After finishing last week’s miniature merry-go-round tutorial, I decided to keep going on a carnival theme and create a companion piece for it.  I had an idea for a ferris wheel but it still needs some work (and parts shopping); bumper cars seemed like too much trouble; a roller coaster was far too ambitious of a project.  But what about concessions?  I mean, who’s ever heard of a carnival without cotton candy?

Project estimate:

  • Cardstock, on hand
  • Paper labels, on hand or $1
  • Circus-y letter stickers or computer font, on hand or free
  • Bamboo skewers, on hand or $1
  • Plastic bags, on hand
  • Felt scraps, on hand
  • String, on hand
  • Glue, on hand

Total: Free and up

Start by making the sign for your cotton candy stand.  I made mine using an embossed paper label left over from my north pole street light project, but you could easily make your own out of scrap paper or print out a sign shaped piece of clipart on your computer.  I cut the paper label in half and used scrapbook lettering stickers in a circus-like font that I happened to have on hand.  If you don’t have whimsical stickers, you can also print out the wording on the computer using one of the free circus fonts listed at the end of this tutorial.

Cut a strip of cardstock that is just taller than the “candy” half of your sign.  Glue the sign to the strip of cardstock at the center as shown, so that the top of the sign lines up with the top of the strip.  This will be the front of the cotton candy stand.

Fold back the cardstock strip at the ends of the sign to create the sides of the cotton candy stand.

On both sides, measure back an equal distance from the first fold and create a second fold.  You should now be able to glue the ends of the strip together at the back to make a rectangular shape.

Cut a pair of bamboo skewers to about the height you want the finished cotton candy stand to be.  Glue the skewers to the inside of the front of the rectangle as shown.  Make sure the skewers are positioned so that they extend beyond the top of the rectangle, not the bottom.

Glue the other ends of the skewers to the back of the “cotton” part of the sign.

To make the bags of cotton candy, start by trimming the corner off of a plastic bag (such as a zipper bag or sandwich bag).

Stuff a small scrap of pink (or other pastel color) felt into the corner of the bag.  Twist the open end to close.

Secure the bags shut with a little bit of string (I used embroidery floss) or wire.  Repeat until you have the desired number of bags of cotton candy.

Use string or thread to tie the bags together in groups of two or three bags.

Glue the ends of the string or thread to the back of the “cotton” part of the sign, just to the inside of the bamboo skewers.  When the glue is dry, flip it right-side-up and you’re done!

Here are links to a few free fonts that would work well with carnival or circus themed projects: