Monday, May 13, 2019

DIY Unicorn Candy Charms That Will Kill You With Cuteness

This little craft started as a brain teaser for me and John, as we experimented with how to put it together. Then it got put on hold while I ordered a few more supplies, lost interest, and eventually forgot about it entirely. 

My fellow crafters know this struggle.

Anyway, so here we are a few months later, and I've finally finished enough of these cuties to show you how it's done. And, full confession: I am completely in love.

BEHOLD!

I'm dying. Are you dying? It's so stinkin' cute ermergersh.


  I also made these:
 

You could use them as cellphone dangles or purse clips, or turn them into pins or little hair barrettes.

Before I go any further, let me give full credit to the artist who inspired this, Alix of SunsetStarlit. Go follow her for the best, most adorable clay crafts, including hand-sculpted candies like these:
 

I don't know if Alix is the first to do this, but I'd never seen charms that look like wrapped candies before hers - and I've been besotted for months. So I set out to find a way to make a similar candy charm without having to sculpt anything.

That's when I remembered all the adorable button options over at JoAnn's, like these unicorns:


And they already look like sugar candies! PERFECT. There are lots of flat button options out there, too. Just clip off the button backs and you're good to go.

Another option for your "candy" is to order plastic or clay Decoden charms online, which is what I did for this larger lollipop shaker charm:
 
 
 (Trying to play it cool but I'm super fangirling over how sweet this turned out.)

It makes the best sound when you move it; the beads rolling around is very soothing, ha.

  The lollipop and beads are both from Delish Beads over on Etsy, which I highly recommend. They have SO MUCH, just browsing through their massive store is fun:


They offer small amounts, too, so each thing is only a few dollars. I still have a few more goodies from Delish that I hope to turn into candy charms later.

Now, let's tackle the wrapper!

YOU WILL NEED:
 
- clear vinyl
- a small round dowel or PVC pipe
- vinyl adhesive (comes in a tube)
- washi tape
- pinking shears
- clear packing tape or Scotch tape
- thumb tack
- O-rings
- finishing hardware (clip, pin back, etc.)

You'll find clear vinyl in the upholstery section of your craft store, sold by the yard. It's extremely cheap, and even half a yard would make like a hundred charms, so ask for a quarter yard.

A quick note on vinyl quality, though:

There are different thicknesses of vinyl, and we've found the thinner stuff has striations through it like you see on the left, while the slightly thicker vinyl is more crystal clear.

That said, thicker vinyl is a little harder to crease into extra small wrappers, while the thin stuff is more pliable.

And, for what it's worth, the striations in the thin vinyl BARELY show, unless you're looking very closely in the right light. So it's your call, but personally I think I'd stick with the thinnest vinyl you can find.

Your measurements will vary depending on what size candy charm you use, but here's the general process:

Cut a strip of vinyl much longer than you need, roll it around a thick dowel or PVC pipe, and secure the edges with strong clear tape. (Packing tape is great, or even shiny crystal-clear Scotch tape.) You'll want your vinyl to only overlap a tiny bit, less than half an inch.

Obviously that's easier said than done, as you'll need to trim both the vinyl and your tape, then line everything up so it's straight, but hey, you've got lots of vinyl to practice with! :D (John recommends taping one side of the vinyl first, then rolling it around the dowel to press down the other side. Hope that makes sense.)

Once you have your clear tube of vinyl, make sure your candy charm will fit inside. It should be a little snug, since the tube will get flattened down on each edge.


I'm only showing the washi tape on the end here, but there's also vinyl glue inside the tube edges, holding them closed. The vinyl glue is essential; washi tape isn't nearly strong enough on its own.

After you've glued and taped the edge, it's time to tape it one more time with clear packing tape:

This effectively laminates the paper washi tape, giving it more strength and protection.

Finally, to finish the edge, trim off the excess tape with a pair of pinking shears:

And that's one end done!

Now add your candy charm and any filler beads:

Then trim the tube to size, and repeat the steps above to seal the opposite end.

Ta-daaaa.

To turn your new candy into a wearable thing, you can either glue it to a clip or pin back, or poke a hole through the corner with a thumb tack to add an O-ring:


You can also poke the hole before filling your wrapper; either way is fine.

To finish my charms I used these hanger things:

I think they're for cellphone dangles? Really I just bought them for the cute colors.

Decisions, decisions ...

And that's it! We're done!

Oh wait, I also added some star bead dangles to the unicorn candies.

But after THAT, we're done!

(And if you're wondering where my blue unicorn charm went, let's just say... so am I.)
 
 (::glares meaningfully at cats::)

More beauty shots:





 I'm sure you're wondering what the backs look like:


The clay lollipop looks great from both sides, but be aware the flat buttons definitely have a "bad" side. If that bothers you, just turn your button candies into pins or clips instead of hanging charms. (Or make sure it hangs in a way that it won't flip over.)


I hope this made you smile, and maybe inspired you to make your own candy charms now! I'm still brainstorming what other little figures or beads or toys I could put inside a wrapper, so if you have any ideas, hit me up in the comments.

