Here's a fun project I came up with a couple of years ago, but never seemed to have the time to post it here (sorry!)
This project can easily be modified for other holidays as well (filled with eggs and decorated with marshmallow eggs for Easter!).
Most, if not all, of the materials and candy can be purchased from a dollar store. In fact, I think the only thing you wouldn't find there would be a drill/Dremel.
Materials you will need:
Flower pot (ceramic, terracotta or plastic)
White glue or wood glue (something non-toxic)
Scrap metal (lids from a can will work well here)
Coffee filter(s)/parchment paper/wax paper
Food dye (optional)
Cellowrap (plastic wrap) (optional)
Tools you will need:
Drill or Dremel
1/16" drill bit
1/8" drill bit (or larger, depending on the diameter of your flat-head screw)
Tin snips (optional)
Step 1: Preparation
Cut down scrap metal using tin snips (aviation snips) so it fits nicely in the bottom of the pot. If you don't have snips and you need to trim it down, you can score the lid with a knife (find something to trace it with) and gently bend it back and forth (using pliers) a few times until it snaps free.
You will need two of these!
Step 2: Finding Middle
You can also determine where the hole should be by dropping the disk into the pot and looking at it from the underside, marking the location from the underside.
Common sense will rule here in determining a smart way to put a hole into the lid without
1) nailing your hand to the table
2) nailing the disk to the table
Basically, if you don't have rudimentary skills and problem-solving abilities to overcome these small dilemmas, you should either NOT do this Instructable or have someone help you that DOES.
Step 3: Trunk
Place your dowel in the pot and mark the height you think will work for you.
Make sure you have a flush cut on one end at least for your base. Drill a hole in that end (1/8" and to a depth more than sufficient to accommodate the screw going in to the base).
Take your trunk and place it accordingly into the pot again to visualize where you want the lowest "branches" to begin. Remember, you want to leave space for hands to get in to grab some of the "dirt" candy.... I mean, chocolates.
Using a dowel or drill (and 1/16" drill bit), carefully drill holes in a concentric spiral or stagger the holes so they don't meet adjacent holes. As you can see in the photos, the holes in each row are at slightly different heights. DRILL THESE HOLES ON A DOWNWARD ANGLE!!!
Give the trunk a quick once-over sanding using a foam sanding block to remove any splinters.
At this point, you may wish to soak the dowel and toothpicks in green food dye to give it a little more festive flair. I tried it on candy pots I made after this prototype. I did, however, find that even in concentrated form, the food dye didn't tint the wood as much as I expected. Still worth it though!
Step 4: Assembly
You can opt to leave the filter out, cut a hole in the bottom of it and slide it down over the trunk afterwards if you wish.
Step 5: Branching Out
Using side-cutters, I snipped off one end of the toothpicks, dipped them in glue and put them in the holes, working from the bottom up.
Step 6: Oops...
You could always use wax paper or parchment paper to line the inside of the pot, but I didn't think
of that until after. Plus the coffee filters seemed to be a natural shape for the pots.
Step 7: Final Touches
Chocolate-covered almonds (milk- and dark-chocolate)
Whoppers (a.k.a. Maltesers)
I then decorated the tree with a variety of festive gummy candies. In future pots I also made some with long string licorice added to the trees as garlands. Lots of imaginative potential here!
Pots can also be painted or decorated with ribbons and bows, etc.
This is where it can get expensive, but if you're making a bunch of them, it makes the pricing much more reasonable. I took all the base mixtures, placed them in a bowl and gave it a stir, then scooped them into the pots.
Step 8: FINAL Final Touches!
And be careful when you're moving them... I imagine falling on one of these could be painful!
Thanks for reading and I hope you have happy, fun (and tasty!) holidays!