Homemade edible confetti: a tutorial

Edible cake confetti 5

Edible confetti. What’s not to love.

edible cake confetti 4

After I had the idea I googled it and it turns out you can actually buy this stuff. Hence the “homemade” in the title of this post. But making it yourself means you can control the colours and the additives. And spend time when you should otherwise be doing mundane housework enjoying the meditative qualities of kneading fondant icing and flexing your punching muscles.

Edible confetti on cake on white stand

What you need:

  • Fondant icing (I use Orchard brand, available in large supermarkets here).
  • Gel food colouring (I use Americolour and Wiltons brands).
  • Icing sugar and a sieve
  • Baking paper
  • Paper punch (a handheld circular punch works best for this project)
  • Rolling pin
  • Cake cooling rack (good but not essential).

Edible confetti on cake 1

What to do:

1. Start by sifting some icing sugar through your sieve onto a corner of your workspace. Make a little pile of it. You’ll use this to dry the fondant out a bit as you knead it.

2. Tear off a golf-ball sized piece of fondant and knead until smooth and pliable. If it is too sticky, add some sieved icing sugar.

3. Add a drop or two of food colouring. These gel colours are very intense and you only need a little. Better to add a little and more as needed.

4. Knead the colour through the icing until it is even, adding icing sugar as you go to keep it soft but not sticky. It tolerates quite a lot of icing sugar being added without compromising the texture or colour so don’t be afraid to add a fair bit if required.

5. Roll out your ball of fondant as thinly as you can between two sheets of baking paper. It doesn’t have to be paper-thin – just thin enough to get into the paper punch.

Green fondant icing rolled out

Peel your flattened fondant off the paper and place on another piece of baking paper on a tray to dry for a few hours. When it is dry and you can lift the whole thing off the paper without it drooping too much, transfer it to a cake cooling rack if you have one to let the air get to all sides of it. If not, just leave it on the tray and allow to dry for 24 hours.

Once the icing is stiff enough, get punching.

Icing with paper punch

Try not to do this:

Edible confetti on my fingers

That’s it.

I am loving how this looks. Quite “spectacleear”, as my 4 year old would say.

Edible cake confetti 2

And there you were thinking your paper punches were limited to use with paper, washi tape, masking tape, soap and fabric. Oh, you!

This is a post in twirling betty’s paper punch-a-palooza series. If you enjoyed it, you might also like:

1. Paper punch stencils

2. Paper punch fabric luggage tags

3. Paper punch washi tape stickers

4. Paper punch fabric confetti

4. Paper punch sparkly snowflake envelope

5. Paper punch soap confetti

6. Paper punch washi tape cake stand decoration

7. Paper punch stencilling on clothes with masking tape or freezer paper

Large paper punch-a-palooza series header

Advertisements

A singlet for a new babe and a dotty bag.

Love heart singlet close up

A lovely friend of mine recently had a little girl and I made her a weeny heart singlet for her new love.

Baby singlets kill me.

Love heart singlets

I love the way tiny babes look like shearers in them. Heart singlets are sweeping the shearing sheds of Australia this year, by the way.

I have touched on using paper punches as a stencil in this earlier paper punch-a-palooza post, but it’s always worth coming back to because it’s such a quick but satisfying way to get  templates onto fabric.

You can either punch through freezer paper, or if you don’t have that, use painter’s masking tape on baking paper. It can be a bit trickier to line up strips of tape and so on but generally works equally well.

Freezer paper and masking tape stencils

Also, a little tip: if your punch is not, like our friend Kanye West, the sharpest tool in the shed, place your masking tape and baking paper between two sheets of normal paper and then punch. Your paper. Not your partner. I cannot condone domestic violence.  No matter how many times they try to make you watch Top Gear.

I didn’t need to do that with the smaller heart punch, but my big circular one struggled. These are the stencils I made with the latter.

Masking tape stencils on bag

And the finished product.

Spring in a bag

It’s a Springy bag, I feel. Perfect for market trips to collect the ingredients for my favourite Spring dish.

