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Candy Birthday Corsages: A Vintage Tradition Poised for a Comeback?

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I love all things retro, from recipes and décor to old-school traditions.

A Retro Candy Corsage

A Retro Candy Corsage

Candy Corsages From the 1950s to the 1970s

The vintage candy birthday corsage marked a girl’s passage from one year to another, from age 10 to 18. It was made to resemble a floral corsage, and it might have included flowers, but its most important element was candy. Each year had a different kind of candy that symbolized an aspect of a growing girl’s life. Where the symbolism originated—except for year 16, which has always been known as “sweet 16”—no one seems to know.

Gifting girls with candy corsages that incorporated specific candies for specific years seems to have been a regional tradition. I grew up in northern New Jersey and remember this tradition well. Those of you who grew up in that congested region of the country, northern New Jersey and metropolitan and suburban New York, may know what I’m talking about right away. In researching candy birthday corsages, I have found few references to them outside of this regional pocket, and no information about how the tradition began.

Corsage Candies and Their Meanings

YearCandyMeaning

10

Lollipops

Unknown

11

Gumdrops

Unknown

12

Tootsie Rolls

Unknown

13

Bubble Gum

Unknown

14

Dog Biscuits

Puppy Love

15

Lifesavers

Unknown

16

Sugar Cubes

Sweet 16

17

Lemon Drops

Sour 17

18

Cigarettes or Beer Bottle Caps

Coming of Legal Age

Year 14 is an oddity, featuring dog biscuits instead of candy. If any of you ever knew of candy in the shape of a dog biscuit, let us know in the comments below! Year 18 is another oddity: The cigarettes were meant to be candy cigarettes, not real ones, but I knew girls whose corsages featured the real thing. Also, in some places where the drinking age was 18 instead of 21, beer bottle caps might have replaced the cigarettes.

A close-up, inside view of the candy corsage showing the tape and tube forms of bubble gum, tiny white silk flowers, satin ribbon, and a recycled metallic "fountain" bow.

A close-up, inside view of the candy corsage showing the tape and tube forms of bubble gum, tiny white silk flowers, satin ribbon, and a recycled metallic "fountain" bow.

The long lace pieces of ribbon were tied into a bow, securing the corsage on the wrist. White tissue paper protected the corsage inside the white and gold-ribboned box.

The long lace pieces of ribbon were tied into a bow, securing the corsage on the wrist. White tissue paper protected the corsage inside the white and gold-ribboned box.

Attempts to Bring Back the Candy Birthday Corsage: A Bit of Personal History

When my daughter turned 16, long after the tradition I’d known had passed, I visited a local florist and asked if he could make a sugar-cube corsage to honor her birthday. He had no idea what I was talking about. However, he did make a lovely pin-on corsage, incorporating 16 cubes of sugar and autumn flowers for her October birthday. That corsage weighed a ton!

When I presented it to my daughter and told her what the tradition meant to me, she was quite unimpressed. But, she wore it through her birthday party, even though it made her shirt sag quite horribly. In other words, this kind of a corsage was not part of her or her friends’ experiences, and so, even though I was pleased to share this tradition with her, it really didn’t mean very much to her, then.

Just a few days ago, my daughter was invited to a coming-of-age celebration for one of her girl students who had just turned 13. The invitation said nothing about a gift (the student had already just celebrated her birthday, but my daughter wanted to bring something. I suggested a bubble-gum corsage.

Much to my surprise, my daughter jumped on the idea. She raided our box of craft supplies, went to the store to buy bubble gum, and crafted a beautiful bubble gum wrist corsage for her student along with a gorgeous box to hold it.

The student’s reaction? Well, it was much like my daughter's reaction when she turned 16. The student had no concept of this tradition. After my daughter told her about the history and meaning of this gift, she politely wore the corsage for a photograph, but that was the limit of her interest. She just didn’t know what it was, and nor did the other women present at this coming-of-age gathering.

My daughter was not at all let down by her student's reaction, I suspect because she remembered her own reaction all those years ago while also taking stock of the good memories she has today about her sixteenth birthday corsage. Those good memories were what prompted her to carry on this tradition with her student. I have no doubt that sometime in the future, the student will think about this sharing moment with her teacher and want to pass the tradition on through sharing with another special young woman.

Annemaeve bought fresh bubble gum, but everything else for the corsage came from a box of scrap wrapping paper and ribbons. She assembled the corsage with hot glue and a needle and thread. The blue and pink "ribbons" are bubble gum.

