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Holiday DIY: Gumdrop Ball Ornaments by Melissa Summers for

Holiday DIY: Gumdrop Ornaments

By Melissa Summers

Holiday Crafts for kids Gumdrop OrnamentsYesterday 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 gumdrop ornaments with my kids. They’re colorful and easy to assemble, and they don’t require any complicated supplies. Perfect.

What You’ll Need

Styrofoam balls: I bought two sizes of balls, one large and the other small. 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 that since we have 14 balls in assorted sizes all over this house, there was no need to buy an extra styrofoam ball to throw around.

Glue gun or toothpicks: I didn’t want to use hot glue because that’s a mess and hard for elementary school-aged kids to control so I decided to use toothpicks to secure my gumdrops. You can do either, depending on how old your kids are and how concerned you are about someone singeing their fingerprints off. The toothpicks were a little trickier than I expected them to be, but everyone still had fingerprints when we were done so I guess that’s good.

Ribbon or wire: To hang the finished ball from the tree.

Gumdrops: You probably want to buy extra because the kids will eat them. Trust me.

Let’s Make Some Ornaments!

Holiday Crafts for kids Gumdrop Ornaments1. Make a  hanger for your ornament. Allison from Dream Bigger attaches a ribbon to the styrofoam ball with a straight pin and a little hot glue and then uses this to hang it when she’s done. I honestly forgot about the hanger for the first set of ornaments we made (oops). For the next ones, I made a hook by wrapping the smaller balls with two pieces of wire twisted together at the top, although if I had it to do over, I would wrap 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 to the wire at the end and it worked, but didn’t look as nice as it could have. Learn from my mistake.

2. Attach the gumdrops to the ball. You can glue them on with the hot glue gun, or — if you’re working with smaller kids — you can attach them with toothpicks. Here’s a trick for you: Sticking a whole toothpick into the styrofoam ball doesn’t work (you can’t get the gumdrops close enough to the surface of the ball). Instead, I broke the toothpicks in half and speared a gumdrop with each one. The kids pushed the toothpick into the ball by pushing on the gumdrop — super easy.

Holiday Crafts for kids Gumdrop Ornaments3. Hang the finished ornaments on the tree. Or pile them in a bowl or vase. Either way, they’re pretty. (The smaller balls are best for hanging — ornaments made with the larger balls are too heavy for the tree. But they look great on the table, so it’s still worth doing.)

Last thought: The mess from this project was pretty minimal. Lots of sugar on the floor and table but easy to be swept away. And you might want to put the balls up where they are out of reach of pets and kids, both of whom are likely to see them as pretty snacks.

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

    December 18, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    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.

  • Elizabeth

    December 19, 2007 at 11:49 am

    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!

  • chris

    December 19, 2007 at 5:30 pm

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

  • Lori

    December 19, 2007 at 11:02 pm

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

  • Kevin

    December 20, 2007 at 12:50 am

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

  • Caroline J.

    December 22, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    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

    January 2, 2008 at 10:51 am

    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

    December 5, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    does anyone know where to buy a gum ball tree?