Saturday, October 2, 2010
With Halloween on the horizon, candy aisles are filling up with my favorite color: orange! I love the cheerful look of candy corn and pumpkins, so last week I got it into my head that it would be fun to make some jewelry with actual candy corn.
Well, after a little trial and error, I did it! Check it out:
Those are actual candies, dipped in epoxy resin! It wasn't *quite* as easy as I thought it would be, but it was still a really fun project. If you want to try it yourself, keep scrolling for progress shots and instructions.
When I went to buy my candy corns, all I could find was a big candy variety pack:
[Oh, and if you think the gummi candies or drops will look good dipped in epoxy, allow me to save you the trouble: they won't. The epoxy doesn't stick well to gummi candies, and the sugar-coated drops lose their texture when dipped. So stick to hard, smooth surfaces if you want to branch out, candy-wise.]
Ok, first things first: you need to drill a tiny hole through your candies. Which means...
The speed (or lack thereof) is crucial here: if you press down too fast, the candy will crack in two. You can see a few of my casualties in the photo. Despite my best efforts, I found that about one in three candies cracked. Good thing candy corn comes in big bags!
Once your hole is drilled, insert a two-inch (or longer) jewelry post into the candy. I used these:
The head should be on the bottom of your candy, with the long end sticking out the top. This will later be your loop to hang the candy charm.
The candy pumpkins are much sturdier than the candy corn, so it's possible to just push your jewelry post through those without drilling a hole first. Still, go slow; too fast and your pumpkin stem will crack or crumble off.
When you're done, your candies will look like this:
Oh, and one more thing about the candy corns: you can drill from either end. Because I wanted the top to be as centered as possible I drilled from the top down, but you don't have to. Just make sure your jewelry post goes in from the bottom.
Hmm. I think those pumpkins still need something, though, don't you?
To draw the faces, I used a Sharpie felt-tip pen. You'll need to scrub the tip of the pen off with a paper towel from time to time, but otherwise it marks the candy really well. (It would also be cute to draw smiley faces on the candy corn, but since I knew I'd be hanging them all together I opted not to.)
At this point, you should add a tiny dot of super glue to each candy right around the metal post sticking out the top. (This is the voice of experience talking. Heed the voice.)
Whichever resin you use, mix the two parts thoroughly in a small plastic cup, and then dip your candies in. Scrape the bottom of the candy on the side of the cup, and then give it a good twirl to get the worst of the drips off. If there are any bubbles, breathe (don't blow) on the epoxy: for some reason this works almost as well as a blow torch. Almost.
Epoxy takes a looong time to dry, so next you need a place to hang your candies. Here I've strung a lovely seasonal garland [snort] across a metal shelf, and clipped the candy posts up with clothes pins. See the drips on the paper towel below them? Yeah. You might want to have one of those.
Over the next hour, you'll need to check your candies for drips. Scrape the bottoms with the edge of your cup every 10 minutes or so, and then when the epoxy starts to get really thick and goopy, invert your candies by sticking the posts into a block of floral foam or a pincushion. This is why that superglue earlier was necessary; without it, the candies will slide down the posts as soon as you turn them over. (Did I mention this is the voice of experience talking?)
About two days later (perhaps less) your candies will have a gorgeous, glossy hard finish. Trim the posts down, bend them into loops, and voila! You've got candy charms!
Since I already had this nice thick chain, I went with a charm bracelet:
These would also make an adorable necklace and earrings, though. In fact, I think I may take this apart and make a few different necklace designs. [plotting] Hm....
And since these have all been night shots, here's one taken in that strange thing called "sunlight:"
It's so...bright. Not sure what all you "day people" see in it. (Besides trees and stuff, I mean.)
So that's it! Any of you going to give this a try? If so, be sure to send me pictures! There are lots of ways you could improve upon this idea, so I'd love to see what you creative types come up with.
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