Learn to make refillable candy holders with Cricut for fun gifts.
Have you ever seen or heard about these super cute candy holders with clear, round bellies for holding treats? These adorable candy holders are made with a Cricut machine and I’m excited for you to check out the designs I’ve made. My collection includes designs for a snowman, a penguin, a rainbow, and a fox. They are perfect for giving away during the holidays and whenever you feel like giving a special someone a sweet treat. Although the cute animals are winter-themed, you can easily leave off the hats and gloves to use them any time of the year — and the rainbow candy holder can be used year-round and is great for brightening up someone’s day!
Watch the full step-by-step video showing you exactly how to create your own refillable candy holders with a VIP pass to Maker Academy Weekend 2022!
Crafting candy gifts is an awesome way to show someone you care for them. The great thing about this project is that it will also help keep costs down. Decorative candy holders are especially popular since you can make them pretty easily and everyone loves them! My new candy holders will make perfect party favors, Christmas treats, or even items to sell.
Aren’t these just incredibly adorable? I love how cute they look and let’s not forget the yummy treats you can place inside. Although these are mainly thought of as candy holders, you could also place other small treats or gifts inside. The possibilities are endless and I just know you will love them as much as I do!
Here’s a supply list for what you need to make candy holders with Cricut! This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.
Materials to Make Candy Holders with Opening Mechanisms
- Several sheets of 12″ x 12″ 65 lb cardstock — quantity depends on the design. I used white, marigold, red, black, teal, green, and yellow.
- One half of a 3.14″ Fillable Ornament (per candy holder) [Tip: You can make these on a Cricut Joy by using these small 1.97″ domes]
- Green StandardGrip Machine Mat 12” x 12
- Craft Glue
- A method to cut your cardstock – I used the amazing Cricut Maker 3 but you can also use the Cricut Maker, Cricut Explore 3, or the Cricut Explore — you can use the standard fine point blade for this project
- Design #419 — My free SVG/PDF/DXF design files are available in my free resource library (get the password by filling out the form at the bottom of this page)
How to Make Your Own Candy Holders with Cricut
- Several sheets of white, marigold, red, black, teal, green, and yellow 12" x 12" 65 lb cardstock depending on the design, see the details in the Notes section
- One half of a 3.14" Fillable Ornament (per candy holder)
- Design #419 (My free SVG/PDF/DXF design files available in my free resource library - get the password by filling out the form at the bottom of this page)
STEP 1: GET MY FREE DESIGN FILES
First, download my Candy Holders SVG/DXF/PDF files from my free resource library. It's Design #419.
My collection includes designs for a snowman, a penguin, a rainbow, and a fox. I'll demonstrate the fox, but the steps are the same for the other designs.
All of the designs include a paper iris to let you add and remove candy through the back. It's really neat!
Upload the fox design to Cricut Design Space and add it to your Canvas.
If you are not sure how to upload an SVG cut file to Cricut Design Space, watch this helpful video training series I made.
If you are on an iPad or iPhone, here is how to download and upload SVG files to the Cricut Design Space app.
STEP 2: PREPARE THE FILE
Here is how my fox design looks on my Canvas. You can zoom out to see all of the design by clicking on the minus (-) sign on the lower left.
The file is ready to cut! If you'd like to make a fox without the Santa hat and mittens, just click those shapes in the Layers Panel and delete them. I'm going to keep them, though.
STEP 3: CUT THE FILE
Make sure you have the correct machine selected in the top right and click "Make It!"
On the Prepare screen, set your "Material Load Type" to "On Mat" unless you are using Smart materials. Set the "Material Size" for each color to reflect your materials. I'm using 12" x 12" 65 lb cardstock for everything.
On the Make screen, set your mats to "Light Cardstock" with "More" Pressure.
Add the first mat's material to a StandardGrip Machine Mat face up and adhere it well with a brayer.
Make sure your Fine-Point Blade is clean and in Clamp B.
Load the first mat into your Cricut and press the flashing button to begin cutting. When the cut is complete, unload the mat. Flip your design over and gently peel the mat away from your material. Use a weeding tool to gently lift the delicate parts.
TIP: If you run into any issues cutting your materials, check out my Cricut Tips & Tricks for Cleaner Cuts.
Proceed with the rest of the mats until all of the cutting is complete.
STEP 4: ASSEMBLE THE CANDY HOLDER
Start with the iris, which goes on the back of the holder and keeps the candy in! It’s paper engineering. That’s exciting, but they can be tricky! My best advice is to go slowly and test its movement as you go.
