The ribbon candy ornaments in this lesson were inspired by the real sugary confections made by a local candy shop, The Boston Candy Kitchen, in Glens Falls, New York. This wonderful, old fashioned sweet shoppe has been operated by the same family for generations, and they make wonderful old fashioned treats. At Christmas, one of the specialties is colorful ribbon candy... thin and fragile and beautiful... and delicious. It comes in great flavors .... in nice big 2" wide ribbons folded into 6" lengths.
The polymer replicas are approximately 4 1/2" long, a nice size for tree ornaments. This lesson is perfect for beginners. I first made some ribbon candy ornaments like these in December 1999, about a month after my love affair with Polymer Clay began. Since that time I have seen other approaches to making ribbon candy, equally lovely, but... this way worked for me...it's really easy...and I hope you have fun with it.
- Clay- white pearl plus two or three colors of choice
- Pasta Machine
- tissue blade
- acrylic roller
- long needle
- ribbon or cording for stringing
- Optional: bells,beads, holly leaves, greens
|1. Condition clay and roll out sheets on #1 setting of pasta machine
(approx 1/4" thick). I've used red, green and white but think of traditional
ribbon candy and be creative in your color choices. Mixing some translucent
with the pearl and colored clays results in even more authentic looking
|2. Stack sheets of clay to form a striped block. i use double thicknesses of
white between each colored slice.
|3. Roll the stack with an acrylic brayer to ensure that all slices are
firmly adhered to each other and packed tightly. Then slice stack in half
and place one half on top of the other, doubling the size of your striped
|4. Using your tissue blade, slice off a piece of the striped block approx
3/8" thick. Use your acrylic roller to flatten one end of this slice in
preparation for running through pasta machine.
|5. Place flattened end first into pasta machine and run through at #1
setting. Continue to run the slice through the pasta machine on successively
higher settings, all the way through #6. You will have a nice thin, long
|6. Fold "ribbon" in loose fan folds as shown in the photo. The photo shows
ribbons folded and "strung" on knitting needles, but it is not necessary to
use the knitting needles. The clay will hold it's shape as the loops stick
to each other. A chopstick is handy for reshaping the loops into nice fat
coils. If you wish to make hanging ornaments, I have found it is possible to
use a really long needle and string the clay directly onto a length of
cording while still raw. Bake the piece, ribbon and all, at temperatures
recommended by manufacturer.
|7. The addition of beads or a jingle bell at the bottom is a nice touch for an
ornament. Equally attractive is a small sprig of holly leaves or evergreen
as a topper for an ornament. A smaller, narrower clay 'ribbon' can be
incorprated as a dangle from a Christmas pin. Or...just make up a plate full
of many colored pieces of this polymer ribbon candy, without the stringing
cord. It looks so much like the real thing that people tend to pick it up to
eat... and it makes a very attractive display.
©2002 Text and Photos
We want to thank Arlene for sharing this wonderful Holiday project with PCC. If you have a lesson or tutorial or project that you would like to see on the PCC Website, just email or and we will help prepare your lesson for publication here at PCC.
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