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How-To: Make a Gumdrop Garland


Crafty Chica Challenge: Deck the Halls
Contests and challenges like the current Crafty Chica Deck the Halls Challenge are great ways to stretch your imagination, and push yourself to try something new. When I was thinking of an inspirational project that would capture the Crafty Chica spirit of color and sparkle, I decided to approach a technique that was easy and familiar — stringing garlands — but to challenge myself to think of a more interesting material than the standard popcorn or cranberries.
Gumdrops. Glittery and bright, they bring back holiday memories of making gingerbread houses and playing Candy Land. Little did I know that they would also present the challenge in methods that I was hoping to avoid! I gathered my materials, and started shooting my step by step. The formula was going to be exactly the same as my Fall Flower Garland: cut the paddle wire, string the gumdrops, add the ribbon. But, after stringing 3 gumdrops onto the thin wire, the wire wouldn’t pierce the tiny gumdrops without bending. So, I decided to poke a hole in the gumdrops with a needle, but it was too sticky and didn’t work. Then I stuck the needle in a cork, so that I could push the needle into the candy. Didn’t work. Then I got a long nail, and poked holes in the gumdrops with a long nail and tried to string them, and that still didn’t work.
What follows is the tutorial for the process that DOES work. It is a result of being forced into finding solutions, working with unexpected materials, and having a ton of fun doing it. I hope that you will push your boundaries and have similar learning moments, and enter them into the Crafty Chica Deck the Halls Challenge. You most definitely will have a great craft to show for it, and you might even win fabulous glittery Crafty Chica prizes!



Gumdrops, large and small
14-gauge wire
Wire cutters

Notes on the Wire: Choosing to abandon my 22-gauge wire for the thick 14-gauge wire was crucial. There was no way that these gumdrops would string onto the thin wire, and I think I would have had a really hard time using thread as well. The stiffness and gauge of the wire made all the difference.


Step 1: Cut the wire to the length you want your garland plus 4″.
Step 2: Bend 2″ at one end of the wire into a hook.
Step 3: Cut the other end of the wire at a 45° angle to create a very sharp end that will make it easy to pierce the gumdrops.
Step 4: String the gumdrops onto the wire one by one. Mix up the colors and the sizes, or make a pattern if you like. I went with chaotic, because that’s more fun! As you string the candy on, the wire will get sticky, and if you like you can wipe the wire down with a warm, damp cloth every so often.
Step 5: Stop stringing with 2″ left on the wire. Cut the sharp end blunt, and then bend the remaining wire into a hook.
Step 6: Add bows, and hang your garland by the hearth!

12 thoughts on “How-To: Make a Gumdrop Garland

  1. Edelweiss says:

    I like this and the bright and happy colors would match my multi-colored lights. I wonder if I can get the kids to string most of the packages of gumdrops? They are a favorite candy around our house.

  2. Penny Carnival says:


  3. Georgiegirl of says:

    What a brilliant idea!! And your photos are so gorgeous. I love gumdrops and although we usually only think of threading coloured popcorn, chocolates (they melt over here… well it is summer!!!) or those lollies that are only around at Christmas time (santa, star and tree shaped lollies made up of something similar to ‘banana’ lollies… hard marshmellow? hard to describe, yummm to eat!!).
    But these will be so much better… so colourful too!! Excellent :D Thanks for the idea and the how to! Now I just have to go find all the different sizes of gumdrops!!!

  4. Kate Magrath says:

    I am a long-time knitter, so I have lots of old needles, including singletons. (I am a sentimental knitter.) It seems to me that it would be very easy to use a very small aluminum knitting needle to poke the holes, and then string them on whatever you want. In fact, I think I’ll get some gumdrops and try it!

  5. mamabearscubhouse says:

    i made individual gumdrop ornaments with my kids…
    i LOVE the impact and whismy of the gumdrop garland! its a must do project:)
    thanks for sharing

  6. Mimi says:

    So lovely and fun! But what happens after the holiday is over…. Do the gumdrops dry? Is it something that can be used next year, do you think? I’m not lazy but cash is really really tight and it’s always nice to know that you can get a good bang for your buck!

  7. Brookelynn says:

    So far my garland is looking exactly as I strung it, so that’s a good sign that it could last for at least a few seasons. But, here is what I did notice: humidity is not the gumdrop’s friend. I would store it in a plastic bag, and in a very dry place. Good luck!

  8. OnEskshiloh says:

    must check to get new coupon for more detail

  9. Alyce says:

    Thanks for saving US a LOT of frustration & just being able to enjoy the experience!! :)

  10. johanne says:

    I used fishing line and an upholstery needle, other than the whole thing getting really stickt and having to be wiped down from time to time it worked really well.

  11. Friday's FAB Finds ✈ Pretty Wedding Garlands | Fly Away Bride says:

    […] hearts: Maisy and Alice | Circles: Pea Green Boat | Lace bunting: Pea Green Boat | Gumdrop garland: Makezine | Tiny fan shapes: Craft Hunter | Floral hearts: La Mia Casa | Wire stars: Debeaux Souvenirs | […]

  12. gumdrop food says:

    […] Make gumdrop garland at Makezine.  […]

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