Candy Cane Straws and Ice Cream Sundae Outdoor Decorations

So now that we’re past the #!$@:! Frigging pool noodle lollipops, I have some relaxing projects to round out a candy themed Christmas display. First are the super simple candy cane straws. You can make canes with a bunch of PVC elbows but I think those look way more like a PVC pipe creation rather than a candy creation. Just my opinion. But, I also like these this way and I’ve already done a project that was full of frustration this year (#!$@:! Frigging Pool Noodle Lollipops!) and I wasn’t interested in trying something else that would take tons of measuring and cutting. I have a limit on patience for fiddly things.

I used PVC pipe and red duct tape. Instead of continuing to work with the assorted off-brand tapes that I used on the pool noodle lollipops (that ended up being wholly unreliable in their adhesive) this time I bought name brand red duct tape. This is a quick project, that takes a little skill to get right. I bought two, ten foot lengths of three inch diameter sections of PVC pipe. My husband cut these in half with his table saw, so I have four. You can also use a hack saw on these.

Not completely covered but good enough to have face away from the street.

Next, decide what you are doing with any printed text on the pipe. I sprayed mine with white paint, repeatedly, over several days, to cover it. You could also run a strip of white duct tape over the text or get some MEK and just remove it.

Then I rolled tape once around the full length of the pipe. It looked too far apart, but it was easy to roll the tape this way without it wrinkling. Then I rolled a second stripe, parallel with the first line of tape. This was more difficult because it was hard to keep the tape rolling along at an exact angle. I suggest rolling the tape until it needs to fold to be even, cutting the tape and adding a new strip starting at the correct angle. Pick your pipe’s back side and do all of the tape adjustments on that side so it doesn’t show.

I set these in the yard with two pieces of rebar, close to each other and driven deep, like I do with a lot of my Halloween decorations. You can see those here: Happy Halloween! Lay the pipe on its side and you can see how far apart you can set the two rebar. If they are too far apart at the top you can just squeeze them together and slide the pipe down over them. (Rebar is sold in home improvement stores usually at the very end of the store with the concrete. I suggest the 4 foot length because these need tall support.)

Finished! Super simple, super quick.

Next I made two ice-cream Sundaes. I garden (if you aren’t familiar with with this blog.) and I usually have 22 inch pots lying around. These are slightly smaller than 22 inches but they matched, so these are what I used. You want a base flower pot for the sundaes about this size. First: clean any dirt off of the outside and off the lip of your pots.  Spray paint your pots the color of your choice. I had some cans of green paint hanging around, so that’s what I painted these.

Add a paver to the bottom of each pot so they don’t blow away. Next create a form to apply your expanding foam. I had old plastic fencing left over from gardening projects and that is what I used for the inner form. (Chicken wire would have been easier to work with.)

I created a mound out of the fencing and then went over that with aluminum foil to make sure that the foam didn’t drip inwards.

Next I made little swirls of foam.

I suggest using gloves with this project, but if you forget (like I did) it comes off with nail polish remover.

I used every bit of the five cans I bought on the “ice-cream” portion of these two decorations.

The cheapest spray construction foam at Lowe’s.

I think small “scoops” look nicer than running it in rings all the way up to the top. The foam will expand and look more ice cream-y if you make it this way. Once I finished: I waited until the foam was still sticky, but had a crust on it, and added green pony beads for candy sprinkles.

Now that these made it through a season outdoors I have discovered that the foam turns orange when exposed to sunlight. A quick remedy for this is white spray paint. Your foam can will say how long to wait before painting. Otherwise, you’ll be in my position: where I need to cover all the foam with white spray paint and redo the chocolate syrup and sprinkles. It’s OK. This is a simple project and I am glad to now know what I need to, to make more.

I used 1x expanding foam and it slumped. I used triple expanding foam on the top for whipped cream and it was easier to work with. The one on the right slumped (facing this photo) and the left (on the opposite side) did too. I’ll just face those sides away from the street. But: try and make small foam swirls to avoid this problem or use triple expanding foam, less liberally. (My mother likes the slumped sides because she says it looks like it’s melting.) BTW this is not a one day project. Let the foam dry for 24 hours before continuing these instructions.
If you end up with some hanging over, wait until it’s tacky but not stiff, and roll the edge up under itself. It will stick to itself. Do not attempt to fix it from outside on the top. If it slumps, you have to live with it. Trying to “fix” the spray from the outside will make it collapse and you will end up with a hole where you messed with it.

I made the “whipped cream and cherry” next. Then I dribbled brown paint for chocolate syrup. I avoided the whipped cream part and then connected the dribbles and painted up to the whipped cream with a medium sized artists brush.

These took an 8 oz bottle of indoor/outdoor acrylic craft paint to do both sundaes. I wish this had been a darker brown but it still looks chocolate-y.
The support end of the plant support I used to paint and dry the ball.

This foam ball started out tie-dye looking. I sprayed it red by putting a metal plant support through it let it dry by pushing the circle on the support into the top of the sundae.

I was able to spray the entire ball and let it dry this way.

The balls are spray painted gloss red, to look like a cherry on top. Since I used two brands (One of them was single expanding one was triple expanding foam), they look different from each other dry. The GE triple expanding foam (from Walmart) is whiter than the single expanding foam brand I bought at Lowe’s. It also poofed up nicer and didn’t slump. But the difference in texture was an accidental win for the project! At the end I hot glued the same ribbon I used on the lollipops around the side and made a bow. I love how these came out!

I don’t suggest doing anything with expanding foam indoors. I set the can down and when I looked over it had dribbled out of the straw onto the table and down on a chair in my kitchen. I got it off of the table with melaleuca brand sol-u-mel. I got it off my hands with nail polish remover but the chair is not fixable because it is fabric and nothing would remove it. I also did this in my pajamas and got foam on the sleeve. Yeah. That’s now a forever thing on that sleeve.

All of the candy crafts I intended to do are done. Now I just need to cut out my Nutcracker ballet boards. It should all look fantastic and I’m really excited!

I am beyond happy about how this turned out!

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