If you look at candy wrappers as nothing more than food waste, it’s time to get the creative juices flowing! While you’re busy noshing on a chewy Starburst, enjoying a bite of dark chocolate with a cup of tea, or discussing the right way to nibble through a peanut butter cup, place your wrappers aside for some crafty upcycling fun when the candy is gone. 

Candy wrappers for upcycling.

All shapes and sizes of wrappers can act as material for myriad sweet creations. The best part, aside from recycling materials to keep them out of the trash, is these simple reminders of tasty treats bring joy. Who can look at a York Peppermint Patty or Tootsie Roll package and not crack at least a bit of a grin?

Related: What should you do with all your holiday trash?

Candy wrappers for upcycling.

Cadbury coin purse

This project keeps full-sized packaging mostly intact, so it’s likely to incite a wicked craving. The pattern offered up by Punkin Patterns uses Skittles or M&M bags, so you may want to start there. With a zipper, some small pieces of fabric and a few other supplies, you’ll have this project zipped up in no time. 

Dubble Bubble decoupage

The only limitation here is your imagination. Think of candy wrappers as colorful bits of paper and go nuts designing patterns with the different words, shapes, images and colors. Fold them, tear them or keep them intact. Lay them into a unique or repetitive design to your liking. 

Decoupage lamp bases for a game room, cover light switch covers in the kitchen and make framed art for the reading nook. Make coasters, vases for a bouquet of Valentine’s Day roses, or put together a pattern for your favorite small table. You can also decoupage your recipe box, binder or album, serving bowls, and serving trays. Have fun with the yum!

Oh Henry origami

Again, when you think of candy wrappers as simple, colorful paper, the world opens into a new, sweet dimension. With origami, you can decide whether you want the result to resemble the original package or just take advantage of the design. Either way, origami techniques leave you with decorative shapes and interesting animals. It’s a great art project for kids’ hands. The practice helps develop fine motor skills. It’s also good therapy for those recovering from a stroke or other event that affects dexterity. 

Candy spread out on a white background.

Jujubes jewelry

Making jewelry out of the wrappers, box materials or other packaging from candy yields wearable art that takes viewers right back to their childhood highlight reel. Perhaps friends, family and co-workers will find as much joy wearing candy wrapper art as they did discovering the goodies the first time around. 

Choose your wrappers. Then get busy twisting, folding and bending them into shape. Connect them into a bracelet or necklace. Attach hardware for earrings. You can even make a bracelet from a single flat wrapper.

Mentos mosaic wall art

Where Picasso had paint, you have Warheads and Whoppers wrappers. The beauty of this project is the limitless possibilities. Choose everything from the size of artwork to the colors, pattern, texture and design. You can go with a theme like balloons, landscapes or puppies. Consider creating a portrait, indoor or outdoor plants, pottery, or a meandering pathway. 

Bits of wrappers can spell words, and similar or contrasting colors from various wrappers can bring in a vibrant mosaic appeal. One really creative design is to use a particular brand of wrappers, such as Butterfinger. Then use pieces of many packages to ‘rebuild’ a Butterfinger as the final piece of art — made from many. 

Candy wrappers for upcycling.

Heath hair bow

This cute and creative hair clip by Doodlecraft makes a fun accessory for a costume, class party, or birthday girl. Whatever the event, recycling a candy wrapper into a hair bow is quick, easy, and can be just the solution you need in a pinch.

Candy curtain

There are many ways to go about creating a candy curtain. Start by shaping your candy wrappers into bows, origami animals or another design that matches your theme. Attach the candy wrappers to strands of fishing line or dental floss, ensuring they lay the right way when the curtain is hanging. Fill different strands to the height you desire. Once you’ve completed all of them, you can attach them to a doorway or tie them to a hoop hanging from the ceiling. Who knows, your candy curtain may become a permanent part of your interior design

Candy wrappers for upcycling.

Candy crafts are both a fun way to insert a sweet smile into the world and a thoughtful nod toward the environment. Enjoy a bit of both and come away with a cute gift, a useful addition or a colorful accessory. 

Via Wonder How-to, Bob Vila, Punkin Patterns and Doodlecraft Blog

Images via Pexels and Pixabay