Place the iris base face up in front of you so that the rectangles on the left half all have bump outs nearby. Thinking of it as a clock face, the rectangle at about 2:00 will also have a bump out, but 4:00 will not.
Take an iris arm piece and hold it so the T-shaped tab is to the right. The curve should look the same as that of the circle.
Carefully slide the T into the base's rectangle at two o'clock, one half at a time.
Fold the small tabs on the arm's rectangle up to create a boxy U-shape. If you have trouble lifting them, a spatula helps.
Repeat with the other iris arms, going counterclockwise around the base. Move the last arm piece's free end out of the way to insert the last T-tab, then shift it back into place. After you're done, all of the iris arms should overlap each other in the shape of a circle with their free halves visible.
Hold the iris lever face up and align it over the base and arms so its bump out is at about four o'clock. Adjust it and the arms so the folded tabs will feed up through the holes in the lever. Be gentle, patient, and keep the bump out at 4:00. The iris might not close fully if the lever isn’t attached to the base in the correct spot.
The tabs might get harder to push up through the holes as you work around the circle, so use your spatula between the layers to poke them through. If the lever gets out of place, put it back before continuing.
Once all the tabs are though, press them down to hold the lever in place.
Test if the lever moves freely and enough to open and close the iris now. It might not completely close, that’s ok. If the lever looks like it will hit one of the base’s bump outs before the iris completely opens or closes, the lever might not be secured in the right spot.
It’s ok! Just gently unfold the tabs keeping it in place, lift the lever piece off. If the lever hit a bump at the bottom, rotate it counter-clockwise just enough so that each hole lines up with the next set of tabs on the base. If the lever hit a bump at the top, rotate it clockwise the same amount.
Try folding the tabs and test the lever movement again. It should work better!
Flip the assembled iris pieces over so you can see the T-tabs sticking out of the rectangles.
Fold the tabs toward the center of the base. I placed the tip of my fingernail at the base and then folded the tab back over my nail. A spatula would also work. It's best if they are folded right at the base of the "cross bar" because they may not move freely if folded unevenly.
Add a thin line of glue to the base in between each rectangle, running from the outer edge to the inner.
Lay an iris cover face up over the glued iris assembly and press down where you added the adhesive. Make sure the curved edges line up.
Flip the iris assembly over and grab the other cover piece. Place the assembly so the lever's bump out is at 3:00.
Lay the cover piece on top so the edges line up. Make sure the bump out pieces from the base are even.
Place a bit of glue on the tip of the bump out at 12:00 and gently fold it down to touch the cover piece. Slide it toward the outer edge to create a bit of space between the fold and the edge of the iris. You don't want the bump out to be folded flush against the outer edge or the iris won’t move freely. Hold it in place to set.
Repeat with the bump out at 6:00. Then, work around the base clockwise, making sure you don't fold or glue the lever piece.
Once you have folded over all the bump outs, you can test the iris' action by holding on to the outer edges and moving the lever up and down. The iris should open and close in the center!
If the iris doesn’t move smoothly, the folded bump outs are likely too tight and need to be gently opened and glued again with a bit more room.
Now we can add the dome. Place your assembled iris with the glued bump outs facing up. Grab half of your 3" ornament.
Place the dome over the opening of the iris to check the placement. Then lift it up and add a line of glue where the dome will touch the iris. Put the dome back and adjust it if needed. Make sure the glue goes all the way around the dome and hold it to set.
Once the iris and globe are ready, place the fox shape face up onto the assembly. Turn the project over and check where the lever is. Rotate the fox piece until the lever stays behind its head and tail when you open and close it.
Without letting the iris shift, place the project back down so the fox is in the correct orientation. Now take the fox piece off and add glue to the front of the iris assembly.
Lay the fox piece back down in the correct orientation and adhere it to keep the parts together.
Assemble the fox's hat and mittens by placing the white pieces face up. Then, glue the red pieces on top of the matching shapes, lining up an edge so that an even trim of white is visible.
Place the arms piece face up. Glue the correct mitten on to each paw area. Let them dry.
Place the arm assembly over the dome so the arms hug the sides and the central bridge between them is centered under the fox's head. The straight bottom of the bridge should also touch the dome.
Once it's in place, carefully lift the bridge just enough to add a bit of glue underneath. Press it in place to dry.
Take the fox's face detail and add some glue to the back. Center it on the black face base of the same shape and adhere it.
Now take those two pieces and center both on the fox’s head vertically, but have the bottom edge slightly overlap the bridge of the arms piece. While it dries, glue the tail tip detail in place.
