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Monday, June 29, 2015

Doll Size Cake

This week I am showing you one way to decorate a cake to go in one of the Print Minis cake boxes. I am using the smallest cake blank from last week's video (here's a link to the cake blank video) so these are for display only.

I was killing time one day browsing cake decorating ideas on my phone and came across a multi-tier cake for the 4th of July. This cake is based very loosely on the top tier. I know I have seen cakes this size for sale at bakeries for different occasions so I thought it would be a cute stand alone cake.

I first covered my cake blank with some Pacific Blue Fimo then the rest of the decorations are made of white Fimo. You can use any brand polymer clay you have. The main thing with this step is to make sure the layer is smooth and that there are no air pockets. I used a wet wipe to remove some of the fingerprints that occurred due to the room temperature. (clay is more apt to show fingerprints if the either the room or your hands are warm)

Since I wanted to minimize color transfer from the blue to the white I baked the covered blank before I started adding any of the white clay. I also cleaned my work area up before I even opened up the bag that contained the white clay. I still managed to get some blue bits of clay on the white. This is the way with white clay, it attracts every bit of everything in the air.

I also baked my project during assembly so that I could make sure all the decorations stayed where I wanted them. You can pretty much bake your clay as often as you want to just never go above the temperature stated on the package. I tend to bake a few degrees lower many times just to be sure.

The star cutter I used is from a set of clay cutters made by the Makin's company. I am fairly certain I picked these up at Michael's years ago. The round cutters are made by the Kemper company. According to my ruler they are about 1/4" and 1/8" in diameter. These should be readily available in many places that sell clay. 

This time the Transparent Liquid Sculpey is acting as a glue, and it does this job really well. Without it you might find your decorations popping off after baking. You could also use Bake & Bond also by Sculpey for this step. The two products are interchangeable for what we are doing today.

For the base for my cake to sit on I used some of my card-making/ paper crafting supplies. I had the scrap of metallic cardstock in my scrap bin and it happened that the cake sit really nicely in the shape cut with the set of scalloped circle dies that I had in my drawer. These were used with my Big Kick die cutting machine. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Blanks for Doll Size Cakes

This week I am going to show you how to make some bases to create cakes on later. I know it isn't the most exciting topic but I am hoping to show you some different options later on for decorating cakes and I don't want to have to show this part on each video. I do these types of videos on my other channel too, a shorter video of something that I can refer you back to rather than repeating the same info on multiple videos.

So this week we are creating blanks specifically for the bakery boxes I showed you last week. I am making the blanks smaller than what I want the finished cakes to be since we will be covering them when we decorate them.

I used some round clay cutters that I have on hand (some of them could have been cookie cutters originally) I used the following sizes:

Small 1 ¼” diameter
Medium 1 ½” diameter
Large 1 ¾” diameter

For clay I used some of my box of Original Sculpey. Since these will not be visible once we are done decorating we could even use some scrap clay for. I like to use the Original Scupley since it is soft these work up really quickly.

I used my pasta machine set on the thickest setting to roll out the clay. If you don't have a pasta/clay machine just use your roller to roll the clay. I cut the following number of layers, stacked them and cut out the middle with a smaller cutter.

Small 7 layers
Medium 8 layers
Large 9 layers

I then cut out two more circles the same size to use as the top and bottom of the stacks. Try to make the stacks as neat as you can but don't stress too much. We can fix a lot of problems later.

Bake according to the clay package directions (I baked mine at 250 degrees- Fahrenheit- for 15 minutes) We will be baking them at least one more time when we decorate them.

When the blanks are baked and cooled use some sandpaper to even them up a bit.

Now you are ready to start in the (doll size) cake decorating business!

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bakery Box Kit

I am so excited about this kit! I had noticed that Ann from Paper Minis had a new kit in the smaller scales a while back for a set of bakery boxes. I know how many of you are making AG size bakeries right now so I started bugging Ann about making this in our scale. I explained to her about the girl of the theme and she came through in flying colors! She even switched up the graphics to give this scale a French Bakery theme!! Here is a link to her website, I really encourage you to hop over there and order this kit. It is truly one of my all time favorites.

