Sweets and candy make unusual and ingenious materials for kids’ crafts; delicious to eat and they come in every size, shape and texture.
With the renewed interest in ‘retro’ sweets, giving sweets and candy as gifts or favours has become increasingly popular. This is very successful when the treats are turned into fabulous kebabs and bouquets. Easy to make, they are ideal craft projects for kids- that’s if they can resist eating all the raw materials!
The base for the sweetie kebabs is a wooden skewer, but if you’re worried about the sharp ends or splinters, then a plastic drinking straw will work (but you’ll have to help with making a hole in the harder sweets). Gather together a varied collection of sweets and sort them into shapes, colours or flavour in individual dishes.
Types of sweets you could try include:
- Pink and white marshmallows
- Gummy sweets
- Liquorice pieces
- Soft, fruity chews
- Large wine gums
- candied fruit
As with all food crafts, it’s important to pay attention to hygiene – so used new skewers or straws – or if you’re using washable ‘novelty’ skewers ensure they’ve been washed at a high temperature (min 60ºC). Carefully thread each of the sweets onto the skewer. Kids can dream up a repeating pattern or create a random effect with the colours, flavours and textures.
Gift Wrapping the Kebab
Finish the gift by rolling it carefully in clear cellophane and securing at either end with some brightly coloured florists’ ribbon. Attach a personalised gift label, similar in style to an old-fashioned luggage label. The kids can go to town decorating the label in any number of ways with bright colours, patterns, intricate lettering or glitter.
For a colourful party centrepiece, display the skewers by carefully covering half a melon in foil and arranging the sweetie kebabs ‘hedgehog’ style.
For a healthier version of the kebab, although one with a shorter shelf life, substitute the sweeties for chocolate coated fruit like strawberries, grapes and Clementine segments. For a miniature kebab, use cocktail sticks instead of the full-length wooden skewers (again watch out for the sharp ends).
Like the sweetie kebabs, these are becoming increasingly popular as gifts and favours. They use very similar materials to the sweet kebabs. The sweets or candy used will need to be of larger proportions – usually wrapped bars instead of smaller individual sweets.
Securely attach each bar to a wooden skewer with a strip of sticky tape, glue or double sideded tape (peelable sticky pads are very easy) to make the individual blooms. Now you will need to prepare your container. This could be a vase, mug, plastic cup or even a small basket. It all depends on the finished size and effect of your display.
The sky is the limit when it comes to decorating the container- use lots of colour, ribbons, glitter, stick-on gems and bright lettering.
In order to create the bouquet, you need a base in which to anchor the wooden skewers. The perfect material for this is a suitably shaped and sized chunk of polystyrene – perhaps from some packaging. Another idea which also helps to ‘weight’ the bouquet is a big lump of home-made play dough (see Clay and Play Dough Crafts) – or you could use the shop bought stuff.
Now arrange the skewers decoratively, as you would a bunch of flowers. Push the skewers around the edge deeper into the base so they are shorter and make the central blooms much taller.
Finishing Off Your Bouquet
The bouquet can be finished by scrunching some cellophane around the bouquet or adding lots of curled gift ribbon in co-ordinating or contrasting colours.
A similar effect is achieved by replacing the bars with lollipops. Traditional lollipops look good but it’s worth checking the vast array of colours and designs available in the shops.
Keep your kids sweet and introduce them to this craft project – which is fun to give, receive – and eat!