottom and press the end of the clay snake onto the end of the cane. Then, wrap the stripe around the cane with care, pressing it onto the surface.

Too much pressure and your stripe will break. Too little and the stripe will break. This is why you need some patience with this step.

When the stripe is wrapped around the entire cane, go back over it with a little water on your finger to smooth everything down and attach it completely to the cane. Let the entire candy cane dry overnight.

STEP 5: Paint the entire candy cane with the white/cream first and then paint the stripe red when that coat is dry. You may need more than one coat to cover.

STEP 6: When the paint is dry, seal the entire candy cane with a coat of acrylic sealer or polyurethane.

STEP 7: (Optional - you can skip these step if you want to keep your candy canes clean and modern). Mix up some very strong instant coffee, using a lot more coffee than it calls for.

When the sealer is dry, brush on the coffee using an old brush. Lay your candy canes out, brush on some coffee onto one side and let dry. Then flip them over and do the other side.

If you get too much coffee in any areas, once it is dry you can put a little more coffee onto your brush and rub the spot out.

STEP 8: When the coffee stain has dried, coat one side of the cane with Mod Podge and sprinkle with mica flakes. Let dry and your candy canes are complete.

What Can You Do With These Candy Canes

You may be wondering how these candy canes can be used. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use as ornaments on a Christmas tree.

  • Attach onto gift packages with ribbon or twine.

  • Tie on a small tag and use as a place card on your Christmas table.
  • Display in a jar alone or with a sprig of greenery.

  • Wire onto a wreath with some berries or mixed greenery.

However you choose to use your candy canes, I hope you'll find some enjoyment at making a beautiful piece of Christmas decor that can be used and shared in so many ways.

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