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M&M Christmas Trees

M&M Christmas Trees
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Every now and then, I get a little crafty. Usually, it’s inspired by a holiday – in fact, I have a laundry list of holiday decorating ideas constantly swirling around in my head, most of which I never act upon. But once in awhile, I break out the ribbons and glue and turn an idea into a reality.

I’m going to share my most recent crafting explosion with you today (and tell you how to make your own, too). I bring you: the M&M Christmas Tree.

UPDATE: This will be my sixth Christmas with these trees, and they’ve held up beautifully! I wrap them up in plastic bags, put them in a shoe box, and store in a closet (not in the attic with the rest of the Christmas decorations because they would melt during our Texas summer). They look as good as new, you guys! Here’s what they look like today:

m&m Christmas Trees

These were surprisingly easy to make – and I did it the hard way. I didn’t have a glue gun at the time (shame on me!), so I did it the old-fashioned way: with craft glue. But with a glue gun you could whip these up in minutes.

M&M Christmas Tree CraftBut first, a few notes.

The Gingerbread M&M’s I used are larger than normal M&M’s, and they come in green, brown, and red. There are more green in each bag (at least in my experience) than the other colors, so the green trees took fewer bags to make. Each tree took about two bags, except for the red tree – that one took closer to three (and here’s a good place to disclose that the kids and I ate these by the handfuls as I worked on this craft, so who knows – it might take you fewer bags than I used).

This fun craft is actually really simple – but takes some time if you aren’t using a glue gun. Because neither of the objects you’re gluing together have a really flat plane, you need to work in small sections, and let the glue set between each section. If you are going to make multiple trees, I would start them all at the same time and give yourself a couple of days to work on them (a few minutes here, a few minutes there).

M&M Christmas CraftHere’s what you need to make one tree:

  • Styrofoam cone
  • Glue (I used E6000) – Be careful when choosing glue. It needs to be super strong, and quick drying. You could also use a glue gun. (if you don’t have one yet, BUY ONE – you can thank me later!)
  • Paint (to paint the styrofoam – a little bottle of cheap paint will do) and paintbrush
  • Two bags of M&M’s (for one green tree)
  • Towel
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Plastic bags

Here’s how to make your own M&M Christmas Tree (if you don’t have a glue gun):

1. Paint your tree green. This way, the styrofoam won’t show as much through the gaps between M&M’s. Let it dry completely.

2. Cut the toilet paper roll in half – this is going to be your trunk.  Trace it onto the bottom of your tree and use a kitchen knife to cut a little trench around the line you just traced – when the tree is ready for the trunk, you’ll place it in the little trench you just cut for extra stability (I also have one that I just glued to the bottom and it seems fine, so you have that option too).

3. Lay the styrofoam on something soft (I used a folded towel). The styrofoam is delicate, and the M&M’s are, too – you don’t want to crack any! Grab one of your plastic bags and use that to prop up the tip of the tree so you have a flat surface to work on (I tried using a towel, papertowels, and fabric to prop up the tree but in the end, the plastic bag was the easiest to manipulate and did the best job).

M&M Christmas Tree Instructions #shop

Use a plastic bag to prop up the top of the tree.

4. Glue a strip right down the center of the tree and place your M&M’s on it. Be sure to leave it alone, without moving it, until they are all dry.

M&M Tree Instructions #shop

Be sure to let it dry!

5. Once the first row is completely dry, rotate the tree a bit and start on your second row. You’ll want to place a plastic bag under the side of the tree to keep it from rolling over (the weight of the M&M’s makes the tree want to roll).

M&M Christmas Tree Decoration #shop

6. Keep going, one row at a time, until you have covered the tree in M&M’s. Be sure to wait until each section has dried before moving the tree (I’m saying that a lot because I was impatient and ended up redoing the same spot three different times). The last spot will be a bit tricky, but use your Tetris skills to make the M&M’s fit as well as you can. I think the imperfections give it character!

M&M Holiday Decoration Ideas #shop

7. While you’re working on the tree, you can start on your trunk (if you even want a trunk – I think they look great without the trunks, too!). Cut your toilet paper roll in half. I glued about three M&M’s on a time, and did three rows. There will be a little part at the top that’s exposed, but that’s good – you’ll stick that part in the little trench you made earlier with the knife.

M&M Christmas Tree Trunk #shop

M&M Craft8. Stand the tree up and ooh and ahh over it (because it’s going to be so cute!). Glue some M&M’s to the top.

M&M Tree8. When the trunk and tree are completely dried, glue around the top of the trunk (the exposed, cardboard part) and place it in the trench under the tree (if you’ve used good glue and waited for it to dry, you can turn the tree upside down with no problem). I think this gives it a little extra stability, but if you want to just glue it to the bottom of the tree – or go trunk-free! – you should be fine.

9. Spray your tree with a clear varnish. This will help keep dampness away (water = runny M&M’s). If you want to add a bow, or a star, or something else cute, now’s the time to do it! I made bows and glued them to toothpicks, and stuck those in the top.

#HolidayMM Christmas Trees #shop

Wrap carefully and store in a temperature controlled place (all of my Christmas decorations go in the attic except for these trees and any candles – I don’t want them to melt during our Texas summers, so they stay in my closet). 

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These turned out super cute. I never would have thought to use M&Ms to craft with!

I think you need to change the shopping list to 3 bags of M&M’s…2 for the tree and one to eat while you work!

These are amazing! Pinning now!

Those are so cute Carrie! I never would have thought of using M&Ms as a decoration. I’d have to be careful though because Nick loves M&Ms so much he’d probably try to eat them! LOL

I guess this isn’t one for the kids to help!? I have to have those Gingerbread M&Ms!

Those trees are super cute! I know I would eat as many as I glued. Pinning it now…

This is a great idea I have a styrofoam trree at home now and some leftvover m&M’s

I visited every store with in a 20 mile radius trying to find the pumpkin spice M&M’s this past Halloween and had no luck. I am hoping I can find these Gingerbread ones. They sound too yummy. And yea, I don’t think I would be too successful at making any kind of decoration out of Candy. I would never have enough of it because I would be eating it!

Good to know. Thank You!

Those are unbelievably cute! Very impressive!

Those are absolutely darling! I love how you used a toile roll for the base- clever!

Carrie- these are ADORABLE!!! So easy and so festive. I pinned to my All Things Christmas board.

Okay. That’s it. I’m just going to pay you to come spend a week at my house!

m & m’s as art I love it visiting from silver pennies thanks for sharing I’m lorraine at http://lorrainesresources.blogspot.com

These M&Ms decorations are fabulous! Love them 🙂 and it makes a great project for the kids and looks great!

These are adorable! I’d totally want to eat them though. I’d love if you’d link up to The DIY’ers. http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-diyers-41.html

Your tress are adorable and who knew there were gingerbread M&M’s! I am out of touch for sure. Thanks for taking the time to share the tutorial.

Adorable! I didn’t even know there was such a thing as Gingerbread M&M’s. It’s a shame they aren’t edible off the tree like candies on a gingerbread house 🙂

These are adorable–such a great idea! I hope you win! Thanks for linking up with Creative K Kids’ Tasty Tuesdays. I’ve pinned it to the Creative K Kid’s Tasty Tuesdays Pinterest Board.

What a cute idea! I haven’t tried Gingerbread M&Ms yet, but they sound yummy! I’ve featuring this tonight at my link party and pinning!

Wow, they look absolutely amazing! I wouldn’t want to eat them!

These are so amazing! Featuring you at our blog hop tonight!

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