Easter isn’t the only holiday that can leave you with excess candy. Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and especially Halloween can also equal bags and bags of unopened candy. But if you ask us, there’s no such thing as candy overload.
Still, as much as you might want to just keep that super-size bag of Halloween candy at your desk until it’s gone, your doctors and dentists might not be too happy with you. So, here’s a list of some slightly more creative ideas for what to do with leftover Halloween candy.
Candy Overload: What to Do with Leftover Halloween Candy
1. Cook with it.
Halloween is just the beginning of the holiday season. What does that mean? Holiday sweets!
We’re big fans of using candy in baked goods and other edible craft projects. If you need some inspiration, here are some fall and winter holiday treats you can make using all that leftover candy.
Whether you want to get in the kitchen with the kids, have your friends over for some DIY fun, or make Thanksgiving-themed party favors for the big day, there are TONS of adorable candy treats to make for this all-American fall holiday. Like:
For more Thanksgiving candy treats, check out our blog, Seven Thanksgiving DIY Candy Crafts.
Stained Glass Cookies
You can make these beautiful sugar cookies for any occasion, but they work especially well for Christmas since the candy “stained glass” centers look like church windows.
So how do you make stained glass cookies? You’ll need to collect all your leftover hard candies (think Jolly Ranchers) and your favorite sugar cookie dough. You’ll also need cookie cutters to make the pretty star shapes. The “stained glass” center is made from melted hard candies.
Get the full recipe from Dinner at the Zoo.
Candy Baked Goods
You don’t have to wait for the next holiday to get started with candy in the kitchen. You can use leftover Halloween candy in all kinds of traditional treats and baked goods, plus some unique ones. Satisfy your sweet tooth with any of the following candy treat recipes:
2. Craft with it.
The season between Halloween and New Year’s is full of opportunities for decorative holiday-themed DIY projects. Even better if you can throw in your leftover Halloween candy. (Don’t worry, these crafts are all edible!)
Winter wonderlands, cozy cabins, cheery churches… There’s a whole world of beautiful DIY gingerbread houses out there. You can go as big or as simple as you want, as long as you have plenty of candy decorations. One popular trend is using candy bars as roof shingles or walls.
This list of gingerbread house ideas has tons of candy houses we wish we lived in!
DIY Advent Calendar
It may be a little old fashioned, but for some, the advent calendar is one of the best things about the holiday season. A new treat every day as you count down to the best day of the year? There’s only one thing better than that: breaking out your DIY hat and making your own advent calendar with your favorite candies.
Get inspired with these DIY advent calendar ideas.
There are opportunities to make candy wreaths all year-round, but everyone knows winter is the best opportunity of all. Gather up all your uneaten, unopened Halloween candy, then swing by your local craft store to pick up some helpful wreath materials, like:
- A wreath base (wire or a Styrofoam ring)
- A floral tie or ribbon to hang the wreath
- Decorative bows and ribbon
Learn how to make your own candy wreath in our blog on DIY candy wreaths.
3. Donate it.
Have unopened Halloween candy? Whether your neighborhood was a little slow this year or you just overshot your candy needs (understandable), you can actually pass on that candy to someone in need.
The Today Show provides a useful list of ways spread the stocking stuffer joy by donating leftover Halloween candy, through organizations like: