Don’t be a dum-dum!

I don’t really know how Jodie’s baby shower theme (bright safari) ended up with lollipops, but I am glad it did. Don’t lollipops make you happy? I know they make me happy! Especially dum dums because there are 1.2 billion flavors! Okay, maybe not 1.2 billion…but there are a lot! And for a girl who’s on a diet, I mean, lifestyle change (thanks Weight Watchers) these little lollipops come in handy quite often to curb sweet cravings.

So, how did I make the lollipop centerpieces? You’ll find out RIGHT NOW! *throws confetti*

We’ll go over the smaller/easier one first-


First you need some supplies:

1.) Styrofoam blocks (I bought the 3 pack at Dollar Tree, each centerpiece uses 2)

2.) Brown or green crinkled gift wrap paper filler thingy (Again, from Dollar Tree- each centerpiece uses about a third of a bag)

3.) Lollipops- about 15-20ish

4.) Popsicle sticks (about 5 per centerpiece)

5.) Cardboard animals or whatever your theme is (I bought them from Dollar Tree- I used 2 in each)

6.) Spray adhesive

7.) A glass container (Found mind at…you guessed it- Dollar Tree!)

8.) Ribbon

That should be it.

Step 1: Put foam block into glass container. Trim if needed.


Step 2: Put second foam block on top using spray adhesive to adhere the 2 blocks of foam together. I used the Elmers spray adhesive that is about $5 at Target. This stuff lasts FOREVER! Then smash in some of the crinkled paper on the sides so the foam is less visible. I sprayed a tad of adhesive onto the paper so it would all stick together. You don’t have to do this, but I think it helps.


Step 3: Get all the decor that is going to be put onto popsicle sticks and put it onto the popsicle stick. I had Wild About Andrew signs and some safari animals. The Wild About Andrew sign is double-sided so everyone could see it. The animals are magnets, so I had to remove the magnet from the back of each animal. No biggie.




Step 4: Insert the popsicle stick decor into the foam. I want to note that guests sit on BOTH sides of the centerpiece, therefore I made the Wild About Andrew sign double-sided and with the animals I put one on each side. I covered up the not so pretty backside of the animals (backside=plain cardboard since I removed the magnet) by strategically placing a lollipop there. Here’s side 1 and side 2.



Step 5: Fill the top of the centerpiece with crinkled paper. This part REQUIRES spray adhesive or else when you move/transport the centerpiece, all the paper would fall/fly out. Now, it doesn’t require a ton, but my trick was to spray the green foam and then dab paper onto it. Like I mentioned in the supply list, each centerpiece requires about a third to a half of the crinkled paper bag. You see how the back of the elephant looks ugly? We’re going to put a big lollipop there to cover that up. Same goes with the lion. Moving on…


Step 6: Insert lollipops! Each of these uses about 15-20 lollipops. I used Jolly Rancher lollipops and Dum Dums so they have some size variances, which to me is nice. You could use Blow Pops, Tootsie Pops, etc. Again, make sure to put a lollipop directly behind the animals/decor so you don’t see any icky backsides.


Final Step: Add some ribbon around the center of the base. You’re done! Easy peasy centerpiece for under $5.00 and each takes less than 15 minutes to make. You cannot top that folks! How cute would these be adapted for holidays, birthdays, and office functions? They would be awesome!



Now, if you have about 30 minutes to an hour per centerpiece and twice the budget, you can also make these kick ass Dum Dum topiaries. Ready? Here we go!


Supply List:

1.) Dowel- I wish I could remember the thickness- basically, thicker than a pen/pencil. You can trim to size, but more on that later.

2.) Styrofoam ball- A 4 or 5 inch ball would work well. I bought them at Hobby Lobby for about $3 each since my local Dollar Tree was completely out of the balls. Try there first though! Way cheaper.

3.) Dum Dums- About 100 per centerpiece. They sell a 400 count bag at Wal-Mart for $7ish.

4.) Ribbon- satin ribbon and curling ribbon in your choice of colors/patterns.

5.) Crinkled gift wrap paper filler- Dollar Tree! Each centerpiece requires about a quarter of a bag.

