Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Birdhouse Celebration Cake Tutorial

Think outside the box when it comes to using Embossing Folders! Check out how to create a beautiful dimensional wood grain effect onto modelling paste and turn it into a Birdhouse cake topper. Use modelling paste to make the birdhouse and birds as this dries harder than standard sugar paste. Use this technique to create your own birdhouse using dimensions and sizing to suit your cake.

1. Roll out cream coloured modelling paste to around 5mm thick. Level out with a Flat Smoother. Place a washed, clean wood grain effect Embossing Folder onto the paste with the embossed side face down. Firmly run your smoother over the top. Carefully lift up. TIP You can smear a little trex over the folder first if you find it sticks.

2. Use the large veining tool and round ended tool to press into the wood grain to create a really dimensional effect.

3. Make nail holes using the end of the veining tool.

4. Trim to size. You will need 2 square sides, 2 end pieces the same size but with the addition of a pointed top section, 2 rectangular roof pieces plus a base to sit your house on. TIP Make up a template from card first and use this as a cutting guide. Use the end of a piping nozzle to cut a hole through one of the end pieces to make the bird door. Use the round ended tool to press in a hollow just underneath. Make a bird stand using a cylinder of modelling paste then stick it into the hollow.

5. Make a stand for your house to sit on - secure 4 dowelling rods together and wrap the top 5cm in wood grain effect paste. Leave all your elements to dry out on a cooling rack, preferably in an airing cupboard.

6. Make a flying bird, sitting bird and bird head from white modelling paste. Keep the shapes nice and simple and use the modelling tools to add indentations to the wings and body. Stick together with sugar glue. TIP You may like to attach the wings into the body using a little florist wire. Add wire legs and feet to the sitting bird and a strong length of wire into the flying bird’s tummy. Secure with sugar glue. Leave to dry out. NB Do not eat the birds with wire inside.

7. Paint thinned down edible concentrated brown food colouring into the deepest wood grain grooves.

8. Before this dries out, use a small pad of dry kitchen roll to lightly rub over the paint, blending the brown. Leave to dry.

9. Add the paint around all the sides of your house sections as well as the bird stand.

10. Assemble the house using cream coloured royal icing. TIP Use a dry paintbrush to blend in any icing that squeezes out.

11. Assembling continued…

12. Once you have finished assembling the house, stick the bird head into the hole and leave to dry thoroughly.

13. Use concentrated edible food colour to paint the Blue Tits. TIP Use a dry brush to blend colours.

14. Standing bird….

15. Push your dowelled stand into the top of your cake. Make sure it is level. Use royal icing to stick on a cake board which is the same size (or slightly smaller) than the base of your birdhouse. Leave to dry.

Assemble your cake! Stick the birdhouse onto the stand. Push a flower pick into the first tier of your cake and insert the flying bird into it. TIP Add a ball of sugar paste into the pick first to make the wire more secure. TIP Make sure no wire is touching the cake – pop the sitting bird onto a small plaque of modelling paste and remove before eating.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

Jill x

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Hedgehog Wrap Cake

I have a passion for creating both vector illustrations and decorating cakes, so I thought it was about time I combined them both! My daughter has a crush on all things hedgehog, so on her birthday, I designed a cute repeating hedgie pattern with co-ordinating stripes in illustrator then printed them onto edible icing sheets. Combine that with a gluten free mud cake and she was a happy girl!

The icing wrap sat beautifully on some sharp-edged ganache.

I made the 3D hedgehogs out of modelling paste,
using decoupage scissors to create the prickles.

Pretty blue ribbon added that finishing touch.
Now off to dream up some more cake wraps!

Thank you for viewing
Jill x 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Feeling Rosey

I love roses, my garden is full of them, so the brief for this rose cake was my idea of heaven! If you want to see how to paint the free-flowing design and make the edible roses on the top, then check out the project in full at docrafts.com

Jewel in the Crown

I love working with a monochrome colour palette and this commission for docrafts Creativity was the prefect platform for using luscious silvers, greys and black. You can see how make the edible embellishments at docrafts.com.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Welcome to the new docrafts Design Team!

2015 sees a sad goodbye to some of our last Design Team but also a very welcome ‘Hello!’ to some fabulously creative peeps!


The lovely Katie Lamb suggested a Blog Hop as the perfect way to introduce our new team, so, here goes...

Part of my job at docrafts HQ is to talent spot inventive and original designers/crafters who can create projects to inspire members of the docrafts.com website (I love doing this!). The rest of the time I am a graphic designer, generating the FREE printable papers (my favorite task) and other marketing graphics all of which fits into part time hours, as I am also a mum of two beautiful (I am obviously biased...) daughters.
I also make and decorate cakes on a commission basis for the docrafts Creativity magazine – I sort of fell into this after winning a docrafts charity Bake Off and now spend a lot of time dreaming of all thing sugar (ok, not much change there then!). All in all, I have been in the craft industry for over twenty years – have been on QVC, demonstrated in-store, created new crafts brands, packaging, kits, managed a creative team of pees (before kids)...phew, it’s been a real journey and I love it!
I have also designed cakes for some of the Little Venice Cake Company kits which is pretty challenging. Here are a couple of my favs from last year boxed up ready to go into HQ for photography...


If you want to see our new DT’s docrafts galleries (so worth a look), then click here...
And please take the time to visit their blogs – we have some hugely talented ladies on the team...
Plus Claire Green (Guest Designer) http://talesfromthe-craftroom.blogspot.co.uk/

You may also like to take a peek at the following crafty blogs (not taking part in the blog hop)...

Paula http://justforoneday11.blogspot.co.uk/

Katie Skilton http://www.katieskilton.com/category/blog

 Heather https://heathermitchelldesign.wordpress.com

Denise https://denisefletcher60.wordpress.com

Thanks for looking!
Jill x

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Big Thanks Becky Blog hop!

Becky James is one of life’s good people. Not only is she a wonderful, caring person who always has time for you, but she is also a fabulous craft designer who has inspired me massively over the past few years.
So, the docrafts Design Team and a few other lovely crafty ladies, decided that we should create a Blog Hop in honour of the lovely Becky - this is the first stop (next stop at the bottom of the post!), so please grab a cuppa and join us!

I have had to pleasure to work with Becky at docrafts HQ where she has produced some really unique, gorgeously layered projects not only for docrafts.com but also for the docrafts Creativity Magazine and the online ‘In the Studio’ craft videos.
You can see her full docrafts gallery here which is full of stunning designs like these....

And here is her latest ‘In the Studio’ project, made with cupcake cases no less!

She is now spreading her wings to try out pastures new and explore her inner artist so, although I will miss her massively, I want to wish her all the best for her new venture and i hope it brings her everything she desires.


Love Jill x
Please stay with us and hop onto Louise Collins' blog post...

Thursday, 18 September 2014

'Like' the docrafts Facebook page and grab your free printable papers!

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