Gumdrop Trees: A Sweet Holiday Craft Using Candy

hand-crafted gumdrop trees for Halloween and Christmas
hand-crafted gumdrop trees for Halloween and Christmas | Source
red and green gum drop Christmas Tree
red and green gum drop Christmas Tree | Source
making my annual gumdrop tree as a little girl
making my annual gumdrop tree as a little girl | Source

Christmas Gumdrop Tree

Making a gumdrop tree for Christmas was a holiday tradition when I was a kid. When the Christmas boxes came down from the attic every year, I was most excited for my mom to unpack a simple Styrofoam cone. She would wrap it in red tissue paper and sit me down at the kitchen table with some toothpicks and a bag of gumdrops purchased especially for that moment. I would take my time and enjoy myself. My dad would walk by from time to time and snag a gumdrop and of course I'd say, "Hey!! Those are for my gumdrop tree!" Preparing this craft for this article was very fun and nostalgic-- my husband even walked by and took some gumdrops not knowing that too was part of the tradition.

Christmas Inspiration

Use seasonal candies that reflect the winter holidays--

  • mini marshmallows
  • peppermints
  • candy canes
  • ribbon candy

the gumdrop tree

green Styrofoam cones purchased at Michael's
green Styrofoam cones purchased at Michael's | Source

You will need:

  1. Styrofoam cone
  2. tissue paper
  3. scotch tape
  4. toothpicks
  5. gumdrops

  • Styrofoam cones come in different sizes. The two sizes I used in this hub were 9" and 12". You can find them in the floral department of your local craft store. They usually come in green or white.
  • You don't have to use tissue paper, but I prefer to. Are you preparing this candy tree to serve at a holiday party? It might look nicer with tissue paper showing as the candy is removed from the tree. The Styrofoam look isn't very pretty. It's also almost impossible to get every inch of that cone covered with candy, so keep that in mind when choosing a color to use. A little bit will show. use a color that compliments your design.
  • If you don't like spice drops or gumdrops, use Dots or even mini marshmallows coated with Jell-o sugar.

spice drops or gum drops

candy gumdrops in mason jar
candy gumdrops in mason jar | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Using colorful tissue paper, wrap your cone and secure with tape.If your tree is purely for decoration, skip the toothpicks and use a hot glue gun.
Using colorful tissue paper, wrap your cone and secure with tape.
Using colorful tissue paper, wrap your cone and secure with tape. | Source
If your tree is purely for decoration, skip the toothpicks and use a hot glue gun.
If your tree is purely for decoration, skip the toothpicks and use a hot glue gun. | Source

How to Make a Gum Drop Tree

Step 1: Wrap your Styrofoam cone using tissue paper and scotch tape. It doesn't have to be perfect.

Step 2: Decorate your base with gumdrops using the toothpicks. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Toothpicks can be cut in half with scissors if too long. If your tree is purely for holiday d├ęcor, you can use hot glue instead of toothpicks.

Step 3: Enjoy!

Step 4: Preserve. If you won't be eating the candy on your tree, protect it with a glossy spray sealer. I like Aleene's Final Step Spray Acrylic Sealer in Gloss Finish. When it's time to pack up the holiday decorations, store your tree in a Ziploc bag or airtight container to keep out bugs and critters.

Halloween Tree

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Halloween candy tree craft projectseasonal Halloween candies I used for this holiday project
Halloween candy tree craft project
Halloween candy tree craft project | Source
seasonal Halloween candies I used for this holiday project
seasonal Halloween candies I used for this holiday project | Source

Halloween Gum Drop Tree

Candies I used:

  • Marshmallow Peeps
  • Crows (licorice-flavored Dots)
  • Spice Drops
  • Black Raspberry Candies (they come in a bag of red and black candies)

Halloween Inspiration

Use other festive treats to decorate your tree--

  • popcorn
  • gumballs
  • licorice
  • candy corn

Gumdrop Tree Centerpiece

gum drop candy tree craft
gum drop candy tree craft | Source

Heather Says

Whether you call them spice drops, gum drops or gumdrops, they're absolutely suited for this fun holiday craft. Have fun making this sweet tree and turn it in to your own family tradition.

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Comments 27 comments

tazzytamar profile image

tazzytamar 2 years ago from chichester

I adore this as an idea for a special holiday! Thanks for sharing :D


Ann Hinds profile image

Ann Hinds 2 years ago from So Cal

Super cute but don't have time today. Pinned it so I can go back and find it whenever I want. Great idea.


Heather Says profile image

Heather Says 2 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona Author

@RTalloni-- Thanks for stopping by! I hope you were able to make some with the grandkids during the holidays. Thanks again :)

@rebeccamealey-- Thanks for reading and commenting. Your holiday tradition sounds neat! It actually reminds me of something we did growing up here in Arizona. We would use a cholla cactus skeleton (which is naturally tube-(or) log-shaped and filled with holes). My mom painted it with lovely white, glittery paint and we'd fill all of the holes with tiny wrapped lollipops for a lollipop tree.

