A few weeks ago we ran a poll on our Facebook page to find out what DIY projects you were planning for your big day and sweetie trees were top of your homemade lists! So, we got in touch with top wedding planner and candy tree maker extraordinaire Steph Allison from Bristol-based Sweet & Pretty Weddings and she’s given us a fab step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own. Have fun!
What you’ll need…
- A 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
- Ribbon and decorations
Read this first!
Remember that good hygiene is important, as your guests will be eating these sweetie trees. So wash your hands thoroughly before starting and no licking all that delicious, gooey chocolate off the spoon and then putting it back in the bowl! If you are using wrapped sweets you can just use a glue gun to attach the wrappers to the ball. Using chocolate makes un-wrapped sweets safe to eat and this is the method we’re using today.
- 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, because it heats up as it sets and can actually burn your skin
- 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, just 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. Work around 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.
- Use moss or more sweeties to cover up the plaster of Paris and you’re all done.
- If you want to use them as centrepieces, you could add a mirror plate underneath and if you’re having a vintage-styled wedding, why not accessorise with it with strings of pearls, flowers or tea lights?
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. This can easily burn your skin, so please be sensible, read the packaging and wear protection when you’re handling this, 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!