*****

Wait! Before you go, if you're looking for more fun tutorials, check out my Craft Page! I've got over 150 different project previews there now, all on one page for easy browsing.

*****
And if you like posts like this and want to see more, you can help support Epbot by shopping through our Amazon links (USA, UK, Canada.), directly through Paypal, or by just following me on FB and tagging friends you think would like my unique blend of madness and geekery. :D

Thanks so much for being here and letting me do what I do. I love you all three thousand. 
::Squishy Internet Hugs::


27 comments:

  1. MUST make these with the Animaniacs!

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  2. You could also cut a small piece of coordinating cardstock and cover the back of the button when you cut the loop off. Or felt. Or whatever you happen to have laying around!

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    Replies
    1. Those are good ideas. Also if your button isn't too fat and symmetrical, you could glue two back to back.

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    2. Or fill with matching clay and let dry!

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    3. I love all these ideas!

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  3. Someone please make Jen a mold of Epbot 'bot so she can make a bunch of these!

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  4. Seconding the request for Epbot candy charms!

    Also: WHY DO YOU AND JOHN NOT HAVE A PATREON ACCOUNT

    ?

    Here's a comment I left on the blog of one of the other artists I patreon-ize, and it goes for you guys as well:

    “Patreon-age” is a very convenient and affordable way to help support and encourage the artists we value, without having to go the traditional patron route of getting them a court appointment and rooms in the palace and all that bureaucratic fuffle. (Although you’re always welcome to a room in the “palace” if you ever happen to be passing through Schenectady, of course! :))

    Kimstu

    P.S. Also: that is not a thumbtack, that is a pushpin ;)

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    Replies
    1. I second the "Why no Patreon?" commentary.

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    2. I third it! So, it carries. Get on that, Jen! ;)

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    3. Ha! Ok, I'll try to explain our thought process with Patreon:

      John and I've talked about Patreon every few months for YEARS, but ultimately it comes down to A) I don't have rewards to offer, B) it's more work, & C) not enough demand.

      I could be wrong on the demand thing (you guys tell me if I am!), but I think most folks who would give to us on Patreon already do so through Paypal, since you can set up a monthly donation there in the same way.

      Patreon creates an expectation of exclusive rewards or content, and honestly, I barely keep up with what I offer here NOW. I also never want to lock anything I create behind a pay wall, which I know isn't *required* with Patreon, but it's usually the incentive to get people to sign up.

      It's still very much on our radar, though, and if John and I ever feel like there's some kind of reward we can offer - like Q&A videos, or maybe give-aways of the stuff we make - and that we're on top of the rest of our lives enough to add in that extra workload, then we'll sign up for sure.

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    4. You could do what Frock Flicks does and locks some of their posts for Patreon users only. Just a thought

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    5. Ugh I really hate that I cannot just put a name... also love you three thousand!!!

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    6. I speak only for myself, but I think some or even many others might agree - while "rewards" are nice, I feel like I already get one. I have learned so much from you and John, and gotten so many ideas. I immensely dislike PayPal but I would Patreon you guys in a hot New York second. Or even a cold New York second. Even a lukewarm-ish New York second, though from experience I can tell you there aren't many of those....

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  5. These are really cute. For the back of the flat buttons, why not glue on one or two of the filler beads to cover up the holes? Or does that make the button to thick to fit inside the tube?

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    1. For these it made them too thick, yes, but that could work for larger wrappers!

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  6. Is that kind of vinyl something you could potentially iron to seal the edges together? Starting off with a coolish iron and a pressing cloth, of course...

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    1. Well now I have to go find out. ::zooms off::

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    2. Yes, you can iron vinyl! Press the tube flat between two pieces of parchment paper and press the edge of a medium temp iron down for several seconds. You can also use and old fashioned Seal-A-Meal machine. (I find them at yard sales and thrift stores) It's also how filled vinyl hair bows are made!

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    3. Thanks @Dee May! Hope your experiment works @Jen! (Seems like ironing might be a little less messy than glue... whenever I personally try to glue something, it gets everywhere.)

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  7. Ok where didyou find the mini lanyards????

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  8. Ermagersh, those are ADORABLE! Now I want to go to JoAnn and buy ALL the buttons

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  9. These are DARLING! I love them! They look way more difficult than the step by step pictures reveal, thanks Jen!

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  10. I Pinterest the tar out of little things to do/make for the amazing teachers I supervise - this is a very doable end of the year thing I could do for all of them...and I could do little trees (a symbol of our program is a tree), leaves, acorns...oh, this could be the best end of the year gift idea ever. (I have to pay for things myself, so this might just be...perfect!!!) Thank you so much!!!

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  11. hmmm...I wonder how one would go about making it more tube shaped? Like a Smarties roll? hmm....

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    1. Maybe you could use one of those bubble tea straws? Depending on how big you wanted it...

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  12. Tiny seashells and sand? Use these as a give away - I'd want one! As for the blue unicorn, the girls did not think it was teal enuf for you and thus, did you a favor batting it under the bed/couch/bookcase.

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  13. I'm a big fan of repurposing other things to turn into Christmas ornaments. These would be adorable for a little candy/sweets-themed tree. Maybe Honeydukes?

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