DIY Project: How to Make Homemade Candy Buttons

Remember these? Oh, how I loved these as a kid.
 

Sure, I probably ate as much paper as candy, but I adored the things. As I was brainstorming ideas for the butterfly party, I remembered these favorite childhood treats, and thought of the idea of making my own in my party colors.
 

To make this project, you will need:
 

  • One batch royal icing
  • food coloring
  • icing bags (I prefer the disposable KopyKake brand) and round tips (optional)
  • Freezer Paper
  • Graph Paper
  • Pretzel bags
  • Scrapbook paper
  • stapler and glue
1) First, make up a batch of royal icing. I always use meringue powder, available at any craft store, and follow the recipe on the can. So much easier than separating all those eggs perfectly! Meringue powder is available at any craft store or cake decorating store.
 
2) Color your icing (I prefer Americolor brand gel food coloring) and thin it out. You want the icing to be flooding consistancy. Downright runny. Add water, just a few drops at a time (seriously! It happens quickly!) until the icing no longer holds a point, and instead flattens out into perfectly domed circles when piped on the paper. Once the icing is the right texture, put it in the disposable icing bags.
 
 
3) Print out graph paper to create your template. Cut to the size of your pretzel bags (my bags were 3x11, so I cut my graph paper down to 2.5 x 10). Draw dots in even lines to be your guide as you're piping the icing.
 
 
4) Set the freezer paper, dull side UP, on top of the grid. At first I tried parchment paper, but the dots popped off way too easily, and I couldn't package them without raining dots everywhere. Freezer paper is easy to find, food safe, and has just enough grip to keep the dots in place. If you're planning to ship your dots, however, use regular paper like the candymanufacturerdoes, and enjoy the authenticity of eatingthepaper along with the candy. ;-)
 
5) Pipe the dots in whatever color pattern you like on the paper, following the grid to keep the lines straight. Be sure to keep the tips of your icing bags covered with a damp cloth when you're not using them. Royal icing dries quickly!
 
 
6) Let dry overnight and cut apart.
 

 
7) To package the candy buttons and make them look truly professional, slip each strip of buttons into a pretzel bag. Cut scrapbook paper in a rectangle for the tag at the top of the bag. Since my pretzel bag was 3" wide, I cut my paper to a 3x4 inch size. Fold the rectangle of paper in half, and staple the back half on the bag. Use glue or a glue gun to stick the front flap of the packaging tab down in the front (without unsightly staple marks).
 
 
 
Here's a completely unnecessary bonus step. Something that probably nobody else noticed, but made me happy. Do you remember how the candy buttons used to have some that were a mix of colors? A feature of the manufacturing process, I'm sure, as the icing colors changed.
 
 
Oh, how I loved and cherished those swirly, two-tone dots. I always saved them for last. So on some of the dots I made, I used two tones of icing on the rows right before I switched colors.
 
 
Like I said, probably nobody else noticed. But it's those little details that make me happy.
 
I had several people ask me where in the world I'd found candy buttons in my party colors, so I count this project as a big success! It would make a fabulous favor for a party or even a wedding with a sense of whimsy. Imagine piping a monogram in one color, and the rest of the candy buttons in a contrasting color. Who says candy buttons are just for kids?

This is wonderful!

This is wonderful!

Actually, since it was taped down to dry overnight...

Actually, since it was taped down to dry overnight, the paper flattened out all on it's own - and they stick great to the freezer paper, AND (sadly?) no paper came up with them...

Thanks for the great tutorial!

Royal icing keepsmfor a LONG time once dried! Man...

Royal icing keepsmfor a LONG time once dried! Many, many months...

BUT how do you get the freezer paper to stay flat - I want to put mine in pretzel bags but the freezer paper is curling...

Love these! Candy buttons are so spendy and I wan...

Love these! Candy buttons are so spendy and I want to incorporate these into my circus themed wedding. They would take me quite some time to make in order to have enough though - I'm wondering how long they'll keep for?

Great tutorial! I love it very much. Thanks for sh...

Great tutorial! I love it very much. Thanks for sharing

Oh! Loved candy buttons growing up ( um...still do...

Oh! Loved candy buttons growing up ( um...still do actually!) What a great tutorial! I'm pinning this on my Pinterest! Thank you for sharing! ...and I love that you added the "in-between" buttons of two colors too :o)

Blessings & Aloha!

Sure, you could use regular white paper. It might...

Sure, you could use regular white paper. It might be a more authentic experience, actually, since you might end up eating some of the paper along with the candies. ;-)

Can I use white paper instead of freezer paper?

Can I use white paper instead of freezer paper?

Enter your tutorial into our Party Tutorial Contes...

Enter your tutorial into our Party Tutorial Contest for a chance to win some fabulous prizes totally over $200 (http://www.purejoyeventsblog.com/2011/06/party-tutorial-contest-2.html)!

This is amazing! I love(d?) those things, but you ...

This is amazing! I love(d?) those things, but you are so right about the paper. I just pinned this to my Pinterest boards so I can come back and make it later!

(found you via OnePrettyThing)

this is an awesome tutorial! i LOVED candy button...

this is an awesome tutorial! i LOVED candy buttons as a kid (ok, ok... i STILL love them!) and the swirly colored ones were my fav, too! i always saved them for last! somehow, they tasted better because they were so pretty =)

These are such a great idea and I agree with the o...

These are such a great idea and I agree with the others - this is an awesome tutorial - But what about that cake! - WOW - looks fantastic.

Amazing. Thanks for an awesome tutorial!

Amazing. Thanks for an awesome tutorial!

The color transition is an awesome touch!

The color transition is an awesome touch!

Great! Thank you!

Great! Thank you!

Okay, I TOTALLY noticed the 2-tone dots! Great tut...

Okay, I TOTALLY noticed the 2-tone dots! Great tutorial. :) --Dawn

Really great tutorial!

Really great tutorial!

You are such an amazing, creative person. I love t...

You are such an amazing, creative person. I love this!

You are just amazing. They look perfect!

You are just amazing. They look perfect!

Visiting from DiD - love this idea! Thanks for sh...

Visiting from DiD - love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

Love the tutorial! How fun is that, thank you for ...

Love the tutorial! How fun is that, thank you for sharing. Beautiful photographs.

Lisa ~ HR Creative Design Studio

This is great! Thanks!

This is great! Thanks!

Great tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing...

Great tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing...

That is amazing! I can't believe how easy it i...

That is amazing! I can't believe how easy it is to make the candy dots! Thank you so much for this great tutorial :D

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