By Lauren Scott, Arizona Farm Bureau Intern
Have you decorated for the holiday season yet? I know my family has. To tell you the truth, we are that family that puts the Christmas tree up on Thanksgiving night, and by the next evening, the whole house is covered in decorations. Even now that we are into the month of December, the decorating doesn’t stop.
Our tree is filled with ornaments collected over the years, but I like to add my own holiday touch when this season rolls around. I do this with homemade, edible ornaments. Sometimes the decorations don’t make it to the tree because they are so tasty, but they are fun to make, and neat little gifts for friends. They are also great activities for kids or winter parties.
I hope you enjoy these DIY’s as much as I have, and I hope they can bring a little Christmas cheer to your home as they do in mine!
- Froot Loop Candy Canes: For this craft, you will need pipe cleaners and a box of Froot Loops or another colorful cereal with holes in the center, and a bowl. To create this ornament: Fill a bowl with your cereal. Take a pipe cleaner bend the bottom tip upwards a little bit so the cereal won’t fall off. From the top, start threading the cereal pieces onto the pipe cleaner. Have fun with the color combinations! As you get to the top of the pipe cleaner, bend it so it looks like a candy cane. Once you have all the cereal pieces you want on the pipe cleaner, bend the top tip over the topmost piece so that no cereal can fall off. Now your ornament is ready to hang on the tree!
- Hard Candy Ornaments: For these ornaments, you will need hard candies (like peppermint and butterscotch candies, Jolly Ranchers, Werther’s Originals, etc.), metal cookie cutters, non-stick cooking spray, parchment paper, toothpicks, and ribbon. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Lay the metal cookie cutters on the cookie sheet, at least an inch apart (Make sure to use fun holiday themed cookie cutters like trees, stockings, ball ornaments, and candy canes!). Spray the cookie cutters with the non-stick spray. Place the candies inside the cookie cutters, as evenly as possible. Place the cookie sheet in your preheated oven, and bake the ornaments for five to ten minutes (Or until they are melted together). Once out of the oven, let the candy cool for a few minutes, and then create holes in them with a toothpick where you would like to hang them from. After another 10 to 15 minutes, they should be cool, and you can take them out of the cookie cutters and hang them from your tree!
- Hot Chocolate Ornaments: For these ornaments, you will need packages of instant hot chocolate mix, clear plastic ornaments, red and white sprinkles, crushed candy canes, mini milk chocolate chips, and tiny marshmallows (they might already come in the instant hot chocolate mix). First, take the lids off the ornaments. Fill each ornament with one package of instant hot chocolate mix, and then add whatever garnishes you’d like. Add in a layer of crushed candy cane, red and white sprinkles, mini milk chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows. Close the lids and hang on the tree for Christmas morning, or give as gifts!
- Dried Fruit Ornaments: You will need two lemons, two oranges, two grapefruits, two limes, a knife, a cutting board, a cookie sheet, a twine or ribbon, and a toothpick. First, set the oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, place the fruit one by one on the cutting board and cut them up into thin slices. Place the slices on a cookie sheet and bake them for seven hours, flipping them halfway through. When they are done dehydrating, make a hole toward the peel wherever you’d like with a toothpick. Thread ribbon or twine through the hole, and hang the ornament on your tree!
- Popcorn Garland: For this decoration, you will need pre-popped and STALE popcorn, a bag of cranberries, fishing line, and a needle. Thread about five feet of fishing line through the needle, and tie off the end. Start with a cranberry, stick the needle through the stem end and out the top (Use only the hard cranberries, the soft ones can pop or leak onto the popcorn). Then, thread three or four pieces of popcorn onto the fishing line (Using stale popcorn is best so that the popcorn doesn’t crumble). Continue threading the two components onto the fishing line until you get to the end. Finish the garland with a cranberry, and tie off the fishing line.
Remember, these ornaments don’t just have to hang on your tree! Give them as gifts or serve them as treats at your holiday gathering. If you have a recipe for homemade ornaments, leave it in the comments! Also, check out Fill Your Plate’s recipe section for delicious holiday meals, drinks, and treats.