Homemade Outdoor Christmas Decorations – Candy Land Theme

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homemade outdoor Christmas decorations - candyland theme

Candy Land Theme Outdoor Christmas Decorations

One of our readers asked for more details about my homemade outdoor Christmas decorations, especially the candy land theme decorations that I use to decorate my house during the Christmas season. I’m sorry… but for some reason, I never took pictures of it (maybe because I don’t own a camera??? :)

Since I bake gingerbread men, I make my house look like a gingerbread house, decorating with a candy land theme. I make my own homemade outdoor Christmas decorations. I go to carpet stores, get the 10-12 foot long cardboard cores carpet comes on, wrap them in white plastic bags and then, using outside wide red ribbon (the kind you use to make bows for wreaths), I wrap it down the core like a candy cane stick. I then place them on each side of my garage, tie to my fence on each side of my driveway or whatever I feel like that year. For one to two dollars, I have a fun homemade outdoor Christmas decoration that always makes a big impact!

One year, I got some clear colored cellophane paper in different colors for free. Here’s how I used it: I taped two paper plates together with the tops facing each other. This made a slight curve. Then I wrapped them in the cellophane, leaving the paper about three to four inches longer on each side and tied the sides with a string so that they looked like wrapped pieces of hard candy. I hung many of these on my fence, from my roof and up and down columns. They are so bright and cheery that my decorations look nice even during the day with no lights on.

I also took some of the candies and tied each one on to a stick. (I had 25 old white spring curtain rods that I couldn’t use, so that is what I used for sticks, but you could use a regular stick spray painted white.) Then I stuck them in flower beds and places, where they make great lollipops!

My son grabbed some three foot heavy cardboard cores that were being thrown away at his workplace. I spray painted them white and painted a red stripe on them or used the wide ribbon and made small candy cane sticks.

Then, one year, I added some giant gingerbread men to everything else. I found huge cardboard boxes someone was throwing away and I asked for them. I opened up each one to make one large piece of cardboard and had family members of different sizes lay on them. I traced around them, painted a face on each one and cut them out for a gingerbread family which hung by my front door. The largest one was almost 8 feet tall.

When my grandkids were coming to visit or just for something special, I tied real candy canes all over my little trees and bushes for them to pick off and eat. I had to use the wrapped candy canes and I didn’t leave them out very long so they wouldn’t get gross or eaten by bugs.

I’m not an artist, but my homemade outdoor Christmas decorations turned out nice! My kids laugh because the best I can draw is stick people but I don’t have the money to buy expensive decorations so I see something I like and then try to figure out how to make it for almost nothing, preferably using what I have on hand. When I’m done, I toss in tons of multi colored lights and some greenery and I top it all off with a candy wreath on the door.

It may seem like a lot of work to make homemade Christmas decorations but I just kept adding something each year and, once it is made, you can save everything and use it over and over.


Photo By: Shirley SL


  1. Bea says

    I like your candyland, gingerbread, decorating ideas. I think they are sweet and fairy tale like. Like Hansel and Gretel. Your house must be fun for children to visit, Jill.

  2. says

    well seeing this picture added to the fact that the Holiday Train has just gone through town means that Christmas has arrived in Canada.
    nice that they came out the same day here in our town.

  3. Paula says

    Jill you have GREAT ideas!!!…

    I did a Gingerbread theme tree when our daughter was 3 yrs old and always touching the tree…Took cardboard (cereal boxes etc) used a gman & gwoman cookie cutter and traced multiples onto cardboard,cut out, covered with tan felt (cheap 5/$1 craft store) using elmer’s glue,cut out, turned over and repeated the process….Viola 2 sided gingerbread…I then used white, red and green dimensional paint (has a pointy tip) to ‘ice’ and decorate my ‘cookies’. Also made peppermints (round white felt with red/green icing spirals), gingerbread houses (flat)ornaments, etc… I found an inexpensive plastic gingerbread pattern tablecloth which I made into a tree skirt. Instead of hooks I used thin satin ribbon, made a loop by knotting a small piece, seperate the top of the ornament, and hot glue the knot inside pressing the felt sides together.

    My daughter LOVED the tree, and I could breathe easy that she was SAFE (and so were my heirloom ornaments LOL) Several years later, my sister in law asked for the decorations and now she uses them!! FYI…Many dollar stores have candy garland (looks like candy canes, life savers etc strung together and covered with ‘sugar’ crystals…. Sweet decorating and NO CALORIES!!! lol

    • says

      That’s a really good idea! My first year on my own I made all homemade gingerbread ornaments. I worked for hours making houses, men, cupcakes, everything. One day I came home from the store and the dog had EATEN A GOOD PORTION OF IT!!! Augh!!! He was pooping red Christmas strings for several days! I surprised he didn’t kill himself!

  4. Kathy says

    I have a friend who cut pieces of one inch diameter white pvc pipe into 24″ lengths. He then wrapped them with red electrical tape to make candy stripes. He drilled a small hole near one end, and strung a piece of wire through it for a hanger, and then hung his “peppermint sticks” from the eves of his house.

