DIY: Christmas Candy Hearts

While those candy hearts with messages on them have become so common around the Valentine's Day the truth is they aren't that great. We all love the cute idea but the cheap mass produced candies are faulty to the point that we might even feel bad giving them to someone! They don't taste that good, the messages are often faded, and the candies are mostly worn out or broken. So how can you preserve the adorable idea, personalize it and make the gifts last longer than a day? Easy, buy making these candy hearts for your darling out of polymer clay. They wont be edible but they will surely be cherished more than the originals were. You can even put your own short messages on them to surprise your loved one. And what is even better, now you don't have to wait for Valentines day to come around you can make a little twist and do these for your hunny on Christmas as well! 
What you will need to create your own clay candy hearts:
- Polymer clay in green and red, one block is about two dollars in your arts and crafts store, cheaper online.
- A straight edge knife or a craft blade.
- A few toothpicks.
- If you wish to make a mold of the hearts then you will need the Sculpey Mold Maker. If not then you can just shape your candy heart by hand.
- Red paint, tempera works fine.
- A super thin paint brush, or if you want just use the toothpick to draw on the messages.
- Baking tray and an oven, not a microwave!
- A list of short messages to put on the clay hearts.
- A packet of the actual candy hearts, for reference...and a snack.
How to create your own clay candy hearts:
- First make sure you have a nice clean surface to work on, you don't want hairs or other bits getting into your clay.
- If you are using a mold to create your hearts follow the instructions on the box for how to actually make the mold. Also make sure, when you are making it, that you press in the non letter side of the candy into it so you have a clean slate later on.
- In case you don't want to use a mold just form the hearts by hand, use the actual candy as reference. Its not hard and really you don't need a mold unless you are making a great number of them.
- After your hearts have been formed just let them sit a bit to harden, so they are not as mushy from your fingers.
- Alright now the messages, I personally do them with paint and a toothpick, freehand. Some people print them out then use rubbing alcohol to create transfers.
- Pick a short message and then carefully write it on the heart. The more unique and personal to the receiver of the hearts the better.
- Let the paint dry completely.
- Line the hearts up on the baking sheet and bake according to the manufacturers instructions.
The clay hearts are now complete. As for packaging, it all depends on you but here are a few examples... You can buy a pack of real stuff, carefully open it put the clay ones in among the real ones and re-seal the bag. It takes a little practice but its a nifty idea when you get it. You can also put them in small boxes from craft stores or in a Valentine's Day themed cellophane goodie bag.

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