@poetryman6969-- I'd have to agree with you! Holidays that are associated with tons of yummy food and treats tend to be my favorites :)


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

Haven't thought about gumdrop trees in a long time. My grands would enjoy this timeless little craft very much. Thanks for the reminder! :)


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I like this, it reminds me of the gumdrop trees we made as kids. We sawed down a thorn bush and stuck them on the thorns.


poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 3 years ago

Edible holidays are the best holidays.


Heather Says profile image

Heather Says 3 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona Author

@LisaKoski-- Thanks for stopping by. Baby shower versions sound like a great and adorable idea. Congratulations, btw. If you do make them and post pics online, I'd love to see :)


LisaKoski profile image

LisaKoski 3 years ago from WA

This is such a cute idea. Maybe I can make a version for my baby shower in a few months? I really like the ones you made here too :)


Heather Says profile image

Heather Says 3 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona Author

@Sue Lillie-- Thanks for taking the time to stop by and share your experience. I'm sure it will be so much fun to share this tradition and they'll come out beautifully :)


Sue Lillie 3 years ago

Fun to read your description and it was like a deja vu since I did it as a kid, too! Actually continued it when I returned at Christmas while in college and Daddy didn't wanna touch it after I returned...rather sacred! Anyway, we're about to do it with our 3 little GrandAngels when babysitting them this week!!!! Thanks for the trip back in time!!!!


Heather Says profile image

Heather Says 3 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona Author

@oldiesmusic-- Thanks! You'll have to stop back by and let me know how it goes. Thanks for stopping by and commenting today :)


oldiesmusic profile image

oldiesmusic 3 years ago from United States

Yes, it makes a fabulous centerpiece indeed. I might use this idea for the coming holidays. Thanks for sharing! :)


Heather Says profile image

Heather Says 4 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona Author

@Jeannieinabottle-- Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Good luck on yours. I hope it comes out great and you enjoy the process :) .

@ComfortB-- Thanks for reading and commenting. Luckily the shellac will stop anyone who tries to eat it-- or at least they'll learn their lesson ;)

@Rusticliving -- Thanks so much for reading and sharing :) It's so nice to hear that this was also a family tradition for you. Many people where I live (in Arizona) have never heard of this. I think it may have something to do with my parents (born in 1946 and 1947), who were originally from New England. Who knows.

@whonunuwho-- Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm sure I did that too when I was smaller-- I just don't remember, but my mom probably does ;)

@Eiddwen-- Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)


Heather Says profile image

Heather Says 4 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona Author

@TIMETRAVELER2-- I hope you try it. Don't be intimidated. If you're unhappy with how it comes out, you can always just eat it ;) I'm sure it'll come out great though. Good luck and thanks for commenting :)


Heather Says profile image

Heather Says 4 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona Author

@mary615-- Thanks for stopping by and sharing. Sugar ants do sound pesky. We have all kinds of weird Arizona bugs that would attack my trees if not shellacked! ;)

@Robin-- thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I hope you and the girls enjoy it as much as I always have ;)

@Gypsy48-- Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you like it. :)

@debbiepinkston-- Thanks for reading and commenting ;)

@donnah75-- Thanks for stopping by and sharing. The ghost and pumpkin peeps were an accidental streak of brilliance. Thanks again :)

@carol7777-- Hey neighbor. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Luckily once I shellacked the candy no one wants to eat it anymore ;)


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 4 years ago

I LOVED this hub! My mouth is already watering. Usually crafts hubs seem difficult to me as I'm not the craftsy type, but I actually think I could handle this one. Voted up and awesome!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

Oh how pretty! I will have to give this a try, just as long as I don't eat all the candy first. ;-) I really love the photos, too. Voted up!


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

Mouth watering holiday craft. Hope it makes it to the holiday! :)

Voted up and useful.


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California

Heather.. I love this hub because it brought back a flood of memories when I was a little girl (a very long time ago) The only problem I had when making these trees was that I would never have enough gumdrops to finish the project. (I just couldn't figure out why) I particularly love the Halloween tree. Great job. Thumbs up and shared!


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

Neat ideas, only my grand kids may try to disassemble the trees. Just have to deal with it I suppose.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Wow how original and a great share.

Eddy.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Great idea for the Holidays! I like your idea of spraying the tree with a sealant, because I have those pesky little sugar ants that would attack my gumdrop tree!

Thanks for the great idea. Voted UP, and will share, too.


Robin profile image

Robin 4 years ago from San Francisco

I am absolutely starting this tradition with our girls! I love the Halloween tree. So fun. ;)


Gypsy48 profile image

Gypsy48 4 years ago

That is so cute, what a great idea:)


debbiepinkston profile image

debbiepinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

What a cute idea!


donnah75 profile image

donnah75 4 years ago from Upstate New York

Oh, I love this! The Halloween tree looks great. I like the ghosts and pumpkins around the bottom edge. Great presentation. Voted up, pinned and shared.


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

Makes a lovely centerpiece. Very creative..Hope the candy doesn't disappear.

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