How to Make a Gum Drop Topiary Tree

by Chelsea Fitzgerald

Adding gumdrops to a topiary tree adds a whimsical appeal to a table centerpiece or other area in your home. Using pastel or Christmas colors creates a tree that is reminiscent of sugarplums and happy holiday memories. Many people use assorted colors of gumdrops but you can use just one color depending on the look you want. The supplies for a gumdrop topiary tree are relatively inexpensive -- depending on how many gumdrops you consume while building it -- and it only takes an hour or two of time.

Items you will need

  • Newspaper or wax paper
  • Dowel rod (up to 15 inches)
  • Small terracotta pot
  • Acrylic paints
  • Craft paintbrush
  • Large bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Confectioner's or powdered sugar
  • Large spoon
  • Rubber spatula or butter knife
  • Floral foam
  • Sharp knife
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Moss, Easter grass or raffia
  • Fabric ribbon (approximately 1 inch wide and 1 foot long)
  • Toothpicks (optional)
  • Cone-shaped foam (optional)
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Step 1

Spread newspapers or wax paper over the work surface to protect it.

Step 2

Paint the dowel rod and terracotta pot with the acrylic paint color of your choice and a craft paintbrush. The towel rod acts as the tree trunk, therefore brown, tan or green are wise choices. Coordinate the color of your terracotta pot with the colors in the gumdrop tree. For instance, if you are using pastel gumdrops, paint the pot in pink, yellow, white or another pastel shade. Allow the pot and dowel rod time to dry.

Step 3

Push the dowel rod up 2 or 3 inches into the center of the foam ball. This serves as the base to hold up your gumdrop topiary.

Step 4

Mix a "glue" in a large bowl to stick the gumdrops onto the foam ball. Add 1 tsp. of water to 1 1/2 cups of confectioner's sugar. Stir the ingredients with a large spoon until a stiff, paste-like consistency is achieved. If the mixture becomes too thin, simply add more sugar, 1 tbsp. at a time. If it is too thick to spread, add a few drops of water and stir until it is the right consistency.

Step 5

Spread the "glue" onto the foam ball with a rubber spatula or a butter knife. Use a thin layer.

Step 6

Taste the gumdrops periodically while you are working with them. This ensures that the gumdrops are fresh and the right quality candy to decorate your gumdrop tree. If quality assurance is not important to you, feel free to skip this step.

Step 7

Add a small amount of the sugar mixture on the bottom of a gumdrop and then attach it to the foam ball. Work quickly to cover the ball with all the gumdrops.

Step 8

Set the gumdrop topiary to the side to allow the sugar "glue" to dry well.

Step 9

Push the floral foam down into the terracotta pot. It may be necessary to trim it with a sharp knife to be able to push it down into the pot.

Step 10

Squeeze hot glue over the floral foam in the pot and add moss, Easter grass or even raffia to cover the floral foam.

Step 11

Stand up the gumdrop topiary tree into the pot once it dries by pushing the dowel rod into the floral foam until it reaches the base of the pot.

Step 12

Tie a coordinating bow around the dowel rod to add a festive touch to the design.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can use hot glue to attach the gumdrops to the foam ball if you desire. Toothpicks are another option. Break the toothpicks in half; stick one end in the gumdrop and the other end into the foam ball.
  • Use a cone-shaped piece of foam for your topiary tree if you desire. Skip the dowel rod steps as they are not necessary for this type of topiary tree.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images