6.) Spray adhesive

7.) Acrylic paint to paint the dowel & a foam brush

8.) A planter of some sort- I bought it at Dollar Tree and spray painted them orange and yellow (2 of each). If the planter is not going to be used as-is, make sure to have some spray paint handy.

9.) Any animals or embellishments for the planter- I used the wooden animals from Hobby Lobby that are 60-cents each.

10.) Scissors

11.) Quick set cement

12.) Tissue paper or newspaper

Step 1: Unfortunately I got way ahead of myself and didn’t take pics of this part, but I’m sure you understand the basic principle of it. The base/planter was a silver tin type of thing from Dollar Tree that had bluebonnets on it. I used some Krylon spray paint and turned them from tacky to bright orange and sunny yellow. Get it? Cool. Next, I cut my dowel to about 24 inches since the dowel I bought was about 30 inches or so. I used a basic handsaw we had here at home.

Step 2: After your base dries, pour in the quick set cement so that it fills a little more than half of the base. Have the dowel handy- this is SUPER important since once your cement dries there is NO way of getting that dowel in there. NO WAY. The cement dries super quick, so just stick around and make sure the dowel sets up firmly and is straight. We bought the quick set cement at Wal-Mart for about $9 and it made 10 pounds of it. It was in a bucket type thing, and we almost used the entire bucket on the 4 topiaries I made. I did this to all 4 of my bases, let them set, let them dry, and then I moved onto step 3.


Step 3: Again, no pictures of this step (I know, terrible), but it’s easy. Trim each dum dum so that the stick is only about 1 to 1.5 inches long. Insert into foam ball. Repeat 99 times. For this step, Daniel was cutting the sticks and I was inserting them into the foam ball. Each ball took about 10 minutes at most to do, but if you’re doing this step all by yourself, it would take longer. Make sure to have some heavy duty scissors to cut through the stick!

Step 4: Paint the dowel any color you’d like (I wanted them to look like trees, so I chose green- used acrylic paint and a foam brush) and put the ball of dum dums onto the top of the topiary. You’ll notice here my dowel isn’t painted. Yeah, about that, I painted it after because like usual, I get ahead of myself. Honestly, it doesn’t matter when you paint it. Sorry for the blurry pic!


Step 5: Put some tissue paper on top of the dried cement. You could use newspaper here as well, it’s up to you. I had lots of tissue paper on hand, so I chose tissue paper.


Step 6: Spray adhesive onto the tissue paper and gently cover with the crinkled paper.


Step 7: Add satin ribbon to the base. My container was shaped funky, so I ended up with this ugly overlap. Not to worry…101_0457

Step 8: Cover the ugly overlap or the overlap in general, with a cute animal. They have all sorts of themes/animals/colors at Hobby Lobby for about 60-cents each. I would recommend hot gluing the animal onto the ribbon/base because the spray adhesive simply isn’t strong enough.


Step 9: Here’s where I painted the dowel… you should/could have done this earlier.


Step 10: Add some pretty curling ribbon to the dowel. I used the spool of ribbon I bought at Party City because it was cheap and the colors were PERFECT! We obviously didn’t use the pink.

101_0462 101_0463

And you’re done! Now, I will say that if you’re only making one of these, it’s expensive or not very cost effective. If you’re making 4 or more, it’s very cost effective, plus these created a big “Wow!” factor at the shower since most people hadn’t seen these…ever. They’re not blog addicts like you and I. These would be great gifts for grad parties, showers, office luncheons, or a Get Well Soon sort of thing. The possibilities are endless.


I hope you enjoyed my tutorials, and if you use these for your parties or on your blog, please let me know!



  1. Jessica
    August 15, 2009 / 11:42 pm

    I love those! Adorable!

  2. sweet
    November 15, 2009 / 2:47 am

    Thank you for showing such great directions. These are really cute! I have 8 grandchildren and will have plenty of opportunity to make these. Thanks!

  3. Anonymous
    January 13, 2010 / 11:26 pm

    Your homemade centerpieces are absolutely brilliant! My sons 1st bday party is in 2 weeks & I can't wait to get home to start working on these beauties. I also picked the jungle safari theme so this'll work perfect.Thank you.

  4. Angelina Raven
    May 11, 2010 / 1:38 pm

    I am blown away by your creativity! Thanks so much!