Monday, June 29, 2015

Princess silhouette cut out sticker


My daughter moved into her new bedroom at Christmas and she is desperate for it to be a Disney Princess bedroom.  I'm not completely in love with the whole Disney Princess theme, but at the same time I want her to have a room that she is happy in.  I'm trying to find compromises that we both like, but always keeping in mind that this phase won't last forever...

She has two wardrobes in her room for storage and the sides are both looking very bare, so I thought I'd try to do something about it...  She wants Disney Princesses on them, so I thought a nice silhouette of Cinderella or Aurora wouldn't be too over the top.  After a bit of thought, I wondered if I could actually turn a silhouette of my daughter into a pseudo Disney Princess.  I thought some kind of removable sticker might work well as it could be easily removed once this little obsession has passed.

I discovered these removable fabric stickers on the Crafty Computer Paper website and I thought I'd give them a try as they're not permanent.  I also like the fact that they are matte fabric as opposed to shiny plastic, so they have a quality feel about them.

To create the silhouette I found this slightly out of focus photo I took when I was photographing the pom pom DIY.  It was the only image I had in perfect profile, but it did the job.

To create a similar silhouette you would need:-
  • A photograph in profile.  
  • Drawing software that allows you to use layers - I used Inkbot on the Ipad as I don't have a touch screen PC and I was able to trace the silhouette onto a separate layer. I later finished it off in Photoshop.
  • A computer.
  • A printer.
  • Repositionable fabric sticker.  I got mine from Crafty Computer Paper in the UK, but you can also get it here.
  • Scalpel and blades.
  • Cutting board.

I first opened up my image in Inkbot and then drew around the outline of her profile in a second layer.

I then reduced the opacity of the photograph to zero, giving me just the profile outline.

Next I drew on extra swirls to create a Cinderella style bun at the back and an Aurora style quiff at the front.

After a lot of trial and error, I created a little crown to sit on top of her head.

Finally I filled everything in in black to create the silhouette.

To frame my image I created a circle and leaf pattern in Inkbot.

If you would like to download your own circle and leaf pattern to insert your own silhouette into you can find it here.

Once I had my silhouette and circle leaf motif designed in Inkbot, I then opened them both in Photoshop and positioned my silhouette in the centre of the circle and leaf motif.  I then changed all of the black to pink, selecting the black with the magic wand tool and then filling it with the fill bucket.

It's at this point that I should point out that this was my third attempt at the silhouette.  You may notice that this is slightly different to the earlier silhouette.  I had to thicken the eyelash and simplify the crown, as I found that the lines needed to be at least a couple of millimetres wide - any smaller and the threads in the repositionable fabric started to pull apart. I had to keep reminding myself that this was actually woven fabric and not paper, so it behaved slightly differently.

All that was left to do now was to cut out the silhouette and frame and stick them on the side of the wardrobe.  For tips on cutting the shapes out, take a look at my blog post about my first attempt at paper cutting.

Sticking the silhouette of the head to the side of the wardrobe was simple, I just needed to make sure that it was straight.  As you can see, the frame border is much more flexible and so it was much trickier to make sure that it remained in a perfect circle around the silhouette, but I just about managed it by using the offcut centre piece as a guide.

Here's the fabric sticker attached to the side of the wardrobe.  

I love the fact that you can tell it's my daughter's silhouette, but it has a Disney Princess feel about it (which she loves). I also love that it can be removed in just a few seconds with no problems. I'm very pleased with it and she's quite proud of it too which is the important thing.  I'm really hoping that she'll want to keep it up there for at least a couple more years...


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Monday, June 22, 2015

Frozen themed Elsa cake

I thought I'd share a couple of pictures of the Elsa cake I made for my daughter's 7th birthday this weekend. She's very much into the imagery of Frozen and loves to play with the Elsa and Anna dolls, so I wondered if I could find an idea for an Elsa doll cake that I could put my own spin on.  

Full credit for this cake design goes to Lacey Todd of Laceyjakescakes cake blog.  I discovered a link to her tutorial on Pinterest and when I read through her detailed blog post it sounded like something an amateur cake decorator like myself might be able to recreate.  Do have a look as she gives a step by step photo tutorial of how she made her "walking doll cake".

I won't go into extensive detail of how I made the cake as Lacey's blog goes into much more information than I ever could, but the materials I used are :-

  • Disney Frozen Singing Elsa Doll
  • Giant silicone cupcake mould with the base cut off and and then trimmed and cut into shape
  • 12" cake board.
  • 6" cake board.
  • 2 packets of Betty Crocker cake mix. I used about 1 and a half packets.
  • 2 kilos of white fondant icing - 1 for the cake and 1 for the skirt.
  • A very small amount of Wilton sky blue gel colouring applied on the end of a cocktail stick.
  • Tylose powder to mix into the fondant icing for the skirt layers.
  • 1 x flower wire for wrapping around her leg to insert into the flower spike.
  • 1 x flower spike to insert into the cake to stop the wire from touching the cake.
  • Edible Bakers Glue for attaching the skirt layers
  • Paint brushes for brushing on edible glue and the dusting powders.
  • Glacier blue edible lustre powder - applied just to the edges of the skirt layers.
  • Pearl white edible lustre powder - applied all over the skirt.
  • Snowflake sprinkles and snowball sprinkles for decorating the skirt and board
  • Royal icing in a piping bag for attaching the snowflakes and sprinkles to the cake and board.

You will notice that Lacey's cake has a much more gradual slope backwards. Unfortunately I didn't quite achieve this so Elsa ended up with more of a 'bustle' than I had originally intended - but it did mean that we had more cake to eat...

I must confess it wasn't quite as easy as Lacey made it look.  I really struggled to get the front layers to stick, so I ended up with a lot more layers at the front than intended as they just kept slipping down.  Gravity and humidity were definitely working against me!  I actually ended up leaving the front to harden overnight which made it much easier to attach the rest of the skirt in the morning.

With all the difficulties I was having getting the many strips to stick, I decided to speed things up by using much larger layers for the back of the cake.  I just rolled out my sugar paste (which I'd mixed with tylose powder to make it more workable) into vary large petal shapes and then frilled the edges with a cocktail stick.  I then used edible glue to attach them.  These stayed in place much better than the narrow strips and really speeded up the completion of her skirt.

The doll is actually a singing doll which is why her bodice is wrapped in cling film.  I didn't want the sugar paste or dusting powders to get inside her and affect her electrics or speaker.  It also helped using a doll with a moulded bodice because it meant that I didn't need to make one out of sugar for her.

I'd like to give a huge thank you to Lacey Todd for the incredibly detailed tutorial that she so generously provided.  The cake was a huge hit with the girls at my daughter's party and they really couldn't believe that it was actually a cake!

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