Annemaeve bought fresh bubble gum, but everything else for the corsage came from a box of scrap wrapping paper and ribbons. She assembled the corsage with hot glue and a needle and thread. The blue and pink "ribbons" are bubble gum.

A Vintage Tradition Due for a Comeback?

Here are the reasons I think the vintage candy birthday corsage tradition ought to enjoy a comeback.

Candy birthday corsages marking each birthday in a symbolic way were gifts that women friends and family members truly looked forward to making or buying and giving. It fostered a special bond among women young and old. I have never heard of anyone receiving one of these corsages from a member of the opposite sex. I don’t think there can be too many ways to bond with the young women in our lives, and the sentiment expressed in this gift deserves to be one of them.

Making candy corsages is a great birthday party activity. With a bit of planning (and supervision for younger girls), guests at an all-girl birthday party can have a lot of fun making their own souvenir corsages to take home.

What about that box of gift wrapping scraps, and also your stash of sewing notions, fabrics, and trims? These are items just waiting to be turned into a thoughtful and symbolic gift at little to no cost. In these “green-conscious” and challenging economic times, a candy corsage fashioned from recycled goods makes a lot of sense.

The real thing. A Tootsie Roll birthday candy corsage in its original box, found in Queens, NY.

The real thing. A Tootsie Roll birthday candy corsage in its original box, found in Queens, NY.

How to Make a Candy Corsage

More on How To Make a Candy Corsage, Plus Resources for Buying Candy Birthday Corsages

There are many resources on the Internet for learning how to make candy corsages and bouquets. Take a look at some of these and see if you get inspired.

  • Ehow has a number of articles on making candy corsages. Start here with this set of candy corsage directions and then check out the "You May Like" suggestions on the right-hand side of the page.
  • If you'd like to try your hand at a bouquet instead of a corsage, try these directions for making a candy bouquet.

About Those Dog Biscuits for the 14th Birthday Candy Corsage

I haven't been able to find any pre-made, commercially available candies in the shape of dog biscuits, but if you like to make candy and chocolate, I did find a variety of dog-biscuit molds, some large and some small, in the shape of dog bones as well as in paw-print and puppy shapes.

I can imagine wiring the small candy bones (or other shapes) to a 14-year-old's candy corsage with brown pipe cleaners, or even embedding a length of floral wire into the liquid chocolate. The larger shapes would be perfect for an accompanying candy bouquet.

If you believe, as I do, that this tradition is deserving of a comeback, keep the nine symbolic birthday candies in mind when you make or order your next candy birthday corsage for a special young woman.

A Request

I've researched this topic through friends, my local library, and resources on the Internet but have found little about the history and symbolism of this tradition. Please share your knowledge of this vintage tradition in the comments section below. Thank you!

© 2012 Sherri

Comments

MariaTursi on August 10, 2020:

One of my favorite memories of my childhood. We used real dog biscuits and the birthday girl usually took a bite out of one just for the fun of it!

Nancy Hinchliff from Essex Junction, Vermont on July 17, 2020:

I like this. Since cute ideas and corsages.

Johanna Mayol on July 14, 2020:

I lived in Brooklyn and we had a florist shop on the corner of Lafayette Ave and Broadway where all my friends would get the candy corsages made for their birthdays. It was such an exciting time back then. I remember looking forward to being 18 and getting the cigarette corsage, never mind that my strict parents would have killed me for implying that I could smoke. I am 73 yrs old and so grateful that I lived through those innocent years.

MaryAnn J on July 07, 2020:

I grew up on Staten Island and we had these corsages. I love them! My granddaughter will be 14 on her next birthday coming up. I think I will try and make a corsage for her.

Ary on June 29, 2020:

I grew up in Brooklyn. We had them and I always looked forward to mine. I make them for my granddaughters and explain their meaning. They like them. So sad many traditions are being lost.

Diane Shaw on May 17, 2020:

If the corsage is too heavy to wear on clothing...make it a wrist corsage. That will confuse the young generation to no end. LOL

saunjf on March 13, 2020:

there is a scooby doo graham cracker cookie in the shape of dog biscuits its crazy because they are for human consumption but look like dog biscuits

patricia nisenholz on February 29, 2020:

I grew up in northern NJ and remember vividly wearing these corsages. I am attempting one for my Grandaughters Sweet 16 right now.. not so easy to make.

I will put in a pretty box for her.. and hope she loves.. doubt she will wear!!

