DIY sweet trees have been a big wedding trend over the years. For the bride and groom who want to keep their guests going with a never-ending sugar rush, perhaps.
So, we got in touch with the wedding planner and candy tree maker extraordinaire Steph Allison. The Bristol-based Sweet & Pretty Weddings expert has given us a fab step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own sweet tree.
What you’ll need to make your sweet tree:
- Foam florists ball
- A wooden spoon or thick dowelling
- A bucket or flower pot
- Plaster of Paris (500g per tree)
- Water (250ml)
- Scales and a measuring jug
- A metal spoon
- Candy melts or chocolate
- A pan and bowl or microwave
- Faux moss
- Ribbon and decorations
Before you start, read this first
Remember that good hygiene is important, as your guests will be eating these sweetie trees. Wash your hands thoroughly before starting and no licking all that delicious, chocolate off the spoon only to put it back in the bowl.
If you are using wrapped sweets to make your sweet tree, you can just use a glue gun to attach the wrappers to the ball. However, using chocolate makes un-wrapped sweets safe to eat and this is the method we’re using today.
DIY sweet tree instructions
Gently push the thin end of your spoon into the foam ball and leave the plastic on or cover it in cling film. Be careful not to push it right through.
Measure out around 500g of plaster of Paris and 250 ml of water. Put the powder into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Gradually add the water stirring with a metal spoon.
Pour the plaster of Paris into your bucket or pot. Make sure you wash your bowl and spoon quickly and make sure that there’s none left on your hands. We say this because it heats up as it sets and can actually burn your skin. Be cautious.
After a few minutes insert the large end of the spoon and see if it stands up. You may need to hold it for a few minutes. When it stands by itself make sure it’s in the centre and standing up straight, then leave it to set for 30 minutes.
Whilst the spoon or dowelling is setting, you can begin melting your candy melts or chocolate. If using a microwave, use a low heat and short intervals to prevent burning the chocolate. The best method is a bowl over a pan of boiling water, however, be careful when handling the bowl, as it will be very hot.
Get a pastry brush and spread the melted chocolate on to a small area and begin applying your sweets. Workaround the ball and then add more layers. Keep applying the chocolate and re-melt if it hardens too fast.
When you reach the underneath you may need to hold the sweets on for a while to stop them dropping off. If you find it easier you can remove the ball and replace it after you’ve put all of the sweets on.
Once you’re happy with the sweets, choose a length of thin ribbon and secure it to the bottom of the spoon with tape. Wrap it around the spoon tightly and secure at the top with more tape.
Use a wider piece of ribbon to make a bow and pin a pretty brooch to the centre, to keep it in place.
Now is the time to add the fake moss or, alternatively, more sweeties to cover up the plaster of Paris and you’re all done.
The Final Step
Finally, if you want to use them as centrepieces, you could accessorise them further. Why not add a mirror plate underneath, or if you’re having a vintage-styled wedding, why not accessorise with it with strings of pearls or flowers?
Remember, you can use lots of different sweets, containers or ribbon colours to match your wedding theme. So have a go and see what delicious trees you can come up with!
Plaster of Paris is a dangerous material and has been known to reach up to temperatures of 60 degrees Celsius when setting. Furthermore, it can easily burn your skin, so please be sensible. Read the packaging and wear protection when you’re handling it. Still, we don’t want you to have to visit the hospital in the last few weeks before your big day. Wedding Ideas and Sweet & Pretty have no responsibility with any potential injuries this could cause!