I used to find fun and easy craft ideas for my cousin Julianna and I to do with her kids at Christmas time. One of the easiest, fasted, cheapest, and most amazing was making peppermint candy wreaths to hang on the tree or put on gift packages. And you can eat them, too!!
The kids loved it, and Julianna and I loved it too.
The pictures are from the internet and are quite similar but when reading their instructions, I liked the way we did it better. Have fun!!
Place the aluminum foil tart pans on a cookie sheet
Remove the candy wrappers from a few candies -- as many as you plan on using. You might start with 20 or 30 and unwrap more if you need them as you go along. (We had 3 kids and 2 adults working at different stages and had a great time. Make sure it is the adults using the oven, depending on the ages of the children. Safety first!!)
Arrange the candies in a circle inside the pan but do not place any in the middle of the pan. This will take about 5 or 6 candies (depending on the size of the foil pan). Line up the candies touching one another in a circle lining the outer edge of the inside of the foil pan.
Place the cookie sheet in the oven for from 5 to 8 minutes. You will need to watch them carefully to get familiar with judging them. The candies will start to melt and wherever they are touching they will become permanently attached together.
When they have formed a perfect little wreath, remove them from the oven and cool.
NOTE: If you bake them too long they will begin to run together and you will have a candy disk rather than a candy wreath. You want the candy to retain it's original look, but be melted enough to attach to the next one. Watch the time on your first batch then the second will be the same.
After they have completely cooled, tie on a length of ribbon to suit your purpose -- if hanging on the tree, you'll need a long strip to make a loop with a bow. It worked well to simply tie the ribbon to the candy, make the bow, then make the loop above the bow (not like in the attached picture -- the bow is prettier on the candy, not the loop). If for packages the ribbon should be just long enough to make a pretty bow on top or bottom as you wish.
You can alternate red and green candies, or, as mentioned above you can use any hard candy to make these. All red candies, or blue candies, or whatever you have. Remember the white candies will show up on a dark tree better, but the darker colored ones look great as package trims that the receiver can eat!!
The ones we made for the tree lasted about three years before they began to get broken and soft and were thrown out. They don't get sticky unless they get wet for some reason. They can be packed in tissue paper or wax paper but make sure to store them away from, say a furnace! LOL
The foil pans dictate the size of the wreaths and make it easier to handle them later and also keep them uniform in size. They simply pop out of the pan when they have cooled. You can easily turn them upside down and lightly tap the bottom letting them fall gently into your hand.
If you have some reason to make larger wreaths the candies can be laid out on an aluminum-foil-covered cookie sheet in a circle and heated the same way. Just keep your eye on them... the hotter they get, the farther they spread.
In fact... this is funny... I saw a blog where a lady had laid out an entire bag of candies in a rectangle on foil, melted them together, and used them as a candy dish to give treats to friends and neighbors!! I've attached a picture of that, too!! (That was at tipgarden (dot) blogspot (dot) com) I imagine you could make some cool patterns with the candies, too... just be creative!