  5. momof2nga says

    I love your website, very informative!
    I have a Christmas in Candyland event coming up fairly soon on a tight budget as its benefiting less fortunate in our community and need ideas for a large stage. I have aprox 40 4′ lollipops that I have made and glittered as well as a few 2-4′ gingerbread men but that is it. I love the idea above about the carpet rolls into candy candy canes..going to my local carpet store tomorrow! I need a large focal point for the center of the stage, maybe a gingerbread house? I found one on stumpsparty but $250 is not the budget for one item :(
    Any suggestions on how to make gumdrops or how to incorporate Christmas & Candyland into a full on stage without spending thousands? Thanks!

    • Grandma says

      the tubes of clear silicone for around tubs might make the gum drops. It seems to be easy to mould and it dries fairly quickly.
      for a ginger bread house try a that sells large appliances. Ask for some of the boxes and decorate them yourself.
      We used to do that as kids and they are sturdy enough to stand up to stage decorations.

  6. annie says

    Just thought of what I can do with the cardboard rolls from aluminum foil that I’ve been saving. I can make candy cane sticks. We have some columns on our front porch so they are easy to decorate with just some ribbon. To me homemade is better than what i can buy at the store. If something happens to it then it doesn’t bother me because it didn’t cost much in the first place since the ribbon, etc. was bought on sale.

  7. Jeanna says

    I’m a Sunday School Teacher and I try to use different themes. One of mine is Candy Land. I scanned into the computer some “actual” candy wrappers and blew them up and printed them out on a large scale. I try to make them “life like.” My Dum Dum is probably my favorite! I used a styrofoam ball and covered it with the dum dum wrapper. I used an old coat hanger for the stick. It is adorable! I also made huge Starburst, Skittles, Crunch Bars & Tootsie Rolls. The Tootsie Rolls are the easiest to make. I used left over grocery plastic bags to stuff them with and tissue paper to tie off the ends. They look real! :) The kids love it when i hang them from the ceiling. All the other children are always coming in my class wishing they could be in there too! It’s great! Thanks for the additional tips! I wish there was a way to post a picture.

  8. Sharon Bush says

    I made gumdrops by tracing the bottom of styrofaom coffie cups on poster paper. Cut them out and hot glued them to the bottom of the cups. Then painted them the color of gumdrops and sprinkled them with clear glitter.

  9. Laurie says

    These are great ideas! I have been thinking about turning the outside of my house into a gingerbread house for the past 5 year but have yet to do it. I was considering large rolls of butcher paper or whatever I can find in brown to stick all over the walls, roof and door. The only thing I am unsure of is if it would fall apart when it gets wet (this was why I decided cardboard wouldn’t work). I have some awesome pathway lightsthat are the round peppermints as well as similar ones in different sizes. I also have the candy canes that light up but haven’t been able to find gumdrop lights in the appropriate size (although I have found gumdrop trees). I have thought of using a half gallon plastic milk jug that you cut down and paint. The paint would need to be dark enough to show in the day but sheer enough to let light through when you place it over the Christmas lights on the house. It would have the right texture but you would have to figure out what to do with the handle. I was also thinking that if you could find flat pieces of styrafoam you may be able to make your gingerbread people out of it & attach it to balsa wood or something. I haven’t been to the craftstore in several years so there is probably better things out there. Anyhow these are a few of my crazy thoughts, if you have suggestions they will be greatly appreciated! If I ever manage to put this together I will post pics:)

  10. Christina says

    This is how I want my house inside and out decorated this year but I live in an area where there is a lot of sleet and a lot of snow. Is there anyway to make sure these can with stand the elements.

    • says

      Christina we get really bad weather here in Kansas, sleet, ice storms and snow. Then there is the awful wind we get all the time so most of the things I mentioned in this post have with stood those things. Some of them last 5-6 years and others 10 years plus before I need to replace them. I had some heavy duty cardboard cores that I painted with white spray paint, wrapped with red ribbon and have used for years for peppermint sticks. I got both the paint and cores for nothing so I figured I had nothing to loose in trying it. They are now 12 years old and still look just fine. The spray paint really seems to protect the cardboard well. Start looking every where for cardboard boxes (you could wrap in cellophane to look like gifts, and weight with bricks or rocks) or to cut into large gingerbread men and place on a protected porch or some where. You would be surprise what you can find just laying around. I was desperate for sticks to use for my suckers and then I noticed all those spring white curtain rods I had paid $.10 for.

      I love using cellophane wrap (it comes in different colors) for my candies and that protects the paper plates great. After about 5 winters I do need to replace them from the wind whipping at them but it isn’t too hard. Another thing too is in flower arranging classes they teach you to start with the greenery first and use lots of it because it is easier to get and less expensive then flowers. After you have the greenery add your flowers and even if you have only a few colorful flowers it makes a big impact because of the greenery. I do the same thing decorating the outside of my house. On my columns I wrap a bunch of greenery and lights on them then I only need to add a few colorful candies and it looks like a lot.


  1. […] I like decorating my house in a Candyland theme each year. If you have the same type of theme, try this: Decorate a small glass jar with a ribbon around it and fill it with multi-colored candy. Then place one at each place setting for dinner. This not only adds to the table decorations, but you can write the person’s name on the jar and make it a small gift for him or her to take home. […]

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