How to Draw a Candy Cane

Candy canes - peppermint flavored red and white candy sticks - are common sights during the holiday season. How did this candy come to be associated with Christmas?

According to legend, in 1670, a choir master in Germany asked a local candy maker for sugar sticks to give to children during Christmas Eve services - with the intention of keeping the children quietly entertained. To justify giving candy to children during the church services, he asked the candy maker to add a crook, or curve, to the end of each stick. This shape, like a shepherd's staff, was said to remind the children of the shepherds who visited baby Jesus. The candy could then be regarded as a teaching tool, rather than just a pacifier.

​​​While this origin is unconfirmed, recipes for similar candies - lacking the crook and stripes - were recorded in the early 1800s. By 1882, the tradition of hanging candy canes on the Christmas tree began to spread. Today, candy canes can be purchased from confectioners year round.

Would you like to draw a candy cane? Doing so is easy with the help of this simple, step-by-step drawing tutorial. You will need only a pencil, a sheet of paper, and an eraser. You may also wish to use markers, crayons, or colored pencils to shade your finished drawing.

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​Step by Step Instructions for Drawing ​​​a Candy Cane

1. ​​​​​​Begin by drawing a pair of straight, parallel lines, slanted diagonally. These lines form the straight portion of the candy cane.

2. ​​​​​​​​​​Draw a long, curved line, connecting the tops of the parallel lines. Note how the line curves in a "U" shape, doubling back on itself to form the crook of the candy cane. Connect the parallel lines at the bottom using a short, curved line.

3. ​​Draw an irregular circle in the middle of the candy cane. This will form the knot of the bow.

4. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Use a long, curved line to draw one side of the bow. Extend the line outwards from the knot, and curve it so that it has two lobes before connecting to the knot once again.

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5.​ ​​​​​​​​​​​Repeat the process described in the last step to form a mirror image. Again, use a long, curved line to enclose one side of the bow.

​6. ​​​​Erase guide lines from the bow.

​7. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​Extend two sets of lines from the knot of the bow, each set curving outward. Connect each set of lines at the bottom by drawing an upside down "V." These lines form the ribbons emanating from the bow.

​8. ​​​Erase guide lines from the ribbons.

9. ​​​​​Detail the bow by drawing curved lines outward from the knot, in each of the ribbons and on each side of the bow. Then, draw curved lines across the candy cane to indicate the stripes.

​10. ​​Color your candy cane. Traditionally, candy canes are striped in white and red. Today, however, you can find fruit flavored candy canes striped in other shades or even rainbow colors, as well as candy canes sporting the colors of sports teams or organizations - for example, pink candy canes for breast cancer awareness.

Are you hungry for more? Use our handy drawing guides to learn to draw other sweet treats, such as cakes, pie,and cupcakes.

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