Kathy on February 19, 2020:

I remember this tradition well. I actually made one for my granddaughter for her birthday last year and she requested one for this year and I will happily do it. I hope it starts something old being brought back. I grew up in Brooklyn and had one every year Good times

joyce on February 18, 2020:

why do we have to change EVERY tradition lets leave the birthday corsage just the way they were meant to be I made one for my granddaughters birthday sweet 16 and she loved it ! I had them all and loved them all!

Rita on December 19, 2019:

Instead of cigarettes of beer bottle caps for 18, why not words of empowerment or powerful women.

Sharon on December 13, 2019:

What about the Scooby Snacks cookies for the 14th birthday corsage?

Teri on November 13, 2019:

I remember these Very well I grew up in New York City and I now live in Florida and I am planning to make one for my 10-year-old granddaughter’s birthday tomorrow

Linda on October 06, 2019:

Spent the weekend with friends and the subject of birthday corsages came up. Neither had ever heard of these! I was born in 1948 and grew up in northern NJ. I remember a period of time where our group of girlfriends all made these for each other. Fun to find this article to share with my friends.

Jeanette on September 30, 2019:

We had 16 with sugar cubes "sweet 16" and 13 with dog biscuits "first teen year" I was born 1953 raised in NJ

RyzandShyn on August 09, 2019:

I grew up on Long Island in the 1960s. I remember being so excited to get to the age where I could make these for my friends and receive them from my friends. They were heavy and sagged your outfit, but we wore them proudly and said Happy Birthday to everyone we saw wearing one. Fun memory!

Mary on July 15, 2019:

I too grew up in Rockland County , NY and remember pharmacies and small card stores carried these birthday corsages. It was a cool thing you got on your birthday and looked forward to the next year.

They became a thing of the past when girls didn’t have to wear dresses to school, around 1970.

Lori Andrew on July 11, 2019:

We loved making, giving & receiving thes corsages. It was good, clean fun. I wish it would come back.

Jan on March 30, 2019:

I too brought up in Rockland County NY where it was the thing to have candy corsages. When my girls turned 16 I went to a local florist to have one made with the sugar cubes. The poor florist went thru boxes of sugar cubes before finally getting them to stay on. The girls (twins) wore them to school and did not say how it was received by fellow classmates. I think they were embarrassed. They are now 46 and laugh about it. True only in our region of New York and New Jersey. Loved it.

Ellen on March 25, 2019:

In the Bronx in the early 60s we made mini corsages (one piece of the matching candy on a ribbon) and gave them out to each girl in our class.

Jbye on February 28, 2019:

I just made my niece hers, the tradition has continued for many generations, my family put a little twist on it for the boys, the boys received a corsage with tootsie rolls, all came with $16 as well, in our family it was the Aunts responsibility to present to the niece or nephew, I remember being sooo excited waiting for my corsage, it meant so much that my Aunts took the time to make it, that made it even more special ❤️, my nieces bday was yesterday, she has bee patiently waiting for hers, it apparently went by snail mail, was supposed to be there Tuesday, ☹️, beings that I am not a crafty person whatsoever, she is going to be so surprised ❤️.... we only did the sweet 16, I love that my nieces are looking forward to getting theirs, traditions are hard to keep going, but we must be doing something right❤️

pam phillips on January 03, 2019:

was just thinking about this, funny how things pop in your head..remember just waiting to get one...as you said don't know where it came from..so what did the boys get (nothing)...good memories. I from the north also. thanks for the information.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on October 27, 2018:

This sounds like a memory- maker. Bringing it back would be a nod to history, in a sense. I grew up in Virginia and am unfamiliar with this tradition but it sounds like fun. Thank you for sharing. Angels are on the way this morning. ps

Susan on October 25, 2018:

I woke every birthday morning to my corsage. I was so proud to wear it all day and In my neighborhood in Brooklyn we started wearing them at 5 years old. My granddaughter is 4 and I’m just not crafty enough to make her one. Wish the tradition would come back. So special. And I too had no idea what the dog biscuits meant.

Gloria Hennessey on October 14, 2018:

I grew up in the 60s in the Bronx New york. All our friends were into the corsages .I would look forward to wearing it to school and showing it off.Im 62 now and my grandaughter is about to turn 8 and i thought that would be a great idea and start a tradition with her

. My email. Is hennesseygloria9@gmail.com

Kimberly on September 15, 2018:

I just picked up my daughter's sweet 16 corsage with sugar cubes! My parents are from New Jersey and they remember the tradition there as well. Getting ready to give it to my daughter. Hope she has a better reaction lol!