I do plan to make some cakes for the cake boxes in future videos so stay tuned for those.

Now on to our project!

What you receive in the mail is a CD with the printables in the form of PDF's ready for you to print on your printer. You do need to go in and make sure that your printer is set up to print “borderless” (your printer might have a different term but basically you need to have the printer not have a border around the page) on my printer I go into the “preferences” tab to make this change. I also make sure that I check it before I print every page. I have had the printer decide that I wanted it to go back to normal in the middle of printing my pages.

When you put the disk into your computer the first page will be the “home page” I went ahead and printed this out to show you on the video but you don't need to. This page provides some basic information, photos of the finished project and links to the rest of the pages.

Ann has also included a really nice tutorial page on the disk also.

There are 5 pages to print out. I used regular cardstock for the boxes and a sheet of matte photo paper for the cake inserts.

You will also need basic tools, some glue and some acetate sheet material (plastic windows from packaging works great too)

As you saw in the video the boxes go together really easy and are just beautiful when finished.

Ann even provides inserts for the cake boxes so they look like they have fancy bakery cakes in them!

Here are some close up photos of my finished boxes.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Doll Size Celery Sticks

This week we are making the dolls another healthy snack, some celery sticks. I even show you how to fill them with peanut butter at the end if your dolls want that too.

I do plan to show you how to create the entire celery bunch just like you would bring home from the store but I felt it was a bit too advanced for what we are doing here. I made the decision when I started doing the clay tutorials that I was going assume my audience were beginners and work with all of you to build skills slowly. We will come back to the celery after we have had some more practice though. Also I was a bit short on a couple of the colors of clay so I need to find a good sale first too.

Let's start by talking about the colors of clay we are using today. I started off with my normal basic mix that I use in the smaller scales and then adjusted it to make the color better for this scale. Also my formula is for a slightly different mix of colors but I was out of some colors in the brands I developed the formula for. You will usually find similar colors between the brands and you can substitute one brand for another but then you usually have to adjust the mixture a bit. In the end I used the following:

2 parts Fimo White
4 parts Fimo Leaf Green
5 parts Premo translucent
8 parts Premo Cadmium Yellow Hue

I do suggest both having a piece of celery on hand to match too (and I have found the colors can vary a lot depending on the bunch of celery, time of year, etc) and pre-baking a sample of your clay mix to check it against your piece of celery. It is much better to adjust your clay mixture than to make up the batch and then be unhappy with the color and end up trashing it.

To get a real idea of how the color will be we do need to bake the sample of clay. That is because of the large amount of translucent clay in our mixture. It only needs to bake for about 5 minutes for you to have a fairly good idea of how it will look.

Once you have your clay the color you want it is time to start making our celery sticks. For this we again need a form to make our celery on. I am using aluminum knitting needles for this. As long as you are using the all metal ones they should be just fine in the oven. I'm not sure what size the double ended needle was but the other two were a size 5 and a size 8. I wouldn't go any larger than the 8 to stay in scale. I rolled out my clay with the #2 setting on my pasta machine and then just cut strips that would fit on the needles and wrap part way around.

To make the strings on the outside of the celery we are using a bolt from the hardware store. I have no idea what kind this one is or what size or even where it came from. It was just what was handy. When I make celery in the smaller (dollhouse) scales I usually roll the threads of the bolt along the celery but I found that dragging worked better in this scale.

When you have your knitting needles covered in celery it is time to bake them, I baked at 235 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. Just check the packages of clay you are using. If, like me, you are using a mix of brands go the with the lowest suggested temperature from the different packages.

The next 2 steps need to be done while the clay is still warm. First we need to remove the knitting needles, be careful they are hot! I wrapped a paper towel around mine and they were still painful. Set them aside and let them cool completely before you use them again.

