Ornaments Part I

 
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I’m excited to share a few ornament tutorials with you today.  First up, Jolly Rancher ornaments.  These are a tradition at our house…one that our kids won’t let go of.  We hang these on the tree, make them into lollipops, and one year we packaged kits for a fun family gift for our neighbors.
Jolly Rancher ornaments are easy, kid-friendly, and with a Christmas tree light or window behind them, they resemble stained glass.  They are also easy to fix if you break them or make a mistake…just re-melt them and start over.

Read the full tutorial after the jump.

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Supplies:  Jolly Rancher candies and disposable foil pans. 
*You can also make these with metal cookie cutters if you want festive shapes.  I like the retro look of the circles.  I make large circles with the smallest size individual pie tins, and small circles with muffin tins.  I have also made these with silicone muffin cups, which are great because they are reusable, but they are not as translucent so the stained-glass look is not as effective.
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Step 1:  Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees and unwrap candies.  You will need 7 candies for the pie tins, and 3 for the muffin tins.  Place candies in tins according to your design choice:  solid, color-blocked, speckled, or swirled.  For the speckled ornaments, crush the candies with a hammer before you place them in the tins.

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Step 2:  Place tins in oven for approximately 5-10 minutes.  You want them completely melted, but not bubbly.

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Step 3:  If you want some of the ornaments to have swirls, mix the colors together with a toothpick as soon as you take the candies out of the oven.  Do not stir them too much, or the colors will mix.  If the candy hardens before you get the effect you want, just put the tin back in the oven to melt the candy again.

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Step 4:  After you have gotten the effect you want, allow the candies to cool slightly.  You can do this on the counter, or if you are impatient like me, you can put them in the freezer for about 2 mins. or until somewhat hardened.  Now you are going to make a hole to hang your ornament with.  I used the non-sharp end of a skewer, but a toothpick works great as well.  Make the hole about 1/2” from the edge of the ornament…f it is too close to the edge, the ornament may crack.  If the candies have hardened too much to make your hole, just pop them back in the oven for a couple of minutes and then make the hole.

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Step 5:  Cool the candies completely…about 5 mins. in the freezer.  When they are completely cool, gently pull the tin away from the sides, and the ornaments should just pop out.  If you break them in the process, simply put them back in the oven and start again.  The tins get somewhat bent in this process so they are not always reusable, but you need the flexibility of the aluminum in order to pop the ornaments out.  I save the bent tins for future craft projects or I recycle them.

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Step 6:  Hang with your favorite string or ribbon.  This time around, I used fishing line.  The ornaments will get sticky if you handle them a lot, so try and make this process quick.  This is what the finished designs look like…

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Solid


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Color Blocked


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Speckled


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Swirled

If you don’t like the scalloped edges that the tins leave, you can carefully break them off.  I like them, and I also like the impression that the pie tins leave in the ornament. 
Now hang where you like…this year, mine are hanging on a painted tree in front of a window.  They look lovely in the natural light.

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Stop by later for a full tutorial on the sparkly white spheres…they are new this year and I love them!
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