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Christmas Craft: Gumdrop Ornaments With Kids

Holiday DIY: Gumdrop Ornaments With Kids

By Melissa Summers

Yesterday was a snow day. It snowed a lot on Sunday, I’ll give the school that. But there are also plows and salt trucks who worked very very hard to clear the roads. All their hard work went to waste though, because they still canceled school. I expect the Superintendent to apologize to the DPW workers for wasting all their hard work. While they’re at it, they can apologize to me too. I will think about accepting.

Since it was a snow day I decided to make something with the kids. I went back to my post from last year and collected the supplies needed to make these candyball ornaments.

I didn’t want to use hot glue because that’s a mess and hard for 6-to-9-year-olds to control so I decided to use toothpicks. I bought two sizes of balls, one large and the other small.
Holiday Crafts for kids Gumdrop Ornaments
Max pouted at the craft store because I wouldn’t buy an extra one to play catch with. I’m a pretty mean woman, you know because I thought we have 14 balls in assorted sizes all over this house so I refused to buy a styrofoam ball to throw around.
Holiday Crafts for kids Gumdrop Ornaments
Don’t these gum drops look festive, waiting to be speared and attached to foam balls? Here are all our supplies.
Holiday Crafts for kids Gumdrop Ornaments
Here we are busily working. That extra child is not Logan, it’s Max’s friend TJ.
Holiday Crafts for kids Gumdrop Ornaments
We started out by sticking whole toothpicks into the styrofoam but it was too difficult for the kids to get them all the way in. At first I did all the sticking in and the kids attached the gum drops to the toothpicks.
Holiday Crafts for kids Gumdrop Ornaments
This worked but made it difficult to get really close coverage with the drops. Instead we broke the toothpicks in half putting the top of the pick just a tiny bit into the gumdrop and then spearing the whole thing into the ball. This worked much better.
Holiday Crafts for kids Gumdrop Ornaments
I started out using the larger balls with the kids and they liked this project but that’s a lot of gumdrops to attach.
Holiday Crafts for kids Gumdrop Ornaments
They stuck with it though and we ended up with this.
Holiday Crafts for kids Gumdrop Ornaments
Problem? They were too heavy to really be on the tree and I had no way to attach a ribbon or something strong enough to allow it to be hung. Which was fine, we put them in these glass vases.
Holiday Crafts for kids Gumdrop Ornaments
By that point the kids were tired of making these, short attention spans, so I made one more by myself. I used the smaller size and wrapped it with two pieces of wire twisted together at the top.
Holiday Crafts for kids Gumdrop Ornaments
This worked well to let you hang the ball, but if I did another, I would also put a ribbon around the ball before I stuck all the gum drops on it, tying it at the top with a loop and a bow. I attached my ribbon at the end and it worked but didn’t look as nice as it could have.

1) Use smaller balls for short attention spans and also weight.
2) The toothpicks were tricky for the 6 year olds to use, sometimes the tips would pop out the top of the gum drops. Also, if they didn’t get them in far enough, they came loose.
3) It might be easier if you used a low temp glue gun, maybe letting them put the gum drops on as you dab the glue onto the ball.
4) The mess from this project was pretty minimal. Lots of sugar on the floor and table but easy to be swept away.
5) You may also want to keep your finished ball out of your kid’s reach.

They both swear they didn’t eat anything.
Holiday Crafts for kids Gumdrop Ornaments

Find more Christmas Crafts here!

Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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  • april

    I love these Melissa! They are so cozy looking. I just wish my 11 month old were old enough so that I could have an excuse to do this project.

  • How cool! Great pics and tutorial. Since I exceed the 6-9year old age range, I’ll give this a try with a glue gun. Thanks!

  • My daughter was sitting next to me as I was reading and shouted, “I want THAT for dinner!”

  • Those are truly awesome! I kind of want to run out and make one. And I am 31!

  • The daughter and I will make a few of these tomorrow.
    You are one crafty beaver.

  • Caroline J.

    Hi Melissa!
    I made one of these yeeeeaaaaars ago when hubby and I first got married. I was home sick and bored, sent him out for the items needed and voila! I had a gum drop ball! What I did, was hang it in the doorway with a ribbon (pushed in as far as it would go into the styrofoam ball) and a push pin. Am I making any sense? I don’t feel like I am. Very tired. Anyhoo… had to throw it away a few years ago, was getting quite stale and icky looking! lol! I packed it away after Christmas every year in a ziploc baggie.
    Night Night and Merry Christmas!

  • J. Goble

    Hey, when my kids were little, we made gumdrop christmas trees with styrofoam cones. For the base we hot glued a little toy drum. You can find a little miniture star or angel for the top too…we used shortened toothpicks for the gumdrops too.

  • Pat

    does anyone know where to buy a gum ball tree?