Patricia Snyder on March 12, 2018:

I recently celebrated my 66th birthday. For some reason I thought of the birthday corsage, I guess recalling a fond memory of the 1960s. I lived Yonkers, NY during that time. It was a big deal to have those corsages. Beside receiving one from my parents I would also receive one from friends. Sometimes have more than five and each one would be pinned on to your outfit. We stopped wearing them at age 16. As for the dog biscuits no one knew why. it was just that ages go to decoration. Glad you had that same experience. It was fabulous.

Donna Zwiilich on February 27, 2018:

I remember so well. Great reading about it....thanks so much

Sheila on December 27, 2017:

Age 14 signified puppy love -we used dog biscuits

Susan on October 14, 2017:

I have so many memories of my birthday corsages. I recently tried to buy one locally for my granddaughter's 10th birthday with no luck. So sad to see this tradition not popular anymore. I ended up making one for her with the lollipops and it came out so cute. I sure hope it catches on again.

Lynn M on October 07, 2017:

I grew up in Bergen county, NJ in the 50's & 60's. We did these corsages for birthdays. It was a great tradition.

Amy E Randolph on October 04, 2017:

They do sell candy bones (I believe one brand is called "dem bones") that look a lot like a dog biscuit. They are usually white pressed powder candy coated in a shiny sugar coating (think Runts or Spree). The good thing about these bones is that they are tiny, so they won't weigh the corsage down, and can be painted to be any color. I would probably make any candy I wanted to use out of a lightweight polymer clay like Sculpey soufflé of Pluffy (which looks exactly like bubblegum when dry) so that it wouldn't get gross even if it was saved for posterity (I know people like to use real candy, but I like to save things without worrying about ants lol-you could coat the candy with clear spraycoat too)

teena Garley on July 18, 2017:

wow yes I do remember those days and the corsages our region of the states was Albany Ny we glued the bubble gum, etc to the ribbions that hung from the original bow that way it was easy to pin to a shirt or coat what a great memory two of my granddaughters are turning 13 next year...you know what grammie is sending them...also to include the meaning

Heather Wilson on May 11, 2017:

I made a sugar cube corsage with narrow pink satin ribbons and the 16 cubes for my daughter's birthday. It has been a tradition for several generations, my mother still had hers from when she celebrated her 16th in 1938. Hers was made by her Danish or German Godmother, they lived in Chicago. I thought that was where this tradition had started.

Dee on May 02, 2017:

BTW I think the idea for bubble gum on 13th birthday was to signify you were officially a teenager, that is to say a bubblegum chewing, teenybopper.

Since today's connotation for dogs as pertaining to females is Not reminiscent of "puppy love", I would no longer use dog biscuits for a corsage. I much prefer the idea expressed in someone else's comment of using Hershey kisses symbolizing one's first kiss.

Dee on May 02, 2017:

I grew up in the Westchester suburbs of New York City. I went to an all-girls Catholic high school. Our classmates would each chip in about 25¢ to buy a birthday corsage for us on our birthday (or half birthday when it fell in the summer). This helped minimize the popularity effect of multiple corsages & also ensured that every girl got one. We would usually purchase the corsages from a local florist and then all of our classmates would sign the box.

I recently remembered this tradition when I was talking to my son about his daughters' birthdays. One of his girls was turning 10 years old, so they started calling her the Double-digit Midget. This reminded me of the corsage made with Tootsie Roll Midgets. I, like so many others who commented, would like to see this sweet tradition revived.

Carmen M. Cruz on March 23, 2017:

I would like to see corsages back for girls birthdays. It was so special to wear it for your birthday.

Carol Horton on March 14, 2017:

I was talking about this today before looking it up.

I grew up in the 50's & 60's and remember doing these in Jr. and Sr. High school. It was awkward for the girls who didn't have a lot of friends, because the more popular girls got them from all their friends.

joan on February 19, 2017:

I grew up in Brooklyn in the late 50s early 60s and remember the corsages. I have 2 granddaughters turning 16 this year, and i plan on making them sweet 16 corsages with sugarcubes for them, and share my memories with them

Mary on January 23, 2017:

I remember my birthdays and the beautiful candy corsages my Mom used to make me. I even wore them to school. Lived in N.J. at the time. I was born in 47, so 13 would have been early 60's. I will make one this year for my grand daughter's BIG 13. It is a tradition.