I was cavalier with my application of paint on my teeny singlets (because that’s how I roll) and, interestingly, the masking tape made for a marginally sharper outline.  I did not expect that. Indeed, I imagine my feelings were very similar indeed to Louis Pasteur’s as each chicken recovered. Very similar indeed. And I don’t want to get too cocky, but I am preeeety sure that my results might have an even larger effect than Louis’ eventual discovery of penicillin. You heard it here first.

Love heart singletThis is a post in twirling betty’s Paper Punch-a-palooza series.

Lilac large paper punch-a-palooza series header

If you enjoyed this post, you might like the other in the Paper-punch-a-palooza series.

If this has got you in the mood to crack out your supplies and punch something  – and then pull our your paper punches and make stuff  – then you might be inspired by these other posts in the series:

1. Paper punch stencils

2. Paper punch fabric luggage tags

3. Paper punch washi tape stickers

4. Paper punch sparkly snowflake envelope

5. Paper punch soap confetti

6. Washi tape cake stand border

Slumber party

name pillowcases

We are at the end of a weekend-long festival of 8-year-old-ness. As always, I am in total denial that we are even at this point. I mean how can it be the case when I’m pretty sure I was in labour with her not much more than a year ago?

We had 7 little people here for a slumber party last night (including the birthday girl and her little sister who felt very grown up indeed to be hangin’ with the big girls) and they were all, without exception, edible.

There was a special at-request birthday dinner of rigatoni carbonara and apple pie then a snuggle under piles of doonas while they avidly watched Roald Dahl’s ‘The BFG’.

Personalised pillow cases

We served Snozzcumbers  – hollowed out cucumbers stuffed with smoked salmon and cream cheese and decorated with poppy seeds and popcorn – and Frobscuttle – lemonade dyed green and purple  – at the corresponding points through the movie which went down a treat.

I am totally serving Snozzcumbers at my next grown-up party. They were genuinely delicious.

The best bit was when Sophia’s friends voted (unanimously apart from the birthday girl  I might add) to see a dance routine from her father and I.  We did, if I do say so myself, outdo ourselves. Thanks must also go to Christina Aguilera and Pittbull.  I have literally been building up to that moment my entire parenting life and it was well worth the wait.

It was Sophia’s idea to make a pillowcase for each person and these whipped up in under an hour with some t-shirt transfer paper and a hot iron.  Another magic trifecta craft: quick, easy and effective.

Pillowcases with names

I have two little babes sleeping very soundly at this moment.  And possibly having nightmares about their parents’ dance moves. Potentially scarring stuff that.

Decorating clothes with free motion sewing: a tutorial

Daisy top for Daisy

It’s been babypalooza around here. No, I have not been delivered of any more of my own (“delivered of” – love that phrase,  used most recently by Buck Palace to announce bonny Prince George’s arrival), but friends and family are popping them out all over the place.

Most recently, my darling brother-in-law and his bewdiful wife had a baby girl.

To celebrate I made her this little top using the free sewing technique I’ve talked about before when I made these napkins, and these personalised paper gift bags.

Now as you can see, this is not a neat and perfect art. By its very definition free motion sewing gives a sketchy, scribbly look which I adore but won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

Close-up free-motion Daisy

But if it is, then that is awesome on a stick and here’s a little how-to.

What you need:

  • Garment to sew onto (duh!)
  • Free motion sewing foot
  • Eraser pen for fabric
  • Your design.

What to do:

1. Print your design onto paper and trim it down so you can slip it under your garment.

2. Trace the design using your eraser pen. If the fabric is too thick to see the pattern underneath, you may wish to use another method for transferring your design like a transfer pencil and hot iron. However be aware that not all transfer pencils wash out so make sure you use one that does.

Flower pattern

3. Fit your free motion sewing foot to your sewing machine. I have a standard Brother foot that I modified using this really excellent tutorial. You don’t have to modify your foot – just makes life a bit easier. I’m all for easier.

Modifiedf free motion sewing foot

4. Sew over your design.  Free motion sewing can take a little bit of getting used too so you might want to practise on some scraps first. Here are some good tips and here’s a video of a guy doing a free motion sewing portrait. It’s amazing but his fingers seem to go so very close to the needle it makes me shudder. No blood on the fabric – that’s my rule.