Hold the fox's white ear pieces face up and glue them in place so there is an even trim of fur around the sides and top.
Align the top edge of the two hat pieces together and glue with the red piece on top. Glue the small circle to the point of the hat like a pompom. Glue the hat on the fox's head. The hat's side edges will just cover the inner ear parts.
Grab the paw pieces and the matching shapes without cut outs. Glue them together with the color showing through the cutouts.
Then, glue each paw onto the base of the fox so the inner edges touch the globe.
To finish the assembly, flip the fox over and grab the last piece, which we'll use as a stand.
We don't want the stand to interfere with the lever, so slide it all the way from side to side to note the full range of motion it needs to open and close. Add glue from the edge of where the lever stops when it is open and closed to about 1" above the bottom of the base on either side.
Hold the last back piece face up and align its flat section with that of the fox and press in place to adhere it. Once the glue dries, slightly fold up the unattached area to make some space between the bottom pieces to form the stand.
The other candy holders use the same techniques, but here are the assembly orders I used!
Snowman (paper needs: 3 white, 1 green, 1 teal, 1 black, 1 red)
Use the same steps to make the iris and attach the dome.
Glue the snowman detail piece with the face and the feet to the snowman base piece.
Then, check the lever placement with the main body piece on top of the dome and iris.
Glue the main body piece on top.
Glue the arm piece in place using the same technique, but don't add adhesive at the lower hand areas.
Add glue to the back of the ribbon and position it to cover the transition between the arms and head.
Assemble the hat according to the photos and glue it on at a jaunty angle.
Penguin (paper needs: 2 white, 1 marigold, 2 black, and 1 red)
Use the same steps to make the iris, attach the dome, and glue the main body piece on top.
Glue the large white body piece on top. Add the feet at the bottom.
Glue the arm piece over the dome, without attaching the hands to the feet.
Add the hat and scarf pieces, making sure the latter covers the transition between the arms and head.
Glue on the beak shape, then add the inner black shape on top. Finally, glue on the eyes, making sure the cutouts are at the top left so he's looking in the same direction.
Rainbow (paper needs: 3 white, 1 marigold, 1 yellow, 1 green, 1 teal, 1 black, and 2 red)
Use the same steps to make the iris, attach the dome, and glue the main cloud piece on top.
Glue the red circle on top, followed by the orange, yellow, green, and teal.
Make sure you have the cloud piece face down and add glue, then line its bottom up with the cloud base to cover the lower rainbow rings.
Add glue to the back of the sun and put it in place to the left. Then add the face details.
STEP 5: SHOW IT OFF!
To fill the dome, place the holder face down on a clean surface. Open the iris all the way and add wrapped candy, a small toy, pompoms, anything else that won't get stuck in the iris or escape through the small hole.
12" x 12" 65 Cardstock Sheets Needed for Each Design
2 white if you combine mats
1 black if you combine mats
1 red if you combine mats
The detailed step-by-step assembly video on how to create candy holders with opening mechanisms debuted during Maker Academy Weekend 2022, held online November 3-6, 2022. Get an on-demand pass to watch all 20+ workshops, each with a printable handbook, transcript, audio files, design files, and support with a VIP pass below:
It’s hard to pick a favorite when it comes to these candy holders but this rainbow design might just be my favorite. Look at the bright colors that just pop! I’m sure you’ll make anyone’s day with these.
Which one of these adorable candy holders is your favorite?
Answers to Your Questions About How to Make Candy Holders with Cricut
Q: Where is your tutorial for this project?
This is a special project we made for our free Maker Academy Weekend 2022 event! A complete and detailed step-by-step video premieres during the event November 3-6, 2022 — specifically, this tutorial video was available to watch for free for 24 hours beginning November 5 at 2:00 pm ET! You can get access to the full video, the printable handbook that details how to make this beautiful project if you get a VIP Pass to Maker Academy Weekend 2022, which comes with other perks and bonuses, too!
Q: What kind of cardstock do I need?
I recommend 65-80 lb. cardstock for these crafts. Thicker cardstock will be harder to cut and fold.
Q: Do I have to use those plastic ornaments?
You only need them if you’re planning to add candy. If you don’t want candy, leave it off and just add a name there.
Q: Can I make these candy holders on a Cricut Joy?
You can resize them to fit on a Cricut Joy and use a smaller ornament ball. A Joy-sized version will be included in the design, too, after we do more testing.
Get my free SVG files to create these adorable candy holders that open and close!
Which candy holder is your favorite? I love seeing what you make with my designs and how you use them! Please share a photo of your candy holders in our Facebook group or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.