Joanne Clayton on January 05, 2017:

Well, I grew up in Queens, New York and have fond memories of those corsages! On your birthday, you were gifted with these corsages, in the appropriate candy, and you wore it at school all day!!!! If you had a summer Birthday, you celebrated in your half birthday and on Monday if your birthday was on the weekend. I think we only did up to Sweet 16, and different stores sometimes had different styles, so you rarely had a duplicate. We so enjoyed the attention on our special day, with the other kids admiring your corsages, rather than kids today preferring to blend in and be anonymous. So sad that today's youth can't celebrate their uniqueness.

Rafini on December 29, 2016:

What a lovely idea and tradition! I only wish I had known of it when my daughter was still a teenager. Think I'll definitely be on the lookout for opportunities to share this tradition, so it doesn't die.

cheryl vandever on September 23, 2016:

Dog Biscuits symbolized Puppy Love

Donna love on September 03, 2016:

Being born in 1949, I remember very well corsages. For some reason I remember a "prune" corsage!!!

With that said, my mom always made sure I had a corsage to wear to school on my birthdays.

A very fond memory!

Babynurse77 on July 21, 2016:

I remember the same ones as posey345. I made them for my daughters all through school. When they reached 18 they didn't want it to stop so I made while they were in college. They 21 year I used money.

Joan on July 11, 2016:

I am doing trivia questions for our 50th Class Reunion and wanted to add one about our corsages- I still have my Sweet 16 corsage. I do remember the dog biscuits being real! Vintage is good.

TheOldCrow on June 30, 2016:

For some strange reason the tradition of birthday corsages popped into my head this morning, and I was curious to see if I could find any info on the practice. I grew up in Woodlawn in the Bronx, New York, and I remember receiving them each year on my birthday right up to year 15. Once we were in high school the tradition seemed to stop. Perhaps because many of us went to different high schools. I also remember spending time making them for friends. The two I remember most were the Lifesavers and dog biscuits (real dog biscuits). Some years I would get two of three corsages, and the funny part was that my birthday was on Columbus Day, and school was closed for the holiday. I guess I wore them the day before or after my birthday. It is nice to know that so many people remember this tradition from so long ago.

Anne on May 25, 2016:

I went to a large high school in New York City. Not every one did the corsage thing. It was a group of them. The corsages were enormous and sometimes covered the whole front of the girl. My group was more beatnik and we looked down on this. Mostly we may have been afraid we would not get any. It was definitely a popularity contest. I was greatful that my birthday fell on a school holiday.

Brendalivelife on April 14, 2016:

Awww I remember my 11th birthday and I had a yellow tootsie rolls corsage. I have photos

Pat on January 31, 2016:

I grew up in Queens, NY. It was a tradition in our school to wear birthday corsages starting in the first grade. They were pinned to our uniforms just above our hearts. It was always a fun day for the birthday girl when she appeared in school with her birthday corsage. The number of candies on the corsage corresponded with how old you were.

Giving a nod to this tradition, I made a friend a corsage with 50 fifty cent pieces for her birthday. You can imagine how heavy it was but it was the hit of the party for us Queens girls. on November 14, 2015:

Giving a nod to this tradition, eighteen years ago, I made a friend a corsage for her fiftieth birthday with 50 fifty cent pieces. You can imagine how heavy it was but it was the hit of the party for these Queens girls.

Jennifer on November 05, 2015:

My niece turns 13 today, and she is receiving a candy corsage. Her Nana began making them when my niece turned 5. Comeback i dont think so! But sweet idea.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on October 10, 2015:

Sally, what a great hub. I've heard about them, though it's before my time. Thanks for sharing this nostalgic gem.

Dorothy on October 01, 2015:

Age 62. Brooklyn born and raised Italian American. We always had a corsage and each girl at the party got a single bow/ ribbon with one of the same candy used in the birthday girl's corsage. There was lace..bumble bees, butterflies..tiny kewpie dolls. Candy was bazooka gum, lifesavers gum drops, chocolate babies, tootsie rolls, REAL dog biscuits...I do not remember lollipops... Candy coated almonds... Great memory!

Kathy G on September 18, 2015:

I am almost 70. The other I was thinking about life and things from long ago and somehow the birthday corsage popped into my memories. In high school (Richmond Hill, NY) girls would make the corsages for their friends.

You would often get a few from different friends, all created special, and then you would wear them in school. It was a good feeling to have these corsages from your friends. Now I have a granddaughter who will be turning 14 soon and I am going to surprise her with a dog biscuit corsage. By the way, we did not make candy dog biscuits, we used real dog biscuits. I think she will enjoy the story and maybe she will go on to make corsages for her friends. In any event it will be a way to share memories with my sweet granddaughter. We used to pin them to our waistbands.