Now we need to cut our long pieces of celery into serving size pieces. I think I kept mine between ¾” and 1” at least that was my goal but I didn't feel the need to measure since I don't measure the real thing when I cut those.

If your dolls just want celery you are now finished.

If however, your dolls are begging for some peanut butter in some of their celery pieces we have a few more steps.

First find a clay that is “peanut butter” color for me that was Fimo Yellow Ocher. . Mix this clay into some Translucent Liquid Sculpey (TLS) trying to mix completely. Since my yellow ocher was so old and lumpy it wasn't mixing in so I also added some yellow ocher oil paint. If the lumps still show after baking I will just make the claim that the dolls used chunky peanut butter.

Spread some of this TLS peanut butter into some of your pieces of celery and bake again. I did find it necessary to make a bed of crumpled aluminum foil so my filled celery didn't roll around on the paper plate.

If you want to you can add a touch of satin finish (like Mod Podge or one of the finishes made for poly clay) to just the peanut butter portion. I am not going to on mine but some people might feel that it needs it.  

Monday, June 1, 2015

Doll Size Plates

This week we are going to make the dolls some nice plates so they have some place to put that food we have been making them. I actually started working on these just after I posted the tutorial for the mugs.

The first step in making these for me was to figure out what to use for a form to make them on. So let's discuss forms vs molds and why we use them.

For me (in other words on this blog and on my videos) I use the words form and mold to mean slightly different things. For me a mold is something that I put the clay (or other material) into to create my finished item. The mold is usually (but not always) made from a soft silicone material that makes it easy to remove the finished item. I may purchase the mold or I might make my own. (tutorial on that coming soon) A form (as I use the term is an object that I form clay around or put clay on top of to hold a shape to create a finished item.

When we made the cupcakes and the gummy bears we used purchased molds. When I made the mugs I created the form out of a piece of wooden dowel.

On a later post we will get into the details of the how to make molds.

For now let's talk about why we might use a form or a mold to create something for the dolls. Usually it is either to make something that would be complicated to do free hand and/or to allow us to make multiples of the same item and have them look alike. For instance if we make say a bunch of apples they don't have to all be exactly the same because real ones aren't all exactly the same. In fact it would look odd if they all were the same. However, if we made a set of plates and every one of them was shaped different or a different size that would look odd. This is how the form will come in handy.

I first debated between making a mold or using a form for the plates. I could have made up one plate and used it to make a mold from. This is the way I commonly do this in dollhouse scale. There are two problems with that for the 18” doll size- one it would take a lot of my mold making material to make that size mold (gets expensive) and second I wanted all of you to be able to make the same plate just as easily as I do. On this blog/channel I am trying to make sure even those of you that don't have much experience with clay can succeed in making the projects. So I starting looking for something that would be easy to find and inexpensive to use. It had to be the correct shape and size.

Since we are making plates and most plates in the real world are between 9” and 10” (or 10 ½”) that meant our form needed to make a plate that is approximately 3”. 

In looking around for ideas I came up with the idea of using a wide mouth canning jar lid. They already have the perfect shape, they are the correct size (3 ¼”), easy to find and inexpensive. They are also designed to go in boiling water water so the heat of the oven curing the clay won't hurt them.

Next it was a pretty simple process to work out the particulars of the project. Choose the clay, adding some translucent to the mix is optional depending on the look you are after. Roll it out to an appropriate thickness, place it on the top of the lid, use the lid as a guide to trim the clay and bake. If you want to get fancy you could even add some details with more clay or clay tools before baking.

It is up to you if you want to use colored clay or white. If you want to paint details or not after baking. You have so many options and if you are short on inspiration just look on line at images of real plates online to see what is out there. If you are talented you could even paint an intricate design on the plates.

When you are all done give them a good coat of a high gloss finish to make them look like a real plate. My preference for this is Triple Thick because it is high gloss and I usually only need one coat.