Polymer Clay Candy Canes

Sherrill Fulghum By Sherrill Fulghum, 4th Nov 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Art>Pottery

Step by step directions for creating polymer clay candy canes that look good enough to eat.

Polymer Clay

Polymer clay is a clay that can be sculpted and molded easily. It comes in a bake and no bake format.

Polymer clay also comes in a variety of brands and hardnesses. One of the softest clays to work with is Sculpey III – an American made clay that must be baked to harden it.

Polymer clay is baked at a temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. When using a standard conventional or toaster oven, place the clay in a cold oven and then turn it on. After 30 minutes turn the oven off and let the clay cool naturally.

When using a craft or clay oven, follow the oven's instructions on pre-heating the oven prior to baking the clay.

Once the clay has been baked and cooled – for no bake clay make sure the clay has completely hardened – you can paint or draw on the object with ease if desired.

If you choose to use one of the no bake clays, wait for at least 24 to 48 hours for the clay to harden before attempting to paint on the surface. For thicker projects the drying or hardening process may take a few days and even a week to be thoroughly hardened.


There are no expensive or highly technical pieces of equipment or tools required to make a polymer clay project – a knife to cut the clay, something with a little weight to roll the clay (you can also use your hands), and an awl or similar object for poking holes (when needed) are all the basic tools required for creating most projects.

You will need a cookie sheet or similar pan for baking – preferably with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper covering the bottom of the cookie sheet. You may also want to put a plastic table cloth or similar item down on your working surface just to keep it clean.

Nearly all of the tools needed to create many polymer clay projects can be purchased at the local dollar or discount store. You may even have all of the items you need already at home.

The polymer clay itself is available at any hobby and craft store and can be found online. Primo, Fima, and Sculpey are the most popular brands of polymer clay. All require baking but each has a different hardness. The softer the clay, the easier it is to work the clay. Personally I prefer working with Sculpey III since it is so soft and easy to work.

Working the clay

Most projects with polymer clay can be done by forming a ball, making a rope or rolling the clay flat. Some projects use all three forms to create the finished product.

One of the easiest Christmas projects to create using polymer clay is the traditional Candy Cane. These little sticks look so real that you have to make sure everyone knows that they are not candy but are clay and uneatable. More than once I have had someone try to take a bite out of one thinking they were getting the real thing.

For the traditional candy cane you will need equal amounts of red and white clay. Of course, you can add green to the mix or substitute any colours you want as long as there is the same amount of each colour.

Always work with lightest colour first or make sure to wash your hands between colours or you may get the colours mixed. The dyes in the clay have a tendency to rub off on your hands.

Take the white clay and form a ball. Remember whatever size piece you use of the white clay, use the same size of the red clay. Smaller balls of clay are easier to work with.

Getting started

You will have to work the clay to soften it up a bit before forming the ball. To “work” the clay; rub it between your hands, forming a ball and rope until when a rope is bent it does not break. Once the clay is soft, begin to roll the clay ball in your hands to form a log. Once the log fills your hands lay it on the table – or whatever hard surface you are working on – and continue to roll the log into a rope. The thickness of your rope will depend on how big you want your candy canes to be. If a clay rope becomes very long, cut it into smaller pieces.

If you roll out a rope that is thinner than you would like, don't worry it will be a little bigger when the second colour is added. But you can always ball up the rope and start over.

Forming the shapes

Once you have decided on how fat you want you candy canes to be, decide on how long you want them to be and cut the rope to that length. Most of mine are about the same size as the small candy ones bought in packages at the store.

After you have gotten your white pieces done, set them aside but not to far away so that they are handy to compare sizes as your work.

Now it is time for the red clay. The darker colours take a little longer to soften up so don't worry if you have to spend a few more minutes working it in order to get the clay soft and pliable. When the clay has been worked and softened enough, make your balls and then the log like before. Put the clay down and begin making the rope. When it feels...and looks...like it is the same size as your white pieces, take one of the white ropes and set it next to the red rope.

Putting it together

Match up one red and one white rope. If you have more than one rope then you can match them up; otherwise cut the pieces so that they are of equal length. The one advantage to working with polymer clay is if you make a mistake or don't like the way something looks, you can always wad it up and start over again with no worries.

Once you have your white and red ropes the same size and thickness, press the pieces together at one end. Now wrap the two ropes in a twisting motion. If the ropes are not too long, it is easier to hold them up by the end and wrap them around each other.

When adding a third colour, braid the pieces like hair or bread.

Making the Candy Cane

Once the rope has been twisted together, pinch the end together. With the twisted rope laying on the table begin rolling the rope until the surface is smooth.

The candy cane will be longer than the original rope. You can cut the rope into pieces to make smaller candy canes or leave it in one piece for a large one.

Once you have your candy cane the desired length, bend one end into a hook and put them on a covered cookie sheet.

Continue rolling and twisting the ropes until you fill the cookie sheet or have the desired number of candy canes you want.

Baking time

Place the cookie sheet in a cold oven, put the oven on 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn off the oven and let the clay cool before removing.

Your candy canes will look so real, you will want to eat them!


Candy Canes, Christmas Decorations, Holday Decorations, Polymer Clay, Sculpey Iii

Meet the author

author avatar Sherrill Fulghum
Sherrill is an award winning journalist with a speciality in music and entertainment. She is also a photographer.

Sherril is a writer for thedailyvoice news.com

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