Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ladybug Cake

Cake decorating, no needles but it's crafty, right?
In the past few years I've dabbled in cake decorating. With 3 kids, 3 birthday cakes a year, and a number of showers in between I don't have a lot of experience, but wanted to share the one I whipped up last week because it was seriously fun to make.

As I mentioned, my niece had a 1st birthday party and I was asked to make the cake with a ladybug theme. I did, but I surprised everyone by making the inside polka-dotted! Here's how it turned out...

It's crazy how easy this polka-dot technique is. First, I used the red velvet cake recipe that came with my Babycakes Cake Pop Maker machine which I ordered from Amazon.

Once the cake pop balls were cool, I placed whole and half balls in the cake pans and poured the cake batter (white and chocolate) over them. Bake. Surprisingly, they don't overcook being baked twice! So fun and I love the contrast of the red/white and red/chocolate! Thanks Once Upon a Pedestal and Snowy Bliss for the inspiration!

The cake topper was made using the Wilton Mini Ball Pan. I used one ball and covered it with fondant. The head of the ladybug is a ball of black fondant and the face was cut from scraps. I cut the eyes out using a round Wilton icing tip, super easy.

The red polkadots on the white layer believe it or not were cut out using a beer bottle. HA! It was the perfect size and gave the dots a nice rounded edge. Now that is being environmentally friendly... recycling, no... reusing. I'm so green.

The great flowers on the red layer are easy to make using PME Veined Sunflower, Gerbera & Daisy Cutters with fondant. I used the small one on the cake and the large cutter for the "1". I've used these cutters on three cakes now. I highly recommend them!

Cake Decorating Supplies

And a thanks to for showcasing this post!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Preppy Girl Vest: Free American Girl Pattern

Because you asked for it... here is the FREE vest pattern & tutorial from my Sew Cool for School post.

And a thanks to for showcasing this post!

Please join our flickr group and upload pictures of your preppy girl vest or any other Finding Pins and Needles projects. I'd love to see them!

For info on the other clothes pictured, visit my Sew Cool for School post.

Monday, September 3, 2012

PEZ Pillow Tutorial

My four year old son is absolutely obsessed with PEZ dispensers, he has 30+ and his collection is always growing. It's actually a fixation due to his Autism, but we love to encourage him since it's age appropriate and I'm just happy he's over his whisk and kitchen utensil phase!! I scoured the internet and found PEZ fabric (found on eBay)! When it arrived, he was so excited. But he'll have to wait until Christmas to get what I made...

Here's a tutorial on how to transfer a word to fabric. For this application, I used felt, since it doesn't require hemming. You'll need a few supplies...


Print Words
For starters, find a font that you love and that will transfer well, I used the PEZ font (it's a free download). Because the PEZ font has two parts, the white rectangles and black shadow, I printed out Andrew's name twice.

Trace & Cut
Using the iron on transfer pen, outline your letters on the paper you just printed. Next, pin your paper, letters down to your felt and iron on the words (see first image below). When using iron on transfer methods, your image will be ironed on as a mirror image. If you are using felt, this doesn't matter, if you are ironing on to a print, make sure you transfer the letters on the "wrong side" of the fabric. For the PEZ fabric, on one printout I traced the rectangles and the other I traced just the black shadow. For the white rectangles I was able to use the iron pen transfer method, then cut them from the felt. For the shadow, I traced the shape, pined it to my dark blue fabric and cut it out (see second image below). This works ok for large shapes, but is a pain for smaller shapes.

Pin & Sew
Next, pin your rectangles onto the shadow and sew them in place. Once you've got your word, pin and sew to your pillow fabric (see image 3 & 4 above). I decided the size of my pillow after this step and cut my pillow backing according to this size.

Making the Pillow
Pin right sides of name fabric and pillow back fabric together with piped bias tape in between. Make sure the piping is facing inward. Sew around the edge, making sure to catch all layers. Make sure you leave a hole for turning right side out! Stuff pillow and hand sew the hole closed. There you go, a customized PEZ pillow! Merry Christmas Andrew!

Please join our flickr group and upload pictures of your PEZ pillow or any other Finding Pins and Needles projects. I'd love to see them!

And a thanks to for showcasing this post!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Nautical Mag Rack

I've been haunted by this tutorial, and have wanted to do it for months. Thanks Pinterest. Our guest bathroom is a nautical theme and when I found the the Anchors Away line from Dear Stella Designs, I couldn't help myself. 

To be honest, I didn't really use the tutorial, I did it my own way. I cut a 16" x 16" square out of each of the contrasting fabrics. Right sides together, I sewed the sides, leaving 2 inches on either side open. Next I folded under the (8) 2 in flaps and top stitched them, but not together. Last I folded under and top stitched the long open sides. That's it. The dowel rod and double drapery rod brackets were both from Lowe's.

I'm super pleased with how it turned out and my hubby helped install it above the toilet. I love the nautical ropes holding the magazines and the peek of anchors when you look inside. Happy sailing and happy reading.