How to: Make a candy bouquet

With my nephew starring in his first musical in a couple of days, I’ve been trying to come up with something small to congratulate him on a job well done after his highly anticipated performance. Problem is, I have no idea what to give a boy after such a performance and apparently no one else on the web does either. Everyone showers girls with flowers or keepsake trinkets, and although I realize this is by no means illegal to do for a boy, somehow I knew my 13-year-old nephew would die from embarrassment if he received an armful of roses from me. After deciding he’d enjoy celebrating his debut with a sugar high, I asked my sister for his favorite types of candies. I was first planning on stuffing them in a bag,  but then thought of the genius idea to attach them to sticks and tie them together in a fun, eye-catching candy bouquet. Though tying them together didn’t work out like I had envisioned, and then placing the candy pops in a vase didn’t work out either, I was finally able to make a candy flowerpot display with items I had on hand. And since my 5- and 6-year-olds are about to have their own programs and graduation ceremonies, I decided to make one for each of them also.

Required items: Hot glue gun, candy, lollipop sticks, small flowerpot-type container, newspaper, tissue paper, knitting needle (or other sharp, pencil-shaped tool), scissors

Things you’ll need

Step 1: Make the candy pops. Use a hot glue gun to glue individual candies to lollipop sticks or cookie pop sticks. These sticks are available at cake decorating stores or in the cake decorating sections of grocery or big box stores.

Step 2: Stuff the paper. While the glue is cooling and firming up, crumple newspaper or any scrap paper into the bottom of a flowerpot, bucket, or basket. Make sure the paper is squished firmly into the bucket, filling it almost to the top. You can use floral foam or styrofoam in the bottom of the bucket in place of the paper; I was out and had no time to run to the store.

Step 2: Stuff the paper.

Step 3: Cover with tissue paper. Fold a piece of tissue paper in half and then in half again, depending on the size of your container. Place it over the newspaper, stuffing it down the sides and around the edges to cover the paper sufficiently. It does not have to look smooth on the top or be particularly pretty since it will be poked with sticks.

Step 3: Cover with tissue paper.

It doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth on top.

Step 4: Poke your holes and insert candy pops. Using a knitting needle, poke a hole in the tissue paper and completely through the newspaper. Remove the needle and replace with a candy pop. Repeat the process until all the candy has been inserted into the pot. I used a pencil as my poking tool for the first hole, but it was too dull to make any more holes after just one poke so I replaced it with the knitting needle once I realized I had one.

Step 4: Poke a hole.

Insert a candy pop.

Step 5: Make sure the candy is evenly spaced. Double check the stability of the bouquet as you work, making sure candy pops are evenly spaced to avoid tipping over. Use scissors and cut the sticks to make pops at varying heights.

Step 5: Make sure it doesn’t tip over.

Step 6: Add fun details. If time allows (it doesn’t in my case!) hot glue a band of colorful ribbon around the pot, paint the lollipop sticks before inserting them into the container, use colored tissue paper, or paint the recipient’s name or a design a cute picture on the flowerpot.

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