Little 6-inch wreath forms are super-inexpensive at craft websites such as orientaltrading.com, and they make adorable doorknob hangers. This is perhaps one of the silliest yet most charming ways to decorate your house, and hence a great favorite with children. If you can find smaller wreath forms, by all means buy them, but in my house the 6-inch diameter lets the door open and close undisturbed. I confess that I have railed in print against the dangers of hiding toothpicks in food, where children might bite down on them, and here I am, using toothpicks. But it’s one thing to tuck a toothpick into a cupcake topper and quite another, I think, to use it in a craft item, where the base already consists of something inedible. These gumdrop door hangers are not intended to be eaten, and even with the sugar coating on their surface, I have found that they’ll stay pretty and pest-free through the holiday season in a dry, warm house. They do get a little picked-over-looking toward the end, when my youngest plucks off gumdrops from the underside for the occasional snack. He’s old enough now to know to pull it off the toothpick anchor first.
1 box wooden toothpic
- Yield: 3 doorknob hangers
- 1 box wooden toothpicks
- 2 pounds regular-size gumdrops, not the jumbo kind (the wreaths can be multicolored, or make each one a single color)
- 3 Styrofoam wreath forms, 6 inches in diameter
- 3 pieces 1-inch-wide velvet or grosgrain ribbon, each 18 inches long
- Break about 15 toothpicks in half to start (you can break more as you go along). Poke the broken end into the bottom center of a gumdrop and then poke that gumdrop into the wreath. You’ll probably find it takes a row of 6 gumdrops to bridge the width of the circle.
- Continue around the wreath, poking in gumdrops close together to fill in the front and sides (not the back). It looks much better to stagger the rows a bit rather than trying to fill them in using very straight lines.
- When your wreath form is covered with gumdrops, use a pastry brush (or your fingers) to brush off any sugar on the candy that may have come loose from handling the gumdrops. Loop a ribbon around the top and tie the ribbon into a large bow. Hang this over a doorknob, so that the wreath dangles several inches under the door handle and the bow is on top. Repeat with remaining wreath forms, gumdrops, and ribbons.