Pretty Peppermint Tree (in which I leave my blog in the hands of capable Clare!)

Guys! I am happy to introduce you today to Clare, a fellow blogger over at Clare’s Contemplations! We “met” through the Nester’s 31 Days of Blogging series we both participated back in October. I blogged every day about lists (it’s more fascinating than it sounds, promise), and the ever-so-talented Clare blogged about 31 Days of Perfect Party Planning. Check it out!

Kenny and I are headed to the Windy City this weekend for a much needed vacation, so Clare is holding down the fort and sharing an adorable (and CHEAP! This girl knows me well) craft for Christmas! Tally ho!

Peppermint Tree

I’m thrilled to be guest posting on “Planting Sequoias” today! I’m Clare from “Clare’s Contemplations,” my blog where I share crafts, parties, and write about many of the things that come along with being a wife and a mom. I think Anne and I are on the same page when it comes to crafting! We like instant gratification and we tend to wing it-which I think is just a sign of our creativity, right?

I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. On one hand I adore it for all the inspiration it provides, on the other despise it when I see a project I love but there are no instructions or direction for how to duplicate it! I saw this darling peppermint tree on a pin that led to…nowhere. So I was forced to figure it out on my own. And now I will save you the trouble! With no further ado: how to make a peppermint tree!

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You will need;
-a “tree” form. I would not recommend making your own, the candy makes it very heavy, so you need a sturdy base to begin with. I purchased this 14 and ½ inch tall paper mache cone at Michael’s for $1.49. You could also buy a styrofoam cone, although it won’t be as forgiving if you need to remove any of the candies. More about that later!
-white craft paint, if your form is not white
-peppermint candies, I purchased mine at the Dollar Tree. Do not underestimate the number you will need, I used around 150 for mine! That is almost three bags worth.
-hot glue, or if you are exceptionally patient (I’m not) you could use craft glue
– a peppermint mocha… okay, so this isn’t essential, but it will certainly put you in the mood to create with peppermint! And it’s yummy.

That’s it! Since I already had the paint and the glue this project was less than $5. A pretty good deal for a nice statement piece, I think. Or you could make a tiny one and use it with your gingerbread house!

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Paint your tree (if it isn’t white). This part doesn’t have to be perfect, since you will cover the majority of your work up with candy. I did two coats to make sure it was fully covered. Excuse my poor lighting. Crafting with kids almost always happens at night, after bedtime, which unfortunately, does not lend itself to good photos!

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Before you start, make sure your hands are clean and dry. This may seem silly, but since the peppermints are mostly sugar, they will get a teeny bit sticky (not much) but enough to pick up things off your fingers. Having dry hands will keep them from getting super sticky. Unwrap most of your candies-then you won’t have to keep stopping once you get started.

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This is the part that I wish I had a tutorial for. It seems pretty self-explanatory to start gluing candies on. However, what do you do to make sure that they fill all the space? Well, I figured out that once I got almost done with a row, when I had space for about two candies, I need to fit the candies in before gluing them. That way I could try different mints to see what worked best. Did you know all peppermints are not created equal? If you check before you glue the last couple then you have a much better chance at evenly covering your cone. If you are desperate, you can use a broken piece to fill the spot. Just make sure you start on the same spot every row so you can make that the “back”.

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Once you finish a row, start your next row above by placing the first candy in the “dip” between two candies. This will also help you cover more space. If you are using a paper mache cone, you can remove a misplaced candy by using the flat side of a thin knife to pry it off. Unfortunately, if you are using styrofoam, you need to get it right the first time, since foam and glue have a tendency to bond irrevocably.

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Continue to build up row by row. When you get to the top, I leaned two candies against each other to form the “point”. And that’s it! You could add a bow or other decoration at the top, but I liked the clean and simple look. And as you can tell by the close-ups, this is *not* a project that requires perfection. Using more expensive, name-brand mints might give you better results, but I was pretty pleased with my dollar store ones. It gives it a certain homemade charm, right?

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Thanks, Anne, for letting me share my little project! I love crafting simple, quick projects like this one, or the paper straw snowflakes in the photo with the tree (You can find the tutorial for those on my blog!). I also love throwing parties, and rambling about my thoughts. If you are interested in any of those things, I would be thrilled if you stopped by my little corner of the blogosphere at www.clarescontemplations.blogspot.com or if prefer Facebook, I’m there too, at “Clare’s Contemplations!”

5 Comments

  • So FESTIVE!!!

    Do you think that you can save this from year to year, or will it get gooey and icky? Or, could you spray with a finish varnish to keep it? I’d be interested to read your thoughts!

    • Teresa-
      I think if you finished it with clear spray paint, and stored it carefully in a cool dry place it should save just fine. I know I have saved crafts made with candy corn, and they aren’t quite as sturdy! I definitely plan on trying to save this one, I think wrapping it with plastic wrap would probably help, too.

  • Did you spray a sealant on after you finished. I live in the south and humidity can leave hard candies very sticky when left unwrapped. I have seen lots of items mad with mints red, green, and mixed colors. They are adorable but I haven’t seen anyone use a sealant of any kind.

    • Betty-
      I live in a very dry climate, so I can’t speak to the candies “melting” but I think if you coat them with something like clear spray paint, that would probably help. I also think that would provide the most even coverage. Please let me know if you try it!

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