First, acquire a handy 4-drink carrier at Starbucks® or another café. They’re made from thick pressed paper and are really sturdy and can be made into lots of fun things. Today we’ll make a candy caddy for Valentine’s Day! Included are two versions, one made with paint, the other with all paper, both finished with decoupage (Modge Podge) so that the surface is sealed and okay to hold dry edibles. Note: You could also cover it with colored tape for a very low-mess option. After Valentine’s Day you can use your handy new “candy dish” for organizing desk junk like paper clips and rubber bands, or on your vanity for holding jewelry.


Level of Difficulty:  Easy – For ages 4+ with adult supervision.

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Estimated Completion time: Approximately 30 minutes plus drying time.

List of Materials you will need:

1 Starbucks® Drink holder or similar
Modge Podge® – gloss or satin finish
4-8 Paper cupcake liners
Paint brush
1 Chenille Stem
1 Washer or big button or flat bead
20 Pony Beads
11 Smaller Spacing Beads – smaller than the Pony Beads but with large enough holes to thread onto a chenille stem
Newspaper or old tablecloth to protect work surface
Painted Version:
Acrylic or Tempera Paint and/or Faber-Castell ® Gel Sticks
Water cup
Papered Version:
Tissue Paper or other lightweight colored paper. If it’s too heavy or stiff it won’t work, it needs to be pliant.


Step 1:  Use craft paint to thoroughly coat the top surface of the caddy. These caddies are made from untreated pressed paper so they are VERY absorbent and take a bit of paint and a big stiff brush to get into all the nooks and crannies. Here we used red, pink and white for Valentine’s Day and blended colors from the outer edge inward.


Step 2: The paint dries very quickly on this surface so it doesn’t take too long to coat it, allowing you to go back with a second coat of additional colors if you choose. For instance, to add a metallic sheen, after the first coat of paint the pink metallic Faber-Castell® Gel Stick was added and colored directly onto the high points. Then, the Gel Stick was blended into the paint with a wet brush. Set aside to dry.

Step 3: You can also paint the underside of the caddy if you don’t like the grey color.


Step 4:  When the paint is dry, line each of the “cups” with a cupcake liner. Use a big floppy paint brush to coat the inside of a “cup” with a generous amount of Modge Podge®. Modge Podge is available in three finishes: Matte, Satin and Gloss. For this project the Satin or Gloss is recommended. This gives the piece a nice sheen and also keeps the paint from flaking or dusting.

 step-3          step-4

Step 5: Press a cupcake liner down into the cup. Then “paint” over it with more Modge Podge. Use your brush and/or your fingers to make sure the edges of the liner are flat and smooth against the cup walls. Repeat for all four cups.


 NOTE: If your cupcake liner has a decorative pattern on it, you may want to turn the liner inside out before pressing it into the cup. Check wedding and food aisles at your local craft store for all sorts of fun patterns.


Step 6: After you’ve lined all four cups, each with one liner, you can go back and repeat this with a second liner in each cup. This will make each cup stronger, especially in the areas where the liner is covering the holes in the caddy. Then coat the entire caddy with a full coat of Modge Podge and set aside to dry.



Step 7 – The Handle: When the surface is dry, poke a small hole in the center of the caddy.



Step 8: Starting with a small bead, then a pony bead, then a small bead, etc., thread these onto the chenille stem until you have 10 pony beads and 11 small beads placed tightly in the center of the stem.


 Step 9: Fold the chenille stem in the center, forming a circle with the beads and then wrap the two ends of the stem into one long piece.


Step 10: Thread the remaining beads onto the doubled end of the stem. You should have about 1” of doubled stem left below the last bead. Make sure the beads are all tightly stacked with no stem showing between the beads.

 Step 11:  Thread the doubled end of the stem through the hole in the middle of caddy.


Step 12: Place the washer (or button or flat bead) through the stems on the underside of the caddy. Separate the two ends of the stem and lay them flat against the underside of the caddy to secure the washer.




Step 1: Another way to make these is with tissue paper and Modge Podge. It’s very simple. Just cut the tissue paper into approximately 2” squares.



Step 2: Coat a section with Modge Podge and then lay the paper squares in at random. When two pieces overlap, brush a little MP onto the top of the square below. Use a light touch with the paint brush or the paper squares may wad up.



Step 3: Continue layering paper squares over the entire surface, overlapping randomly until you have complete coverage. You can even add stickers or paper cut outs from magazines…be creative!



Note:  When Modge Podge is wet it looks white, but dries clear. See how in the picture on the right it looks white, but this is the wet Modge Podge, NOT the color of the paper when it dries. The sample on the left shows how it looks dry after applying several layers! White or lighter colored paper will take at least 3 or 4 layers to cover the natural grey color of the caddy.  If you don’t like this greying effect than you have 3 options:

Use dark or brightly colored paper
Use the light colored paper but lay down 3 or more layers
Paint the caddy white before you begin


Download printer-friendly instructions here.

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