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5 Impressive Cake Frosting Techniques + Tutorials

Petal Frosting by La Receta de la Felicidad

These days, happy bakers everywhere are upping the ante with beautiful frosting techniques. Not only do we want to enjoy our slice of cake, we want it to look good too. Not sure how to accomplish that? Here are 5 impressive techniques, including tutorials, to inspire you.

1. Smooth Frosting  Let’s start with the basics. Nothing says modern like the clean lines of this perfectly frosted cake. Check out How to Frost a Cake by Whisk Kid.

2. Textured Frosting  Want a more relaxed and traditional-looking topping? How to Frost a Cake by The Paula Deen Test Kitchen will show you.

3. Ribbon Frosting  This classic design is always impressive. The Sew*er, The Caker, The Copy-Cat Maker shows you the Ribbon Frosting Technique with lots of step-by-step photos.

4. Petal Frosting  This is one of my personal favorites. Such a stunning visual created with such easy steps. Check out My Cake School’s Pretty Petal Effect or Bird on a Cake’s Petal Tutorial. The pink cake shown here is the Ombre Petal Cake by Java Cupcake.

5. Rosette Frosting  A timelessly romantic design.  Girl. Inspired has a great tutorial called Tips for Making a Swirled Rose Cake. I am baker also has a well-done Rose Cake Tutorial, and provides a Rose Cake Video Tutorial as well.

Happy frosting!

 

 


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How to Paint a Craigslist Dresser in 4 Easy Steps

I finally had it one day with our cluttered hallway. It was full of plastic bins, boxes of diapers, items destined for Goodwill, and all sorts of odds and ends stacked precariously. We knew that some day in the future we would make built-in cabinets, but for now it was screaming for some TLC. So I began looking on Craigslist for some possibilities.

Tip: Use a Craigslist mobile app – so helpful when you’re not at a computer.

Step 1: Choose your dresser
Using the app, I found several that suited my needs both aesthetically and size-wise. I was looking for something kid-friendly and streamlined, no knobs or funky carvings. Just basic. One in particular was priced just right at $20, and solid oak to boot! No particle board for me, thanks. Ironically, there were two of the same model of dresser for sale (see above photo). The other was selling for $195 (and in much better condition)!

Step 2: Clean & Sand
After bringing the dresser home and taking out all the drawers, we noticed some mouse droppings in a few of them. Alarming, but not a deal-breaker. I looked on the CDC website how to properly clean and disinfect the dresser, including making a homemade bleach solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. It sucked, but I wasn’t going to take any chances. Then came the sanding. I was expecting to do the work myself, since my husband wasn’t crazy about my plan, but he kindly offered to do the remaining work for me. He used a palm sander and gave it a good once-over. I recommend using a mask and eye protection. A benefit of this dresser’s flat, no frills style is that there aren’t any details that require special sanding.

Step 3: Prime
We have a huge 5 gallon container of primer left over from when we did our home addition last year. Some people skip this step, and that might be okay on rarely used pieces, but this will be a working dresser. If you don’t want to see chips in the paint the first time you use it, or anytime soon, then you need to prime. Tape off any areas you don’t want to paint, or when a crisp line is desired. Use a roller for ease of coverage, but have a paintbrush handy to swipe corners and other details. We decided to not paint the inner drawers, but I plan to use drawer liners. Once the primer is dry, give it a once over by hand with fine sandpaper (and maybe a sanding block).

Step 4: Paint
Because we were looking for a small budget solution, we decided to use the leftover paint from our bathroom – a medium gray semi-gloss with a bit of blue called “Still Creek”. Make sure to roll it on smooth and constantly check for drips. You can see from the photo that David had a little helper. I thought this might leave streaks on the drawer fronts, but it doesn’t as long as you roll over it while it is still wet. Chloe loved “helping” daddy.

Now that the painting is done, don’t rush to use the dresser until the paint is fully cured. The longer you wait, the harder the finish will be – up to two weeks. Otherwise you risk smudges and marks. I asked at Home Depot about a top coat, but he assured us that one wasn’t needed as long as we waited for it to fully cure.

Ta da! Here’s our dresser sitting in its new hallway spot. Soon it will have a framed wall display to go above it, but that project is still in the works. I hope to be able to share it soon. Until then, good luck and happy painting!


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DIY Paper-Covered Jewelry Organizer

Over the years I’ve collected, or been given, various pieces of jewelry. I stopped wearing most of it when Chloe was born (except for my wedding ring), and now that she is a little older I’ve begun to phase in a few pieces every now and again. Often I forget what I own until I go digging around in the box. The earrings and bracelets are organized somewhat decently, but the lengths of necklaces and pendants are all jumbled together. It is not a pretty sight.

Months ago I chose some paper and hardware to make two necklace hangers, although the hooks would also work nicely for rings and bracelets, too. Here is the one I made last week. It is sized to fit a narrow space on the wall of my closet. That’s the nice thing about making something yourself – it can be whatever you want it to be, plus it would make a sweet gift. The wood came from Home Depot (recycled from another project), the paper from Craft Warehouse and the hardware from Target.

Materials
12 x 12 sheet of heavy scrapbook paper
4 x 10″ piece of wood
7/8″ nickel-plated cup hooks
2 sawtooth hangers

Tools
Xacto Knife
Cutting Mat
Bone Folder
Glue or Double stick tape


Step 1: Fold the paper around the board, basically like you’re gift-wrapping a present. For best results, run the tip of a bone folder along the edges to make the smoothest and straightest folds possible.


Step 2: Seal the sides down with adhesive. I used double stick tape.


Step 3:
Make a tiny mark where you want the cup hooks to go. Drill pilot holes at each mark so the cup hooks will go in smoothly, and then screw them in. Finish by lightly pounding in the sawtooth hangers on the back side, one at each of the upper corners. Enjoy!


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Appliqued Handtowels in 5 easy steps

While we were in Colorado earlier this month, I had an opportunity to watch my mother-in-law make this fun set of appliqued handtowels as a gift. She made it look so easy! Here are the materials and steps she used:

Materials
Dishtowel
Double sided fusible interface
Fabric scrap for the design
Thread for both the top side and bottom side

1. Find an image that you like and cut the shape out of both the interface and fabric. Sandy chose to use this cat image.

2. Sandwich the fusible interface between the dishtowel and the fabric, and iron them together until they are properly adhered.

3. Using a satin stitch (also called applique stitch, or tight zig-zag stitch), sew around the border of your shape. This will cover the raw edges of the fabric. I was surprised to note that Sandy kept the feed dog up, yet was able to move the fabric around with her fingers pretty easily.

4. After the border of the shape is done, use a pencil to draw the inner details to be “traced” by stitching. Sandy wanted to use a thinner satin stitch, so she adjusted the settings on her sewing machine and did a few tests before continuing.

5. Stitch over the pencil marks to add detail. Sandy noted that it is very helpful to always snip the loose threads as you go.

The finished designs!

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