Birthday Celebrations – Candy Corsages: How to Make a Wrist or Pin-On Corsage

Flowers are a lovely and traditional element of many celebrations. Imagine a bride without her bouquet, a romantic dinner sans an elegant floral centerpiece, or a Mother’s Day brunch missing vases of festive spring flowers. Something would be wrong with the image – correct? Birthdays are no different than these types of celebrations, and flowers are always an appropriate component of a birthday celebration. However, a lost tradition which can make birthdays extra special is the tradition of presenting candy corsages to the birthday girl.

In the ’50s, ’60s and early ’70s, candy corsages were worn throughout the day by young girls celebrating their birthdays. These fun, quirky and festive adornments were an outward acknowledgement of the birthday girl’s special day, and they were a way for her friends to help her celebrate. It was not uncommon for a 1960s teenaged birthday girl to wear several different candy corsages, which were gifts from multiple friends.

So what exactly is a candy corsage?

A candy corsage is a pin-on corsage or wrist corsage adorned with ribbon bows, tulle, some sparkly beads and a quirky confection that is linked to the birthday. The following list shows the confections that were associated with specific birthday years.

  • 10th birthday – lollipops
  • 11th birthday – gum drops
  • 12th birthday – tootsie rolls
  • 13th birthday – bubble gum
  • 14th birthday – dog biscuits
  • 15th birthday – life savers
  • 16th birthday – sugar cubes
  • 17th birthday – lemon drops
  • 18th birthday – cigarettes

Make Your Own Candy Wrist Corsage:

  1. Use a ¾” elastic, such as used in a sewing a waistband, to make a snug wrist loop. Overlap the ends and secure by sewing with a zigzag stretch seam.
  2. Use a 2″ x 1″ piece of plastic (an embroidery floss card or the lid of a Compact Flash memory card case work well) as the foundation for your corsage.
  3. Bend and overlap 3″ lengths of ribbon to make tear drop shapes. Hot glue them around the perimeter of the plastic foundation to create a daisy shape of ribbon.
  4. Create another “daisy layer” on top of the first, using smaller teardrops of a coordinating ribbon.
  5. Use bits of tulle and dangles of sparkly beads to fill in any bare spots in the ribbon daisies.
  6. Glue a grouping of the specialty candy to the top of the ribbon daisies, using hot glue.
  7. For extra adornment, attach metal, plastic or cardboard digits representing the birthday year to the corsage.
  8. Use hot glue to attach the candy corsage to the wrist band.

Make Your Own Pin-On Candy Corsage

  1. Follow the same instructions as for the wrist corsage, but substitute several tie tacks hot glued to the plastic card, rather than the wrist band.

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