Even though kids are heading back to school soon, summer is still in full swing, which means we can be enjoying weekend pool parties and barbeques well into the next month. Along with necessities like sunscreen, snacks, and cold drinks, consider adding candy leis to the list of must-haves at your next big bash.
Candy leis are the perfect accessory or party favor for summer parties--they're playful, colorful, and are a fraction of the cost of traditional flower leis. Here's what you need to make your own candy leis:
Colorful Candy! Candy will be the focus of the lei, so choose candy that tastes great, with an appearance that will really "pop." I'm using Zaza Chewy Fruit Candy and Rainbow Twists, both available from Oh Nuts. There's a great selection of colorful bulk candy on the Oh Nuts website. I think these Fruitomila candies, Laffy Taffys, Sour Balls, and gumballs would also work well.
You will also need cling wrap and curling ribbon.
To make candy leis, start by unrolling a long strip of cling wrap. You'll want at least a yard, but go longer if you're making leis for adults.
Place little clusters of candies an inch apart down the center of the cling wrap. If the candies are very large, just put one, but if they're medium-sized then three or four usually works well--you want the candies to be noticeable, but not so large as to be bulky or uncomfortable.
Take the far edge of the cling wrap and fold it in half so that the candy is encased in the middle of the cling wrap.
Now take the outer edge and fold it back into the center, so you have a double layer of cling wrap around the candy.
At this point I like to pinch between the candy clusters to seal the cling wrap together. It's not entirely necessary, but I think it makes it easier to keep everything in place and to keep the candy clusters together in the candy lei.
Cut the curling ribbon in strips about 6-8 inches long.
Tie the curling ribbon in a double knot in between each cluster of candy in the candy lei, then curl it with scissors. Make sure you also tie the ends tightly.
Bring the two ends of the candy lei together, and tie them tightly with a double knot, curling that ribbon as well.
Your candy lei is now finished! You can also leave it untied and make a candy garland to string across walls or tables. Candy leis and candy garlands make awesome party favors and decorations for summer picnics, pool parties, barbecues, and graduation parties. Ready to make your own candy lei? Start by browsing the Oh Nuts candy selection.
All text and photos (c) 2010 Elizabeth LaBau