Make a garland from hard candy. Strings of gold or peppermint, hundreds of tiny gifts hanging from your tree. Merry Christmas!
Using double-twist wrapped hard candy, you can weld together the treats into a tasty decoration. I used ~150 candies and made a garland more than 18 feet long (~6 m). Although this worked well for a small tree, I suggest using 250 candies for a typical 6 foot tall tree. I completed my shorter garland in about 30 minutes.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Hard Candies (~ 250 pieces) in double twist wrappers.Choose a wrapped candy that will be attractive, some examples:
- Toffees in gold foils wrappers (used in this Instructable).
- Peppermints in clear wrappers.
- Christmas candies in red and green wrappers.
SAFETY EQUIPMENT :Fan to remove fumes.
Bucket of water for potential burns.
Soldering Iron, preferably old / spare.
FABRICATION EQUIPMENT :
Coffee mug or soldering iron stand.
Shallow catch pail for the garland in progress.
Step 2: Workspace Setup
SAFETY IS THE PRIMARY SETUP CONCERN :
Because of the fumes created from melting the candy wrappers, ensure you work in a well ventilated area. I positioned a fan just past my soldering iron to pull the fumes away from me. My fan was fixed into an exterior window, ensuring the exhaust was vented directly outside my workspace. The fumes are nasty, no doubt a reflection of the wrapping plastic (probably acetate based). Nasty enough that I would not even suggest working in a garage without directly venting out the fumes.
Keep a small pail of water within reach. If you get melted plastic on a finger, immediately dunk the finger in the water. This will minimize any damage and quench the plastic from further burning the spot.
SETUP :Arrange your soldering iron to rest in a holder at an angle that you find comfortable. I put my iron into a coffee mug, with the tip horizontal, oblique to me.
Ensure you can sit while working and rest a shallow pail on your lap to catch the garland as it is fabricated. This will protect the the welds from separating prematurely.
Step 3: Wrapper Welding
Hold two candies in either hand. Overlap the wrapper ends and pierce with the soldering iron. Gently increase the hole diameter with the hot iron. Balance between welding a large ring and preserving wrapper to connect the candies.
Draw off the iron and hold together for a several seconds (~ 5 seconds) allowing the weld to solidify.
If you are having difficulty connecting the candies, put on a leather work glove and pinch together the wrapper ends while cooling. However, the weld is pretty easy to fabricate and you should get the hang of it quickly.
Step 4: Stringing the Garland
Because you laid the garland in to the catch pail piece by piece, there will be no knots to undue while hanging. Gently work from the pail, stringing the garland on to your tree.
The welds are strong enough to be handled, but will not support the full garland weight. But that's OK, because once you have it up, you'll want to start eating it off!
Enjoy and happy holidays.