How to Make Candy Cane Reindeer

Candy cane reindeer
Elizabeth LaBau

During the winter holidays, your kids, no doubt, come home from school with one or more crafts they've made for Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. But they are always ready to do more, and this is a nice project for the last days before Christmas to do as a family around the breakfast bar or kitchen table. They'll love making these cute and easy candy cane reindeer. You don't need many items, and they are quick and easy to make.

Candy canes, googly eyes, red candies, and pipe cleaners are used to make adorable reindeer with candy cane bodies. If you want these to last for several years, you can use small red pom-poms instead of candies for the reindeer noses. These reindeer make cute Christmas tree decorations in the bargain. Of course, you can't eat the version that uses glue, but you can make also make an edible version using icing. If you've chosen to do that, the kids can eat their creations after you take down the tree and get a serious post-holiday sugar high.


  • Craft glue or hot glue
  • Large candy canes
  • Red candies (like red hots) or red pom-poms
  • Small googly eyes
  • Brown pipe cleaners

How to Make Candy Cane Reindeer

  1. Place a dab of craft glue or hot glue on the end of a candy cane's hook and press a red candy or red pom-pom onto the glue. Repeat until all of your candy canes have red "noses."
  2. Smear a strip of glue about 1 inch above the nose and press two googly eyes onto the glue.
  3. Twist a brown pipe cleaner at the top of the candy cane, right where it starts to curve. Pinch each side several times, so that it has bends that resemble reindeer antlers. If your pipe cleaner seems to slip around, add a dab of glue to the bottom so that it doesn't slide.
  4. Your candy cane reindeer are now finished. Although the candy canes are edible, the small parts and glue on the canes make these more appropriate for decorations than eating. If you want entirely edible candy cane reindeer, you could use royal icing to glue on the candy nose and use it to make the reindeer's eyes.