Shari L on July 26, 2015:

I'm so glad someone else thought of this idea. My granddaughter is turning 8 years old on Monday 7/27 so i decided to make her a corsage with lifesaver mints. She absolutely loves them. I definitely think the candy corsage should come back everything else is. Great Idea

Tamy Massey Lemke on June 11, 2015:

http://www.orientaltrading.com/bone-shaped-candy-f...

Cole on June 04, 2015:

My grandmother used to give me birthday corsages. They were pinned to my shirt. They really made me feel like my birthday really was my special day!

Robin Mercer from Arizona on April 26, 2015:

What a fun tradition.Thans for sharing.

Christine Sanchez on February 14, 2015:

I remember these growing up in NY. Loved them and looked forward to wearing mine each birthday. It was fun and a great memory of a simpler life.

caf on August 27, 2014:

I grew up in Brooklyn NY and they were very popular. Younger had hanging ribbons, older had pipe cleaners to hold the gum, candy, pennies, etc. I loved those. Thanks for recalling. They should make a comeback. But kids today are "too cool" for something that innocent.

newyorkrich on August 27, 2014:

I remember these birthday corsages. They were started by a florist chain in NYC back in the fifties. The dog biscuits symbolized puppy love. Candy cigarettes were used, not beer bottle caps. Most bars admitted teens when they were about 16 back then. Moms made these for their daughters. The birthday girl's friends also made them for the birthday girl. Depending on how popular she was, would denote how many she wore. I've seen girls with their blouses filled with ten or more. My memories are from the Bronx.

Zoe AnnaBella on May 14, 2014:

Growing up in Brooklyn I was the neighborhood candy courage maker! Each girl in our crowd would tell me what kind of candy she would like as her birthday came near. With little money available this made a great gift and it was worn proudly. We rarely followed the 'assigned' candy - with the exception of sweet sixteen sugar cubes. And never heard if using dog bones for puppy love but did use Hershey's kisses often for 15. I guess you can say it was for your 'first kiss'. No hot glue available back then so ingenuity, a talent for making a full bow out if a long ribbon and some thin colorful electrical wires did the trick. It would be nice to bring back the tradition - so sweet - so much so that I might introduce the idea as a birthday gift to those 'young ladies' now reliving memories in assisted-living/nursing homes.

Marianne on May 02, 2014:

In my day thr corsage for 18 was 18 one dollar bills rolled up and attached with ribbons.

deboraholson on April 26, 2014:

I had all corsages as kid.I start making some 4 family&friends back in early 90s.Everyone loved.Thx 4 chart.I live in AZ now.Wonder how they'll go over in my small Rt66 town.

miriam lorenza on February 18, 2014:

I remember these. I grew up in Bergen County, N.J.

Janice on February 17, 2014:

I have lived in MA since I was 22, but I'm from Hicksville, LI, NY. I happened to have mentioned the candy birthday corsages to my husband tonight( not sure what made me think of them?) He has lived in MA his whole life and had never heard of them.

I remember wearing them in the later elementary grades4th 5th 6th. All of your girlfriends would give you a candy corsage. I don't remember us sticking to any special candy for any given year, but if you were popular you could be wearing 10 or more corsages all over your 1950s ,1960's dress. I remember feeling badly for an unpopular girl who only had one corsage on that her Mom had made her:(

I don't remember the tradition going into Jr. high, I think we became way "too cool" by then.

It sounds like the candy corsage was only in northern NJ , New York City and Long Island.

Anyone from any other area that had this tradition?

ladywiththefan on February 06, 2014:

Oh my gosh!! Finally someone other than my Mom and I know about these corsages! I grow up on Long Island and would receive one for my Birthday every year from my parents. I proudly wore it to school attracting tons of attention. Interesting, my girlfriends at the time never wore one. Mom used to buy them at our local stationary/candy store. I would love to see that tradition come back. Thanks

Arlene on January 09, 2014:

Many many fond memories of these coursages. Our father used to get then for our birthday ever year. I couldn't was to be 16 but by then they were no longer around.

Alicia on January 08, 2014:

I remember that tradition. Growing up in Queens, NY my Mom would also order a corsage from our local florist for my two sisters and me on our birthdays and we would look forward to wearing it to school on our very special day. If I remember correctly the corsages were made out of tulle and ribbons with the candies held in place by colored chenille stems. Our florist would place the corsage in a tissue lined box and tie a beautiful ribbon around it!

