Nothing says Christmas quite like candy canes with their bright red and white stripes. For a change of pace this year, get the kids together and whip up some button candy canes. They are just the right size for little fingers and make dazzling tree ornaments.
Purchase wooden candy cane cutouts at your local craft store or order from American Woodcrafters Supply Co. (see Resources for link). Select the size that fits your decorating needs; 4- or 5- inch canes are ideal for the tree, but any size will do. Try miniature canes made from tiny buttons to add to gift tags or other small decorating projects. Purchase red and white buttons that are slightly wider than the width of the cane. A 5-inch cane will use about 15 buttons, but this number will vary with the size of the cane and the size of the buttons.
Sand the wooden cane to smooth out any rough edges. Paint the cane with a red acrylic paint and allow to dry completely. The red will show through the holes in the white buttons in the finished product. Sand slightly to create an aged look.
Select a white button and glue in place onto the wooden cutout, beginning with the hooked end of the candy cane. Add a red button so that it slightly overlaps the white button and follows the contour of the candy cane. Continue to add buttons, alternating between red and white buttons, until you have covered the entire wooden base.
Loop a section of decorative cord and glue to back of the candy cane for a hanger. Hang from the tree as ornaments or use to decorate wreaths and swags. Tie to gift tags with curled red ribbons for a festive holiday package.