Monday, December 12, 2011

Candy Cane Lane

When I was growing up, I lived in a small suburb of Dallas that was big on "family stuff" (I now live in a bigger suburb of Dallas that is even bigger on "family stuff"......much bigger lol) so around the holidays all of the neatly arranged subdivisions liked to give themselves themes by which the entire neighborhood would decorate the outside of their houses. 

One neighborhood had large victorian carolers cut out of wood with lyrics to the 12 days of Christmas that spread across the whole block....another had the entire Frosty the Snowman story played out in charcters and music through the street. And for the better part of my younger years the owner of the craft store Michaels lived in my little suburb and would decorate his house big time...with lighted displays that moved, giant snow would literally line up and wait for HOURS to get to his house.

So anytime a new subdivision sprung up in our growing town we would all wonder "what are they going to do for Christmas??" (you can only imagine the horrid ridicule you got if you weren't on a theme street....or even worse, if you didn't decorate at all **BLASPHAMY!**

ANYWAYS so my street was called Candy Cane Lane, it was 4 streets with about 35 houses that were all strung together with large candy canes that lined their yards. They would all be up from the weekend after Thanksgiving to the weekend after new years. every single house. every single year. its just the way it was. If you moved out of your house, you left your candy canes...if you built a new house in the subdivision, you would get a christmas treat of a bundle of candy canes (most of the men in the neighborhood HATED these things...because well they were kinda a pain to put up) 

But for me, its just not christmas without Candy even though I didn't have a neighbor to attach my canes to, I insisted to my delightful man that we make Candy Canes...and make them we did!

We bought a bundle of 1inch PVC from Lowes (it was less than $6 for the bundle of 5 15ft pipes) you will also need 1 inch plastic "pipe caps" (these are $.50 each in the plumbing section) and some 1 inch red electrical tape (1 role is enough for about 2 dozen canes)

Unless you are super skilled (which I am not) you might want to enlist your man...or dad....or neighbor to help you cut the pipes, you will need to cut them at about 4 ft tall, the top end will be a flat cut with a 1 inch deep slit cut vertically in to the top for the light string to pass through and the bottom will be cut at an angle to make a sharp point to stick it in the ground.

After you have them cut, you will need to sand off any writing on the pipes then wipe any sanding dust off.. then you will start striping your canes! This is easiset to do with a second set of hands, one of you will spin the pole, the other will glide the tape down in stripes, they won't be perfect but you can gauge with your eye how to space out the striping. 

Once they are all finished they will look something like this! now you can take them out to your yard and stick them in the ground, we measure ours by using a cane as a marker, so you will put your first cane in the ground, take a second cane and lay it flat to mark distance and stick your third cane at the end of that one....make sense? its just a way to ensure that you have an even length between the canes (you could always just eye ball it, or use a tape measure) 

lastly, take some string lights and string them through the slits in the canes, and place your caps on top, you will want some slack between each one so the lights swag down.

And your final product should look something like this! and ya...note my neighbors decorations....rope lights in the window that say "Ditto" with an arrow pointing to our house :) 

Next year we are going to make another dozen and line the driveway, but the 12 that we made this time is just enough for the front of our house. 

Merry Christmas from Candy Cane Lane :)