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What to Do With Extra or Leftover Christmas Candy

Yes, You Can Recycle Your Christmas Candy!!!

Yes, You Can Recycle Your Christmas Candy!!!

If you're finding yourself buried beneath mounds of unwanted Christmas sweetness, before tossing it all in the kitchen trash to make room for the New Year dieting, consider some ways that you may be able to rid yourself of unwanted candy without wasting it (or packing on the pounds)! With a little creativity, you can make future holidays and/or birthdays special, or even sweeten up a sour neighbor! Find out how you can turn this yearly Christmas dread into something that others can look forward to!



Make Candy Hearts for Valentine's Day! (Or to just show someone how much you care)!

Candy Cane Hearts are so pretty, are easy to make and best of all, "YUMMY!

  • Start with two candy canes, (which can be any color or flavor).
  •  Make them into a "heart shape" and place on waxed paper. Your heart will look something like this.
  • Next, take another cane and crush it into tiny bits and set aside.
  • Melt candy bark (ANY FLAVOR) into a pourable consistency. (Be careful not to scorch)!
  • Carefully pour or spoon the melted candy into the center of the candy cane heart.
  • Finally, dust with candy bits.
  • Let the candy set until it is completely cooled then carefully remove from wax paper. The final product is so pretty!

The Final Result Sure Is Sweet!

Photo Copyright  Carisa Gourley

Photo Copyright Carisa Gourley


Leftover candy canes can be made into a source of comfort for the lonely and elderly. It's such a simple thing but it will fill your loved ones heart with warmth and gratitude.

  • Take any flavor of candy cane and dip into any flavor of candy bark. (Make sure that the flavors will taste well together, such as peppermint canes with chocolate or orange flavored canes with vanilla).
  • Set dipped candy cane on waxed paper to cool.
  • After it's cooled, repeat this process as many times as desired until final thickness is reached.
  • Wrap the candy in plastic wrap or foil.
  • Type, or neatly write a poem, such as the one below, and cut it out while making pretty edges and leaving room on the corner to punch a hole.


If your cane is broken or you don't feel like a walk

Pick up your cane of comfort and we can have a talk!

Dial my number as listed below

Listen to it ring and for me to say, "Hello."

You can tell me everything that seems to come to mind

We'll chat awhile and laugh awhile and happily pass the time.

Then we'll offer up a prayer to the Good Lord above

To wrap us in His comfort and fill our hearts with love.

(PHONE # 555-5555)

Scroll to Continue

  • In the upper left corner punch a hole and thread with pretty ribbon.
  • Secure the ribbon and the poem onto the dipped candy cane.
  • Finally, sweeten someone's day!

Click Here for the "LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE" and more fun candy cane recipes such as "CANDY CANE COCOA!"


If you still have candy canes and candy bark left by the time that St. Paddy's Day arrives, you can invite over all of your leprechaun friends and serve your own sweet and tasty "shamrocks!"

How to make:

  • Take a few squares of candy bark, (vanilla or almond flavored), and melt to a pourable consistency.
  • Once melted, tint candy with several drops of green food coloring.
  • Dip six candy canes into green candy and lay on waxed paper to cool and dry.
  • Take an additional candy cane and break off the curved end. Now take the remaining stick and break it in half.
  • Dip your halves in the candy and set on wax paper.
  • Once candy is cool and dry, shape your candy canes into a shamrock by making 3 hearts (as shown above) to make the leaves. Arrange them in a triangular pattern with the tips of each "leaf" almost touching.
  • Now take the halves of stick and arrange them at the base for the "stem."
  • Now spoon left over candy into the hearts until they are filled and fill in the stem.
  • Sprinkle with green sugar if desired.
  • The result will be a lovely shamrock that any leprechaun will be pleased to munch!

Note: You may add additional candy canes to make a "four leaf" clover if desired.


Photo Copyright Carisa Gourley

Photo Copyright Carisa Gourley


If you have leftover coated pretzels they are very easy to transform into a sweet birthday treat!  Simply lay flat on paper plate and warm in microwave until candy is soft but not melted.  Sprinkle candy or colored sugar onto the pretzels and allow to dry.  The result is a festive and yummy treat!



If you have traditional hard Christmas candy left these make lovely "jewels" for princess cakes or cupcakes.  

CAUTION:  Hard candy may be a choking hazard.  Not to be used with very small children.


Treasure boxes are a great way to get rid of all the rest of your candy and make great gifts for almost anyone and for any occasion.

Leftover chocolates, cherry chocolates, and hard traditional candy can all be used for this project.

  • Start with getting a little box that looks like a treasure chest. If you can't find one, any small box may used, but try to find one that has hinges. If box is not the right color you can spray paint it and dust with glitter.
  • After your box is ready, it's time to fill it up! Choose different colored foils and plastic wrap and wrap chocolate and hard candies to make "gems."
  • Get some foil wrapped chocolate coins and place in the box along with the other candy.  
  • Finally, go make someone's day a little richer!
Make someone's day a little richer!

Make someone's day a little richer!

Top It and Mix It!

Any candy that you may have left may be ground, crushed or chopped to use as garnish on cakes, cupcakes or to mix with ice cream!



peachy from Home Sweet Home on July 29, 2015:

great ideas for using the left over candies

leann2800 on August 18, 2011:

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing

Candace Green from OKLAHOMA on January 03, 2011:

These are great!!!!

Carisa Gourley (author) from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma on December 16, 2010:

Thanks, Dave and Triplet Mom! I appreciate your comments!

Triplet Mom from West Coast on December 16, 2010:

Great ideas!! Thanks for sharing.

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on December 16, 2010:

Love some of these ideas! thank you

Carisa Gourley (author) from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma on December 15, 2010:

You are welcome, Ladybird33, and thank YOU for stopping by and leaving a comment!

Ladybird33 from Fabulous USA on December 15, 2010:

These are some awesome tips! I will definitely being using some of these ideas, no doubt. Thank you for sharing!

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