Alicia from the always gorgeous Posie Gets Cozy sent along this tutorial
Making a gumdrop wreath is fast, fun, and really easy. These were in Martha Stewart Living a few years ago and I’ve made them several times since. They’re fun to do with kids, and make great gifts for neighbors, teachers, or grandparents.
You will need:
10-inch styrofoam wreath form, either the spongy kind or the hard (extruded) kind.
About three pounds of gumdrops, either the jumbo or the regular sized.
Box of toothpicks.
12-inch piece of wire to make hanger.
First, you need to wrap a few layers of masking tape around the top of the wreath form, especially if you are using the spongy type of styrofoam. When the wreath is finished it will be quite heavy, so I like to wrap a few layers of tape around the wreath where the hanger will rest to prevent the wire from ripping right through once it is suspending the weight of the gumdrops.
Just wrap the wire and create a loop, twisting the ends of the wire together several times. When you start to place the gumdrops, you will cover the tape and the wire so it will all pretty much disappear.
Then, break a bunch of toothpicks in half. You can use garden pruners for this, or just break them with your fingers. If you’re doing this project with kids, I would get all the toothpicks broken in half for them first; this is not the fun part, and you don’t want anyone getting splinters for Christmas.
You can use either the jumbo gumdrops (which are about an inch in diameter), like these, or the regular ones (about a half-inch). Obviously, if you’re using the jumbo ones you will be done faster, so that may or may not be a good thing for you – optimally, you’ll want to strike that balance between keeping the kids quietly busy or having them get bored and want to go do something else. (Also, there is a certain meditative satisfaction in doing this project, so if you’re stressed out from holiday stuff, this can be a nice calming thing to do with a glass of wine or a cup of hot cocoa after the kids have gone to bed. In that case, I’d go for the small gumdrops. But anyway.) Some grocery stores (like WinCo and Cub Foods in the United States) sell gumdrops in bulk for less than a dollar a pound, so it might be worth calling around to find them. You can also order them on-line from many places; try searching for “bulk gumdrops” (or “spice drops” as they are also called) and see what’s available in your country.
Then you just stick the broken end of the toothpick into the gumdrop, and the pointy end into the wreath. Stagger them so you don’t get any big holes. (You can also paint your wreath form before putting the gumdrops in if having the white peek through will bother you, but it doesn’t bother me so I don’t . . . bother with that.) Keep going around until you’re done (don’t cover the back, obviously). Then tie on a ribbon and hang!
I think they look especially cute in the kitchen, myself.