Beaded candy cane ornaments have been a part of my life since I was a young girl. One of my best friend's mother taught me how to make them when I was a Brownie (young Girl Scout). I remember coming home after learning the craft and teaching my younger sister. After she had the concept down too, we began making and turning out the bent beaded pipe cleaners in record numbers.
Because I loved making them so much when I was young, it was always a given that once I had children of my own that they too would be instructed on the proper way to make these beaded candy canes and make them year after year. I taught Olivia at age 3 and now that Isaac is 3 he was a part of the process this Christmas. It's an easy, non-messy, fun, and educational craft for youngsters. All you need to make them is 8 mm round-faceted ruby red beads, 8 mm round-faceted emerald green beads, clear tri-beads, Elmer's glue, and white pipe cleaners. It's also a great and fun activity to teach sequencing at a young age, without them even realizing it.
At least an hour before the craft, an adult can trim a pipe cleaner to approximately 7 inches and then glue one red OR green bead onto the end of the pipe cleaner, making sure there is no wire protruding out.
After the glue has had an opportunity to dry, the kids can begin by placing one bead on at a time.
For example: red, clear, red, clear... or green, clear, green, clear... or whatever combination you want. We have done red, green, red, green... and now that Olivia is older I sometimes make the sequencing more challenging, such as, red, red, clear, green, green, clear, red, red, clear....
When the child reaches the end have them hand the completed pipe cleaner to the adult. The adult then glues the last bead on so that all the beads can't fall off. Ensure that there is no wire sticking out (this might require trimming the pipe cleaner prior to gluing).
After the glue has dried, the pipe cleaner can then be bent into a cane shape and hung on the Christmas tree.
I would like to add that these are great homemade gifts to share with others. And are also beautiful wrapped within a bow on a gift.
I hope you and your family will enjoy making these beaded candy canes as much as my family does.