If we were having coffee I guess at some point I’d mention the lollipop tree.
Yes, that’s right, lollipop tree.
As we’ve seen with the previous post about the repurposed ballet pointe shoes, my darling bride is something of a crafter. We were recently invited to an event where she wanted to do something special. She’d seen this tree project somewhere and she wanted to do one. “Seems doable,” I naively said.
Okay, there were no instructions that she could find but it seemed to be a simple enough idea. A planter, a dowel, a styrofoam ball, a few lollipops … sure, I said, we can do that.
Of course, there were technical challenges to be overcome. Some were surprising. Like where the heck do you get lollipops? On the surface, it seems like a simple enough thing, but go browse the candy aisles. Most are inadequate (looped sticks) and then there is a question of the quantities. You need a LOT of lollipops. We settled on the one we could get in the most quantities, something called Dum-Dums … sort of a Tootsie-Roll Pop without the Tootsie. In fact, we originally considered using Tootsie-Roll Pops but the colors were less than desirable. At least the Dum-Dums were a sort of flowery pastel.
All of the technical challenges fell to me, your faithful coffee partner. I found a planter bucket that seemed sufficient. 8 1/2 inches wide with a mild taper. I chose Plaster-of-Paris for the medium. I cut a length of pvc pipe and inserted it into the globby mess with a dowel inserted and painstakingly tried to anchor it to keep it level. It was mostly level. Without a proper shop to work in, it was hard to get it 100% perfect. Drilled a hole in the 10 inch styrofoam ball and inserted the dowel. It looked pretty good.
Shortly after she started inserting the lollipops, darling bride decided the ball was going to be too big. I agreed. This required another trip to the craft store to go down a size. We probably could have gone down two sizes. The insertions were tedious but fairly easy, but I had to go back to get more pops TWICE. I estimate it took almost 600 lollipops. Most of the lower ones required a dab of hot glue to stay put.
It was top heavy. Despite a gallon of Plaster-of-Paris, it was still fairly unstable. Off to the store for a bigger container, big enough to contain the smaller container. Luckily, it being the end of gardening season, I got a pretty good deal on a large ceramic pot. I used a combination of plastic bags and tissue paper to stabilize it and we topped it with almost ten pounds of decorative rocks to both add weight and fill in the gap between old and new pot. The combination of these two made this thing quite heavy.
She finished it off with a wrapping of decorative ribbon around the “stem” and a wrapping of flowery garland around the base. One problem: while gluing the ribbon she accidentally glued the dowel to the pvc pipe. I had originally figured on pulling the top out for transport but it was tight in there so it had to travel assembled.
We almost got to the venue before it tipped on a turn. The tinkle of rocks spilling out of the planter was unnerving but I managed to pull over and get it upright again. Amazingly it survived the tip in great shape, just needed to scoop the rocks up.
I think it came out pretty good but I don’t think I’ll ever want to do one of these again … but we’ll see how long this lasts. It might make for for some emergency rations one day.
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