NJMom on December 31, 2013:

I was just telling my girls about this last night and so I googled it and found your site. I grew up on Long Island and had candy corsages every year. Yes, the dog biscuits were real. . .I remember that one and the life savers one and bubble gum one too. How did you find out what was on each corsage for each year? Boy, now do I sure wish I had saved one! Great memories and something that I would love to see make a comeback--though I can't see that happening! Thanks for the memories--they're as sweet as candy!

Gina on December 22, 2013:

Growing up my mom bought me one of these corsages every year until I was 16. The dog biscuits were real dog biscuits. It rained on my Bday ...Let me tell you there is noting worse smelling than wet dog biscuits!! I loved these when I was a kid. Some of my friends had them too but some did not. I would love to see these old traditions come back but I think they'd have to start at a younger age.

Deborah-Lynn from Los Angeles, California on October 09, 2013:

A great way to bring back this tradition is to have friends of the same age make the candy corsages for each other, elementary aged girls are natural gift givers! Great Hubs!

Irene on October 06, 2013:

I had this tradition growing up on Long Island. I would love to bring it back for my granddaughters. I think we should start it earlier so they arent embarrassed at age 10 . We could start with teething biscuits for age 1 lol . Really I think we should start when the enter kindergarten ... let me know what you think..

Maryann d on August 12, 2013:

This tradition I starte to give my granddaughters just at 13 and will give it to them at 16 . I gave it to 3 girls already, without much excitement on their part. However my next 13 year old, I asked since she just moved to another state if she wanted one, her answer was you bet,I want everyone to know I am 13. I have been waiting for this. Hahaha, who knew.

Also I my day in the 50s other girls made them for their friends. And you knew how popular the girls were by how many ribbon corsages they had.

Billie Garbe on July 05, 2013:

I was amazed when my daughter-in-law found your site. It will be part of my biography, when written now that I have the information. I was given one for my 12, 13 14 and 15 birthdays by friends. My 16th, was dating so I received a flower one from my Bill.

Sherri (author) from Southeastern Pennsylvania on June 14, 2013:

posey234, I hear you. This was an innocent tradition, one full of love. What's happened that today's kids might not find joy in this? I think it goes back to the parents. Parents who are not carrying on traditions for their kids. Great food for thought. Thanks so much for your comment.

Sherri (author) from Southeastern Pennsylvania on June 14, 2013:

Denise and Annieb1060, it seems as though age 9 was not accounted for. Time for a new twist to the tradition? Maybe gummy bears?

Annieb1060 on June 13, 2013:

My Aunt used to make me 1 every year. I would love to make 1 for my niece's upcoming 9th birthday. Anyone know what candy is for 9??

Denise on June 06, 2013:

Yes I do remember the corsages. I lived in Brooklyn and it was so exciting to wear it to school and everyone knew it was my birthday, but I seem to think I was younger then ten.

Sherri (author) from Southeastern Pennsylvania on May 27, 2013:

cashmere, it would be really cool to start this tradition in India! I can't even imagine what kinds of decorations would stand for which years in a girl's young life, but I'm intrigued with the idea. Let us know if you get it going. :)

posey234@ptd.net on May 27, 2013:

too bad our girls don't have our silly innocent traditions...in my "innocent" Pa small town community, they have baby showers as young as 12...not poor community either...boy, I sound OLD!

cashmere from India on May 26, 2013:

What a yummy idea. We don't have any such tradition, but i wish we did :)

Sherri (author) from Southeastern Pennsylvania on May 26, 2013:

posey234, what great comments! Loved the bit about the blouses sagging. Those corsages were heavy. I have a pic of my daughter wearing her sugar cube corsage on her 16th...she was wearing a heavy flannel shirt, and it sagged anyway. LOL. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and memories.

Sherri (author) from Southeastern Pennsylvania on May 26, 2013:

Rosanne Wilson, I'm glad this article brought back memories. If candy corsages are poised for a comeback, then your coming up with something for 18 other than cigs and beer caps could be just the ticket for a resurrection of the tradition. Happy b'day to your daughter, and let us know what the "new 18" will look like. :)

posey234 on May 26, 2013:

I just read the chain...my town on LI was "transplants" from Brooklyn and Queens NY. We too used streaming ribbons to scotch tape the items on. Each had large bow to anchor. No glue guns in the "olden days"...getting old but young at heart...

posey234 on May 26, 2013:

My mind was drifting...3 boy June birthdays in 2 days...one will be 15...thought of the teasing I did when I gave my older nephew a girl's sweet 16 card...mind drifted to the corsages I'd made and received in the 60's on L.I., N.Y. I could only remember dog biscuits, sugar cubes, life savers and bubble gum but unsure which item was for ages besides 14 & 16. We would make for our girl friends on their birthdays and we'd have the fronts of our blouses sagging from as many as we received. The boyswere all your pals asking for candy or gum. A few smart aleck 14 year old boys munched the dog biscuits. Thanks for your info...I now have "senior moments" and this helped.

