Thursday, October 25, 2012

Candy corn cones

Here's a simple craft idea I found on pinterest.  Check out Thrifty Decor Chick's blog for the details on how to make it.

She just tucked the ends but I ended up using hot glue to tack it down every once in awhile.  I wanted to have the rows look straight where she went with a more whilly nilly look (her words).  Personal preference.

You can either save them like this for next year or take off the yarn and turn them into Christmas trees by doing them in red and green and leaving the white.

I plan to make the candy corn wreath she shows in the same post.  I found black and orange wreaths in the dollar spot at Target a couple weeks ago for this project.  Last year I bought candy corns after Halloween for really cheap so keep that in mind for next year if you want to save some money on your decor.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Frankie Door

Happy Halloween!
I know all of you are just as obsessed with Pinterest as me right?  I can spend hours on the site. There are so many fun ideas. When I came across this Frankenstein door I knew I could easily and cheaply create one myself with my KNK (digital die cutting machine).
I would imagine you have most of these supplies already in your stash.  All I had to buy was the green tablecloth and black posterboard.

Supplies Needed:

Black Posterboard
Black cardstock
White cardstock
Googly eyes (red cardstock)
Black pipe cleaners
I used KNK studio to create the cutting files for the eyes, spider, scar, mouth and teeth.  To create the cutting files I used simple shapes, circles and rectangles, that are already built into the software.  For the scar all I did was create a large rectangle and then placed equally sized smaller rectangles on top and welded them together. I just freehand cut random “V” shapes out of the posterboard to create the hair.
A couple of googly eyes and pipe cleaners for legs and your spider is all set.  I pulled the back off the eyes and replaced with red cardstock to make the eyes red. 
A simple project that really stands out from the street!

Even though the shapes are quite basic, you can download the actual cutting files (to get the relative dimensions I used) 

Frankenstein Door Shapes in KNK format
Frankenstein Door Shapes in PDF format
Frankenstein Door Shapes in SVG format
I just discovered how to do file sharing on my blog.  Please let me know if you have problems downloading these files.

Hanging witch tutorial coming soon.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Create your own cake stencil

I have a great time planning big blow out themed parties for my kids, as seen here and here. Be forewarned if you start big you will feel as if you must top yourself each year which will result in you pulling out your hair and the inevitable sleepless night the day before the party. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

My daughter declared she wanted a fashion / beauty theme for her 8th birthday this year so I scoured pinterest, yes I’m still obsessed, and came up with a Breakfast at Tiffany’s theme. I love to use each birthday or celebration as an opportunity to play with new techniques for cakes and I wanted to finally tackle stenciling a cake.
The entire cake is edible other than the ring. The box started to "melt" a bit from all the airbrush coloring.  Airbrush was giving me issues & required many coats. I learn from each "mistake" to make the next cake better.
If you’ve ever wondered why those beautiful cakes cost so much money let me tell you I now know why. Hours and hours are spent creating them and supplies are expensive. I had admired a cake sometime last year that had used stenciling, so off to my favorite cake supply website to buy some stencils. Wow those things can cost $20 or more for one stencil!  I just knew my trusty KNK (digital die cutting machine) wouldn’t let me down. I figured I could do that myself and the best part is….  for much cheaper.
Make sure you are using food safe products whenever working with anything you might eat. I found a 10 pack of food safe stencil sheets for $10!  I can make 10-20 stencils out of them. I like the idea of $0.50 – $1.00 per stencil instead of $20 or more.
I found a flourish font on called “Floralia” and modified one of the dingbats into a damask looking stencil. I created a rectangle around the design and at the top left I used the built-in circle shape and welded the two together to give myself a tab to pull off the stencil more easily.  I am more than happy to email the cutting file for your personal use.  I've yet to figure out how to have a download link on my site.  I will update as soon as I do.
The internet is a great source and I love youtube and when trying to learn a new cake technique. I was nervous with a white cake and black royal icing that this could be a “royal” disaster.

Place a very light coating of shortening on the stencil to help it adhere solidly to the cake.

 Then you take your spatula and coat over the stencil with your royal icing.

Take a bench scraper tool and scrape off the excess. You have to be careful with this step. I had to go back over some spots because I scraped too much off. You want it to be an even layer for the best appearance.

Then while you hold your breath and pray (yes those steps are necessary) you slowly pull the stencil away from the cake.

I was so pleased with how much easier it was than I had thought it would be. Make sure to clean off your stencil between each side of the cake or better yet, cut more than one since the materials are so cheap.

Imagine all the possibilities, the sky really is the limit to what type of stencils you could create. Is your handwriting horrible like mine? Create a stencil with the wording you’d like to use and stencil it on your cake instead. You could also airbrush a design using these stencils if you have a cake airbrush set.

*I used Royal Bakery's tutorial to create the Tiffany box cake on top. I'm sure I didn't do her justice. She's fantastic, check her out on facebook, Royal Bakery

I will begin posting more details on how to throw your own Breakfast at Tiffany’s themed party in the next couple weeks. 

*Notes for those with a digital die cutter, particularly a KNK

A quick note on cutting the material. I had actually sent it to Michelle Hessler to see if the Zing would cut out this material. She had the following tips to share.
“You need to cut it in two passes because the glossy side is harder, and you can get through the soft side easy, but since the harder side cuts through last (lays on the mat) you need the second pass to guarantee it will cut through at all points. It cuts really well, and doesn’t use a lot of pressure at all.
I also didn’t let my pinch wheels go over the material at all. My mat is good and sticky, and so I just made sure it was applied on that well. I didn’t want the wheels on the material, because they have some adhesive on them, and I didn’t want that to touch the food safe side of the stencil.”
Thanks Michelle for all your help with this project.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Guest Post - Make your own cake stencils

I know, I know, I've been MIA for quite some time.  I promise this very week I am creating a weekly schedule which will include blogging time.  I have TONS of projects completed and ready to write blog posts about so please bear with me and I promise to stop neglecting my little corner of the blogoverse.

I was asked to do a guest post over at Team KNK last month.  I love to use my digital cutter for all sorts of projects so I jumped at the opportunity to show just one of the ways I use my cutter.

I created my own cake stencil out of food safe blank stencil sheets.  I was scared to do my first stenciling on a cake, especially since I was using black royal icing on a white cake.  It was actually easier than I had thought it would be.

Swing on over to check out my Create your own cake stencil post.  There are also tips on doing the actual stenciling.

Check back soon to see the remaining posts on my son's pirate party.  I also have a fun Breakfast at Tiffany's inspired party and fireman party posts coming up.  I can't wait to share them with you!