T-shirt for Daisy

You’ll notice how the fabric has puckered – especially around the flowers. That’s what happens with stretchy material and, again, I like it because it gives texture. However, if you want a flatter result, simply iron some tear-out or wash-out stabiliser behind your design before you begin.

So can you guess my niece’s name?  And no, smart arse, it’s not Roughly-Sketched Indeterminate Flower.

And I’m worried you might think they called her Carnation.

Free motion Daisy with stem

It’s a daisy, people. And so is she.

PS: Alex and Jo own and run the fabulous  and beautiful St Isidore on the NSW South Coast. The restaurant is in both the 2013 Gourmet Traveller’s Restaurant Guide and the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide. Do go and give it a go if you’re in that part of the world and tell ’em I sent you. It’s a cracker.

An adventurous soul.

Ohdarling3

I made this canvas just before Christmas to decorate a bare spot on our wall.

I just bought wooden letters and then painted them and glued them on.

I used a different paint for the “DARLING” so it would stand out, but subtly. Loving that neon pop.

Oh darling horizontal_edited-1

This is a phrase that is dear to my heart. It’s what I want to do. What I must do for the nourishment of my soul. One of the things I derive most pleasure in life from.

Only thing is, sometimes my soul feels a little bit more like wrapping my darlings in multiple layers of cotton wool and hiding under the bed than gallivanting off on an adventure – near or far.

Oh darling1_edited-1

Sometimes this internal conflict exhausts me and fear nearly overwhelms me, destroying that wonderful anticipation in the lead up to a trip.

But I still go. With my darling or darlings. And I’m always so elated that I did.

I imagine the woman who uttered this phrase (and I just know it was a chick) was one of those irrepressibly curious, sensible but adventurous types: a kind of Katharine Hepburn on the back of a camel in the Gobi desert one week, flying over Luxor in a hot air balloon the next, equally at home at a cocktail soiree as in a Bornean long house.

When I get really anxious I think about that girl. Her plane didn’t crash, she wasn’t robbed at knifepoint, didn’t contract rabies or perish in an earthquake. Nope, she died old and satisfied at the end of a long and fulfilling life.

But she wouldn’t have, if she hadn’t grabbed her husband by the hand and headed out into the world.

Butterfly hoop decorations

Gold paint touches on butterfly art

I made these hoop decorations as little take-home gifts from Olive’s butterfly birthday party.

Butterfly hoop art

I printed this ethereal image onto fabric.

After that I framed each butterfly in a small embroidery hoop. They look best framed slightly off-centre.

Butterfly hoops

As a final touch, I added a few tiny flecks of gold paint here and there – just to give the slightest glimmer.

I was really pleased with the way these turned out.

Butterfly hoop_edited-1

They’re not, perhaps, the usual garish gewgaw that appeals to a 4 year-old, but I like to think, for that very reason, they might not be discarded quite as quickly.

But I’m not entirely oblivious to the needs of 4 year old party attendees: I sent ’em home with a big fistful of sweets as well.

Creamy toffee star: the arboreal crowning glory in our edible Christmas

Toffee star

Of COURSE the star had to be edible. That’s mark II.

I inflicted minor injuries on myself bending an unwilling and recalcitrant bit of wire into a lovely star shaped tree-topper.

Then I burned myself glueing creamy toffees onto it.

Creamy toffee close up

Then  my handsome husband came home and told me it looked like a satanic symbol.

Caramel star

So I cursed him – because of course I can’t look up at the tip of our tree each day and be reminded that the devil is in the detail – and made another.

Toffee star on tree

I think the second looks less like a star and more like some kind of hallucinogenic starfish. No time for Mark III though, so pushing on.

I just adore the colours and slightly old-fashioned feel of the toffees. And that each other one says “creamy”. Mmmmm, creamy.

Centre of toffee wreath

At least we got to eat the old star. Only the most stubborn toffees, the ones on which the hot glue melted through the wrapping and actually soldered the toffee itself to the wire escaped the slow but steady and inevitable consumption.

toffee close up

Some less enamoured with this time of year might see that as a metaphor for modern Christmas and all its trappings.

I just see delicious, creamy toffees. Mmmm, they’re really creamy.