How to Create a Sweet Candy Cane in Adobe Illustrator CS3

Traudl Jan 3, 2012 Arts & Crafts
In this tutorial for beginners you will be learning how to create a sweet candy cane in Adobe Illustrator CS3. In this "very easy to follow" tutorial you will learn how to create the shape of the candy cane by using a Pathfinder panel and how to apply vivid gradient for simulating 3D look. Let's get down to business.

Step 1. Creating a document

Make a document 500x500 pixels in size.

Step 2: Making the shape of the Candy Cane

Create a circle (150x150 pixels), set the Stroke to 1 and remove the Fill color.


With the Direct Selection Tool (A) select the bottom Anchor point and hit the Delete key on your keyboard.

You should end up with something like this.

Now grab the Line Segment Tool (/) from the Tool panel and draw the vertical line.

Select both pathsand under the Align Panel hit the Horizontal Align Right.

Nudge the vertical line upwards using the up arrow key on the keyboard until the vertical line meats the arc. Using Direct Selection Tool (A) select both endpoints (Arcs and Vertical line) and under the right click select Join.

 Now we need to set thicknes for the path we've just created. Set the Stroke to 50 and make sure to hit the Round Cap in the Stroke panel to make ends rounded.

 Under Object select Expand to convert the path in to the editable shape.

You should end up with something like this.


 Step 3: Applying colors to the Candy Cane

To apply the colors to the Candy Cane we need to divide the shape we've just created  into small segments. To do that we will need the Arc Tool. Just create a few arcs as it shown in the picture below.

Select the arcs and the shape of the Candy Cane we've created in the previous step and hit the Delete button under the Pathfinder Panel.


 We are going to use white and red colors. Every other segment will be white.

Step 4: Applying the colors to the Candy Cane

To simulate 3D look of our Candy Cane we need to use gradients. The most important thing is to highlight the middle part of the Candy Cane. For the white parts we will be using linear gradients (light gray-white-light gray).

For the red parts we will use a linear gradient with combination  of dark and light red.


For the curved paths we will use radial gradients.


Step 5: Making a highlight 

 Select all segments of the Candy Cane and hit the Ctrl/Cmd+C (copy) and Ctrl/Cmd+F (paste in front) and under the Pathfinder panel hit the Add to shape area.


Under the Object select Path>Offset path.

Set the value for Offset to -10 pixel.


Hit the Delete key on the keyboard to remove the larger shape of the Candy Cane and leave just the smaller one.

Set the Fill color to white and lower Opacity to 17%. 

You can add a small detail lika a bow to make it more interesting.




I hope you like this tutorial. Thank you for reading. 

What did you think of this tutorial?
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11 CommentsAdd a Comment
Linda on Dec 16, 2019
When you stated hit paths and align to the right, my circle kept disappearing and at that point I could go no further.
Gavin Madolora on Dec 12, 2019
I have a problem on the arcs can you help me please?
The nerd bois on May 9, 2019
Got any ways to like ya know, get better at these advanced graphics with the bow??
fuck people on Nov 26, 2018
fuck you bitch
fuck you on May 9, 2019
Get out bitch.
Carlo puerto barrio on Nov 26, 2018
this program is not excellent because i do not understand.
Carlos Puerto Barios on Nov 26, 2018
You could make this tutorial more easy because I dont understnand anything. Peace and love ma friend
Yaacov on Jan 2, 2018
Angelique, I have CS6 and I used the Direct Selection tool A
Angelique on Nov 19, 2013
I hit the divide tool under pathfinder and I am not able to click on individual segments of the candy cane in order to change the colors to white and red. What am I missing? I am using Illustrator CS6.
Yaacov on Jan 2, 2018
I have CS6. I used the direct select tool A
Rita Y on Mar 30, 2013
The tutorial is great Couple of things Did you mean PEN tool under ARC Tool? Did you mean to hit DIVIDE under pathfinder when dividing the cane into segments? Other than that it is nice little tutorial. Thank you RY