If you're looking for an eye-catching, mouth-watering, super creative DIY focal point for your candy bar or candy table, then this is an idea to consider. Seriously, I know not one person who's eyes don't light up when they look at these mosaics of sweetness. The greatest part is that if you have a day, and can open your window for ventilation, you too can create a masterpiece of candy!
Here's how to make a candy mosaic:
1. Choose a frame. Remove and discard the glass. I replaced the back board with inexpensive luanne board available at a hardware store. If you're really sweet, some stores will cut it to the size you need right there in the store. This frame is about 18 x 24". I purchased it at Goodwill for $2 and spray painted it pink to go with the decor of the party.
2. Buy a lot of candy. And I suggest more candy than you think you need. I used nearly 4 jumbo bags of Jelly Belly candies (and had to make an emergency trip to Target at the end because I ran out of the colors I needed to finish) and 3 containers of mint gum (different emergency trip to CVS because I was short one container). Sort the candies by color into cupcake tins and prepare your design. I kept this design simple and bold with the stripes. I sketched out the monogram and roughly arranged that part first. I do not recommend Jolly Ranchers or hard candies because they have a weird way of melting when you least expect it. Gum balls, Skittles, jelly beans, gummy bears and licorice are good choices.
4. Prepare your space. Use lots of craft paper underneath your frame as you never know when leaks will spring. Plus, this resin stuff is messy in a permanent kind of way, hence the clear blob atop my cabinet that appeared when trying to cure a previous project.
3. Mix up the acrylic resin. I purchased mine at Michaels and used the medium sized box. And no, I do not know the exact size. Mix in a throw-away glass jar or there may be big trouble.* Read the instructions carefully because if you mix this stuff incorrectly, you'll end up with a gooey mess that never can be fixed. It's basically equal parts of two toxic ingredients which you mix very thoroughly and later harden into glossy smooth plastic. I mix about a quarter cup at a time so it doesn't harden before I'm ready.
4. Pour a base coat of resin into the frame. Just enough to keep things sticking to the board, but not too much that it starts to harden before you get to it. Not rocket science, but I'm just saying don't mix the entire bottle all at once. Patience, friend, patience.
5. Arrange candy. Have fun, and don't eat too much while you're at it. :o)
6. Pour on the final coat of acrylic resin and set aside to cure. I cover mine loosely with craft paper so that flying objects or dust (not that my house has dust) don't become a permanent part of your artwork.
The best part is that the candy is essentially preserved within the resin. The candy mosaic makes a fond memento of the party long after it's over.
*I first mixed my resin in an old plastic ice cream pint container. After a few minutes, the resin got really hot, which of course I ignored because I was very busy making "art". A few minutes later when I reached to pour some more, the spoon and the entire container of resin was solid as a rock. A very hot rock at that. I don't know what kind of weird science happened there, but it ruined a good bit of workable resin and necessitated yet another trip to the store to replace it.