December 2001
Volume 2, Issue 12
Christmas Candy Canes With Photos
Original tutorial by Dave Snyder

Updated and Edited by Jeannie Havel October 2012
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Last Christmas, I wanted to make some candy canes to sell in our shop. Well, I think I took the long way around in making them. I rolled two logs, one white and one red, quartered them, and put them back together. A lot of work for a few somewhat half-decent looking candy canes.

This year, I was playing around, trying to make some patriotic pieces using my clay gun, and accidentally happened upon this technique. I don't recall seeing it anywhere, but I'm sure it has been done before. Below are the instructions for my new and improved candy canes. I have sold a ton of them so far.

They are great to send away with your photo Christmas cards or even gifts.

Materials & Tools:
  • Fimo Classic 00 Translucent or any translucent 
  • Premo Cadmium Red 
  • Clay extruder with round discs
  • Tissue Blade

Step One:

Condition and roll translucent clay into a log. I make my logs about 1 ½ inches in diameter and approx. 4 ½ inches long.

I usually blend a little black clay with my red to make a deeper red color for my canes to give them more of an antique look.

Using your clay extruder, squeeze out one tube full of red clay, using the smallest round disk. Then squeeze out about 1 - 1 ½ tubes of red clay, using a larger round disk. You want there to be some range between the sizes of ropes.

Step Two:

Cut your red clay ropes a little longer than your translucent log. You want them to over lap your ends a bit so when you reduce the log, the red will have room to grow.

Lay the ropes onto the log about ¼ of an inch apart. This does not have to be precise. I usually lay one thicker rope down and press it into the log first, then I lay two thin ropes down, then another thick rope down and then one thin rope and alternate this keeping the ropes around ¼ inch apart.

This will give it the look of a real candy cane. Make sure you press the ropes into the log completely. If you just lay them on the log, when you reduce, your ropes will go all over the place.

Step Three:

Next you want to reduce your log. Now I don't reduce in the traditional cane manner. With this cane I just roll it out stretching it as I'm rolling. It will not matter if the inside of this cane shifts since it's the outside of the cane that is going to be exposed.

It's OK if the cane twists some because you will be twisting the individual candy canes in the end after all. Just don't twist it too much.

Step Four:

I usually roll the entire log out and then cut my sections.

I make my finished canes about the diameter of a pencil. If you want to keep your candy canes consistent, measure each candy cane and then cut.

As you can see, I use my paintbrush to measure with.

After you cut your lengths, you want to twist or twirl your cane. I usually hold one end and use the palm of my hand to roll the log keeping the end in one place.

The end of your candy cane will look like this. Sorry about the dirty nails. I usually have clay or concrete under them.

Candy
              Cane I pinch the ends together to get a more finished look.

Candy
              Cane Step Five:

Next, take the cane and shape it into a J shape.

Step Six:

I take about a one inch section of wire and twist it into a little loop to make a hanger. Then I add a dot of glue to the end of the wire and press it into the soft clay to make sure it stays put.

As you can see, you can make your canes any color you want. The green and red mix sells just as well, if not better, than the white and red at our shows and shop. I originally made some red, white and blue ones using pearl white instead of translucent.

Step Seven:

Baking!!! You want to bake these as you would normally following manufacturer's directions. However, I usually end up taking them right out of the oven and run them under ice cold water while holding the J-shape firmly in place with my other hand. They tend to go out of shape in the oven.

I have tough skin, but have burned myself slightly while doing this on occasion. (Editor's Note: Use caution when removing clay from a hot oven to avoid burns).

I also noticed when I ran out of Fimo translucent and had to use Premo it was even harder to keep the J-shape in the oven. Also, the Premo translucent was quite squishy, and the stripes were even harder to keep in place when I did the twisting thing. That is why I prefer Fimo translucent for this.

White can be used, but I prefer translucent. Using the translucent clay rather than white gives the candy canes a nice natural looking effect, more like a real candy cane. And if you over-bake your candy canes, they're antiqued! (Editor's note: Bake clay according to manufacturer's instructions. Deliberately over-baking clay is not recommended).

Sometimes I take brown paint and rub it on the canes and then wipe it off to give them that antique look. People really like the antique looking ones.

Premo Base (#05) with no color added makes an interesting antique look also. 

If you have any questions, feel free to send an email to us at pcPolyzine.com.