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Decorating for the holidays. It’s something you enjoy or something that drives you crazy. Or if you’re like me it’s a little of both. While I love getting all my decorations out and seeing the house transform into a winter wonderland it can make me feel a bit overwhelmed, too. I have so many Rubbermaid containers filled with decorations, old, new and everything in between that I swear some haven’t seen daylight in ten years! But still, I add more every year and this year I’m adding fabric candy canes.
One of my favorite ways to decorate is with handmade items. There is something so delightful about using homemade or one of a kind decorations you just don’t feel from mass-produced ones. And for those of you who don’t think you’d ever be able to make your own, don’t sell yourself short. Most of my handmade craft ideas are easy enough that just about anyone can make them.
Easy crafts are my favorite kind of crafts
I like to keep things pretty basic so the most complicated item you’ll need in order to make my fabric candy canes is a sewing machine. The other major items needed are fabric, stuffing, scissors, needle and thread and paint. These fabric candy canes look adorable hanging on a tree, tucked into crocks or jars or placed in Christmas greens. And they make cute gifts, too. Tie a couple together with jute or twine and attach them to gifts and share with family and friends.
So let’s learn how to make these fabric candy canes! I’m listing every single item I used to make mine. I’ve been crafting for years so most of these supplies are already things I have on hand but for those of you who are new to crafting or haven’t been crafting as long you may need to purchase a couple of items. If you do have to purchase some supplies look at it as an investment. You will be able to use these items in future craft projects. And once you find out how easy some of these crafts are you may become obsessed with crafting. But that’s a good thing. The joy and satisfaction you get from finishing a handmade project can addicting. Sharing your creations with loved ones is just icing on the craft cake!
- Sewing machine
- White or ecru basic thread for your machine
- White or ecru upholstery thread
- Basic sewing needle
- *1/4 yd. muslin fabric**
- Stuffing (I use Fairfield Poly-Fil Premium Polyester Fiber-Fil. Most bags come with a stuffing tool which you will need. If you don’t have a stuffing tool you can use a wooden pencil but I recommend breaking off the point.
- Craft paint – red and white
*The definition of muslin: A cotton fabric of plain weave. It is made in a wide range of weights from delicate sheers to coarse sheeting.
**When choosing muslin for this project, a rougher blend works best. The rougher texture helps keep your candy cane’s shape firm. If you use a softer blend it will still work but there may be more “give” to your canes.
Follow these 9 easy steps
On a piece of heavy paper or thin cardboard draw a candy cane shape then cut out. This will be your template. My candy cane is 8″ long x 3 1/2″ wide and the actual can is 1″ thick. I’m including my template in case you want my exact size. Print out the template and trace onto heavy paper or cardboard and cut out.
Lay your muslin out on a flat surface. Fold it in half (if it’s not already so that it is 2 ply) There is no right or wrong side to muslin.
Lay your candy cane template on your muslin approximately 1/2″ from the edge and trace around the entire cane with a pencil. This will be your sewing line. Continue tracing as many as you want or as many will fit on your piece of muslin. You can flip your candy cane over to allow more to fit but leave enough space between each cane to give yourself about 1/4″ cut allowance around each one.
On the long straight side of the cane, start sewing on the line. Be sure to backstitch to lock your stitches because you will not sew completely around the entire cane. You will need to leave about a one-inch opening to turn and stuff your candy cane. Continue sewing carefully on the line around the rest of the cane. When you get near the spot you started, backstitch to secure this end. (Remember to leave an inch to an inch and a half opening.) Continue sewing all of your candy canes.
Cut out each candy cane. Leave approximately 1/4″ allowance around the seam when cutting. I like to leave a bit more at the opening of each cane. I cut about 1/4″ up the side of the seam but bump out a bit more when cutting past the opening.
After cutting all your candy canes out use your stuffing tool or pencil to turn them right side out. Use the tool to push out the seams to open up the cane. Be careful not to push so hard that you poke through the seam.
Stuff your candy canes. Start with a small amount of fiber fil and use the blunt end of your tool to push the stuffing into the far end of the cane. Continue stuffing until each cane is firmly stuffed. When the canes are stuffed, use your upholstery thread and a sewing needle to stitch the hole closed. Trim away any stuffing fibers that may stick out.
Using a sharpened pencil, draw the stripes on your candy canes. I prefer to draw two parallel slanted lines on one side of the cane and then mirror them on the other side. I do not make an actual constant stripe. It’s more like separate chevron marks. Continue to add “stripes” the entire way up your cane.
-You can make fancy double stripes, if you’re comfortable, by making your chevron marks and then adding a line below the bottom mark and another above the top mark.
Paint your candy cane. Start with either color and paint every other “stripe”. When those marks dry paint the other stripes.
-If you’ve added extra double stripes you’ll do it slightly differently. Paint the red chevron marks you made first. Then when dry paint the thin area between the red and your extra line white. When you’ve painted all the thin spaces between the red stripes and extra lines you’ll use a very thin brush to paint a red line over your pencil line next to the white. When these red lines dry paint the area between them white. After everything is dry go back in and touch up any lines that need straightening or widened.
Congratulations! Your fabric candy canes are now finished! You can either start decorating with them or embellish them even more.
-Lightly spray each side of a cane with spray adhesive. Sprinkle with faux snow or glitter while still tacky. Allow to dry.
-Tie a thin piece of jute around each cane and tie a knot. Attach a sprig of greenery or a small note.
I hope you enjoyed making these fabric candy canes! I’d love to see them if you did. Tag me on Instagram or Twitter > @thecraftymidsis or send me a pic at firstname.lastname@example.org.