DIY Candy Cane Tree


If you’re feeling crafty and festive, you’re gonna love this DIY candy cane Christmas tree! Did you know you can heat candy canes to a pliable consistency? I’m definitely making it on the naughty list as I’m sure Santa wouldn’t appreciate me messing with his favorite peppermint candy! I turned the heat to 225, placed my candy canes on a cookie sheet with some parchment paper and baked them for 10 minutes, right before they were about to melt, I pulled them out and placed them around a styrofoam tree! The best part is that the candy canes weren’t too hot to handle! And so it began, but two hour candy cane tree extravaganza. You have to work fast with these because they harden quickly. Also, you can’t melt too many at a time, otherwise they’ll be cooled before you can get to them. I would heat about 3-4 and work quickly. Pushing down the ends of the candy canes to make them flat for the next one to pair next to it. It’s not a quick craft, but I love working on things like this, even if they take awhile. It lets my mind slip away and just focus on one project… a nice break! So if you want to skip the gingerbread house making and create a candy cane tree instead, I can vouch that it’s a fun project and they look awesome on the mantel!

Parchment Paper
Tons of unwrapped candy canes! I used about 55!
Styrofoam tree

Heat the oven to 225
Place 3-4 candy canes on a cookie sheet with parchment paper
Bake for 7-10 minutes just before they melt and are perfectly pliable!
Start from the bottom and work your way up the styrofoam tree.

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25 responses to DIY Candy Cane Tree

  1. Tammie
    December 9, 2013

    Wow, who knew you could bake candy canes to make them pliable?
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Eden
      December 10, 2013

      Thanks Tammie! There was some trial and error, but I finally got the right temp and time! So happy it worked 🙂

  2. December 9, 2013

    Such a cute idea! Love it!!

    1. Eden
      December 10, 2013

      Thank you Rachel!

  3. Roxanne
    December 9, 2013

    Wow, beautiful! And you don’t even need glue? Can’t wait to do this craft with the kids I babysit 🙂

  4. December 9, 2013

    Who would’ve thought, such a genius idea!

    1. Eden
      December 10, 2013

      Haha! I was so happy when it actually worked!! 🙂

  5. Arlene
    December 10, 2013

    What do you do at the top of the cone to have them get smaller? Thank you

    1. Eden
      December 10, 2013

      The candy canes are the same size, I just followed the shape of the cone and then twirled it to a point for the top. I also melted a candy cane and used a mini cookie cutter shaped star to cut out a candy cane star for the top of the tree.

      1. Gina
        November 9, 2015

        For the topper, instead of using a mini metal star on warm candy cane, break the candy cane into small chunks and then crush them. Put pieces inside of metal cookie cutter, heat in oven until melted evenly. Also, treat cookie cutter with cooking spray or dip in olive oil. It will make it easier to release.

  6. December 10, 2013


  7. chris owen
    December 11, 2013

    OMG, your candy cane tree is TOO cool. AND I love your santas, you make it look so easy.
    Too bad you weren’t closer to Del Norte, we have fabulous trees you can purchase close by!
    Happy Holidays, chris

  8. Cathy Powell
    November 16, 2014

    This looks so pretty and I look forward to trying it. Is there a reason for starting at the bottom? Would there be any problem with starting at the top? I figured if I ran out of candy before I ran out of tree it would be less of a problem.

    1. Eden
      November 19, 2014

      Hi Cathy! I think you can start at the top too! And if you run out then just cut the bottom off… good thinking 🙂

  9. jenn
    November 19, 2014

    Just wondering how many canes did you use for your tree and its finished size?
    It turned out super cute! Did you use any type of sealant to preserve it for future use or is it going to be a one time use kind of decoration?

  10. Gina
    November 9, 2015

    I suggest using Pepermint sticks, thin ones. It was a lot easier to manipulate. I will say it did increase the project cost slightly. Another neat variation,green striped pepermint round candies, red hots in gap spaces, makes a cute tree.

  11. Deb
    November 15, 2015

    I know this was posted 2 yrs ago, but wondered if anyone tried using a microwave instead of oven?

  12. Kim G
    December 1, 2015

    OK – I am in the process of making this now. Yes – you need an evening, a glass of wine and some patience! That being said, if you like this thing it is fun. And mine doesn’t look as perfect as this one, but I am particular and it does look very nice! I think the stripes make it a naturally forgiving project, and anything with candy canes just looks cute anyway. What a wonderful idea! I am placing mine with varios sized green ‘starlight’ candy trees and multi-colored gumdrop trees to decorate the food/dessert tables at a children’s gingerbread house decorating party I’m having. These are all time-consuming, so hopefully I can spray them with something and save them to use year after year! They would make a great addition to a mantel in a house with children (or with those young at heart!) for the centerpiece on a holiday dessert table, or just in your kitchen around the holidays!

    – My styrophome (sp?) tree is 12″ high and I had 48 candy canes – not enough! I melted some of the too far and broke others – I would suggest buying 72 (3 boxes of 24 ea.) and only opening 2. If all goes well you can return the other (I”m saving the rejects to crush for my peppermint bark so all is well!)

    – As everyone’s oven is different, start at 6 1/2 minutes. That turned out to be my magic number. 7 minutes was starting to melt them [out of their shape].

    – Start with 3 canes at a time. As you go one and get more comfortable, do 4 at a time. You DO have to work FAST. They are very hot at first so you loose a couple seconds getting them to cool down. And you have to be careful because if you grab/squeeze, etc. they will get dented, etc.

    – I kind of messed up by not just connecting them to the previous end at first – I’m not sure why – so there is a gap or 2 (I’ll just turn toward the wall) but make sure from the beginning you just connect one to the next. I think it might just make 1 gap right when you start, but they are are pliable enough that you can make sure to push down a bit to the ‘level’ below it to close any space. That one gap in the beginning can go toward the wall!

    – You really don’t need glue!

  13. Pauline Woehler
    December 6, 2015

    the idea to use candy canes on a styrofoam cone for a tree is easier said than done. Followed directions to a “T”, but no dice. Had canes in oven for stated time but they were too hot to handle to press on to cone, and then the candy hardened too fast to maneuver it around.
    We’ll let someone else do it. Those trying it were adults in late teens and adults.

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