Rosanne Wilson on May 01, 2013:

I had the candy corsages from 10 yrs old to 16. They were a conversation piece when I wore them to school on my Birthday. I remember going to the store that sold them which was a narrow party store. I forgot about them, but wished I remembered to make one for my daughter's Sweet 16. I would Love to make one for her 18th which is coming up but I'm not thrilled with the cigarette or beer cap theme. I'm going to try come up with another idea if I can. Brought back memories!.

Sherri (author) from Southeastern Pennsylvania on April 23, 2013:

Autumn, thanks so much for the wonderful comment. I had to smile at the mention of Woolworth's, one of my all-time favorite stores. I miss it!

Autumn on April 06, 2013:

Here in northern NJ this was a tradition too. In the late 50s my best girlfriend bought one for me for my 14th birthday. Wish I had a picture taken. Real dog biscuits and 14 of them along with a main center large bow. I don't remember where she bought it but I know it wasn't a bakery. Possibly Woolworths or a Sweet Shop that was near by.

Sherri (author) from Southeastern Pennsylvania on March 16, 2013:

What wonderful memories and also ways to give this tradition a new life.

@ Catherine, I'll be sure to visit your site, and I also wish your teen a happy 16th!

@Kathryn, how awesome that the tradition still lives!

@Lynn, thank you so much for sharing your memories. The bakery had the right idea...Woolworth's was the magnet for young girls then, and the bakery across the street was brilliant for displaying these corsages. Those were the days. :)

Lynn on March 14, 2013:

I also grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and candy birthday corsages were a big thing, in my day. I remember when my cousin got her Sweet Sixteen corsage, I was so jealous. I even remember that they sold them at an ice cream bakery store on Broadway across the street from Woolworth. They hung by the entrance of the store and each time I passed by I would see them hanging there with, tootsie rolls, life savers, and dog biscuits. Those memories are such a happy part of my childhood.

Kathryn on January 28, 2013:

I remember these and I am actually making one right now for my 11 year old daughter 14 was dog biscuits for puppy love!!!

Catherine Lorenze on January 26, 2013:

I found this to be a fascinating article and will link to it soon on my company FACEBOOK and TWITTER account at www.Sugar-Shapes.com. I manufacture and sell artisan sugar shapes for coffee and tea and this is yet another fabulous idea to pitch my product. Thank you Sally. I also have a teen who will soon turn 16 so this will be another special way to help celebrate her special day. Thank you!

Sherri (author) from Southeastern Pennsylvania on January 25, 2013:

pamela1953, thank you so much for your comment. It really is an eye-opener to learn how regional this delightful tradition was. I, also, when I was a kid, thought every girl got these corsages. Maybe you can find a way to let this tradition start anew in North Carolina. Wouldn't that be grand? :)

pamela1953 on January 24, 2013:

WOW! I am from Brooklyn , NY and grew up getting a candy corsage every year. And I thought everyone did this. Little did I know. I moved to the mountains of North Carolina 9 years age and evryone thought I was crazy never heard of it. I was born in 1953 in Brooklyn and did not realize that it was only done in my small part of the world. I have twin daughters who are 25 now and I always made them candy corsages when they were growing up. They thought it was so neat. It's a great tradition and I will always remember my past Birthday, I think I still have some of the old ones packed away , somewhere. I really think it should be brought back.

Sherri (author) from Southeastern Pennsylvania on January 12, 2013:

Liz, thank YOU so much for sharing. These are sweet memories. :)

Liz from Parkslope, Bklyn,NY on January 11, 2013:

How I remember always had one from my mom.. Toosie rolls bazooka, mints, lifesavers, sugar cubes and on my 18th Cigarettes..What memories thxs for sharing

Sherri (author) from Southeastern Pennsylvania on October 24, 2012:

toknowinfo and Millionaire Tips, thank you both for reading and commenting with your good words! I really would like to see this tradition come back. :)

Shasta Matova from USA on October 23, 2012:

Congratulations on your hub of the day. I have never heard of candy corsages, but it does seem like a wonderful activity and a could result in a pretty decorative pin, like yours is. Voted up.

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