Introduction: Giant Dum-Dum Flower

About: Engineer by day, transformer of junk into non-junk by...well that's usually by day too. Living by Colossians 3:17

One day after a local school play, the cast is wandering around the auditorium talking and people are giving the girls flowers to say good job, then a little 5 year old boy comes running around the corner with this GIANT flower made of Dum-Dum suckers and just about collided with me before sprinting off to show his friends. I knew right away that I wanted to make one. And there were both a dance and Mother's Day coming up which would both be perfect opportunities to make it for. An "extensive" search of Google provided few ideas on how it was made, and the only place I saw any hint of them was on Etsy.....for more than $50 each. So of course, I set out to make it myself.


PVC pipe, approx 2' long & 1" diameter

Styrofoam ball

Dum-Dum suckers...lots of Dum-Dum suckers


Green duct tape or spray paint


Hand saw



Step 1: Gather Materials

For the center of the sphere I figured on using a stryofoam ball, similar to this. When I got to Michaels, I found they had green ones at half the price for the same size and the color was better for a flower, so I grabbed that instead.

The PVC pipe can be substituted for a metal pipe or wooden dowel, just something straight that you can add leaves to.

As for the suckers, you'll need a lot of them! I used 235 for mine, so get the biggest bag(s) you can find.

Step 2: Stick It Sucker

Start stabbing the stems of the suckers into the foam ball, far enough that the bottom of the wrapper just barely touches the styrofoam. This gives an easy reference mark to stop at and gives the sucker some stability so it won't fall out.

Step 3: Stick to It!

There's a lot to put in there! Try to mix the colors around, make patterns, or make the whole flower one shade.

Dum-Dums aren't the highest quality of sucker, occasionally you'll find one that isn't wrapped or is malformed. These will have to be...disposed of.

Keep sticking them in until all you have is one small circle left unfilled. Then it's time to add the stem.

Step 4: Obligatory Photo Shoot

Of course, first you have to take a picture of this 10 pound ball of sugar in front of an American flag!

Step 5: Stem the Flow(er)

Using a saw, cut two pieces of PVC pipe at an angle to make a leaf shape, trim the edges so they aren't sharp and attach them on the sides of the main pipe. I used duct tape to hold them in place while i superglued them for a stronger hold.

Cover the whole thing in green duct tape or spray paint. I liked the texturing the tape gave to it.

Stab the top of the stem into the non-Dum-Dum'ed space left in the styrofoam ball. It can be glued on if you want the extra support but it holds pretty well even without it. If you do add glue, DON'T USE SUPERGLUE. Superglue reacts with the polystyrene foam to create a cloud of cyanide vapor which is extremely poisonous.

Step 6: Obligatory Photo Shoot #2

Of course, we had to get some pictures with it at the dance.

We were handing the suckers out to everyone all night, and still had more than enough to fill two candy jars and more left at the end of the night.

Step 7: What's Next?

Other ways to modify or continue this project:

  • Different sizes of styrofoam ball, and how many Dum-Dums it takes for each size.
  • Different kinds of suckers to give it a different look (would be more expensive)
  • Set it up as a centerpiece for a party table

Ideas, comments and questions are always welcome!

Flowers Challenge

Participated in the
Flowers Challenge