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

Paper punch-a-palooza 1: paper punch as stencil maker

When you use a paper punch, have you ever thought about the negative space it creates and how you might use that? No? You had better things to do like live a full and interesting life? Well, while you were off having quality time with family and gorging on Umbrian truffles, I was thinking about the negative space a paper punch left.

The donut hole, if you will.

These bits.

Christmas is coming (hooray) and so what better project to start with than these stencilled napkin ties.

So here is my first exciting way to use your paper punch: to create a stencil template

What you need:

  • Masking tape/painters tape
  • Greaseproof paper/baking paper
  • Paper punch (duh.)
  • Fabric paint/fabric texta (felt tip marker)/fabric crayon. ie, something to draw on fabric with.

What to do:

  1. Lay a strip of tape along some baking paper and punch out shapes through the tape.
  2. Peel your tape off the baking paper and stick  it to whatever takes your fancy.  In my case, that was sheer fabric.
  3. Use fabric paint ( I like the Pebeo brand) to fill in the stencil template.
  4. Allow pint to dry (or not if you’re impatient like me) and carefully peel off masking tape.

Stay tuned for the next installment in the paper punch-a-paooza series.

Fabric confetti: a tutorial

It was only a matter of time before I figured out how to use fabric in my hole punches instead of paper. And that time, my friends, has arrived. Hurrah, I hear you cry. Hurrah for fabric and hole punches and the slightly worrying people who sit around working out how to combine them.

What you’ll need:

What to do:

1. Cut fabric to manageable size and smear enough PVA glue over both sides  – not so much that it’s drenched but enough that the fabric feels wet on both sides. I used my fingers to do that. More elegant types might prefer to employ some kind of brush.

2. Allow fabric to dry. This is the hardest bit as it usually requires an overnight stint to be thoroughly dry. Patience is not my middle name. It’s Elizabeth.

I hung mine from a make-shift string clothes line my handsome husband strung up for me (because by the time I realised I needed it my hands were too glue-y to do it and I couldn’t put down my fabric). Forethought is also not, as you’re now aware, my middle name.

One little tip: if your fabric is not patterned on both sides, you will need to fold it in half on itself as you’re glue-ing. That didn’t occur to me until I started creating my first lots of confetti and I was left with dots that had a right side and a wrong side. Not very festive. Not in my world anyway. So then I went back and glued the fabric over itself and waited another 24 hours. The waiting was agony, I tell you.

3. Once your fabric is completely dry it will feel stiff and basically be begging you to give it a once over with your hole punch. That’s right, begging you. Put your ear right up close to it and you might actually be able to hear it begging. Shameless stuff.

4. Now punch to your heart’s content. That’s right, punch it up my friends.

I even like the way the leftover fabric looks.

And this works on a variety of fabrics. For the next batch I used quite a thin grey poplin and then a much heavier piece of yellow floral quilting cotton. I also combined smaller circles with larger ones. Oh yes girlfriends, I mixed it on up.

But of course, if circles aren’t your thing it doesn’t matter a jot (as my lovely Grandmother, the less-oft mentioned Isobel used to say) because if you can find a hole punch in a shape, you can make fabric confetti in that shape.

Imagine my excitement when these perfect little hearts fell out of the little collection tray at the bottom of my punch.

Spurred on by my success, I decided to really up the ante and with my heart in my throat and hands all a-tremble I slid some fabric between a snowflake punch. Yep, a finely detailed snowflake punch. I know! Potential fabric confetti suicide. But my courage paid off. OMG, I was so elated. I fist pumped the air like 10 times.

Okay I didn’t (no, really, I didn’t – please believe me *plaintively*), but the thought of myself doing that because of fabric confetti makes me laugh.

I don’t think I would go doing anything rash like trying the snowflakes with a heavier fabric though. Unless you’re totally without fear. And if that’s you, I salute you.

And would it be twirling betty without polka dots? Nope.

This could be used in so many ways.

  • As, um, confetti. Ie, imagine gorgeous paper (or fabric) cones filled with fabric confetti to shower the bride and groom with. Especially if it were heart-shaped. Sigh.
  • In an envelope with a special invitation or letter. Although,  whenever I open a letter like this:

and confetti or glitter or whatever goes all over my floor I do get a touch annoyed. But if you enjoy irritating your friends, this could be the use for you.

  • Strewn over a white tablecloth for a posh lunch or at a wedding. Would be lovely to use fabric that had already been used eg, for bridesmaid’s dresses or even the bride’s dress. But only if she’s a bit of a goer and has gone the non-traditional route. White confetti on a white table-cloth wouldn’t have quite the same effect.

By the way, there are dedicated fabric stiffeners on the market including one with the snicker-inducing name of  ‘Stiffy’, but PVA glue works equally well, is probably cheaper and available everywhere. And in any case, I might be brave but I’m not brave enough to go into a shop and ask for some Stiffy. Well not without blushing anyway.

Please do comment with other ideas for how you would use fabric confetti. There must be lots…