Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DTC Molds...for soap making?!?! YES!

Disclaimer...I am somewhat of a new soap maker. My friends and neighbors are clean due to the amount of "mistakes" I have given away. But I am getting better at this crazy hobby and I am ready to try something new.

Glenda sent me several sea urchin molds, aren't they cute?

First step is to fill them with water to get an idea of how much soap they will hold (soap and water weigh approximately the same). The three molds contained about 2.55 oz which I will round up to 3 oz when I make my batter.

I opted for something colorful for my first attempt, thus a lemony floral with lemongrass was chosen. My cold process soap recipe contained olive, palm, coconut, and castor bean oils were all melted together and added to the lye water.

Cold process was used rather than hot process soap, because I wanted to make sure and get all the fine details from my molds. That requires having a thinner soap batter when pouring into the mold...which you can see here. Pretty!

Now...I let it sit. At least 24 hours, maybe longer (depending on the weather...humidity can cause issues). I hate waiting. Oh by the way, while I do not personally make melt-n-pour (MP) soaps, the thinness of the MP batter would work quite well in these molds too. MP is a tad safer for older children to use; I think they might have a lot of fun. But I digress...

Unmolding was a snap...but why no pictures of the beautiful lemon? Some child of mine who will go unnamed TOOK one into his shower. You don't want to see it now. BUT I will show you my next couple of examples: a fun oatmeal stout soap with gorgeous color and just look at the detail from the mold along with the rosemary and calendula flowers in my "woodsy" soap. Just beautiful! And yes, I do need to do a final "clean up" step and trim the bottom, but I wanted to show how they look fresh from the mold.

...and of course clean up is a snap! I have since acquired several more sea-creature molds from DTC and have had a ball with them. Customers of mine with beach themed bathrooms have had me make specific scents or colors, they love the detail of the molds. I love the ease of use!

FUN! Now...off to make more.... :) THANK YOU GLENDA!

April MacKinnon, crazy soap maker at April's Soaps (aprils.soaps@gmail.com)

Products Used:
Sea Urchin Single
Sea Urchin Set of 2

April's Soaps Facebook Page

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Steampunk Is Trending!

The next DTCPUG post has so much to offer! A cake, cookies and even a tree ornament! Our thanks again to Joanne for sharing her talents and her creativitiy!

Steampunk is Trending!!!

I see it in themed parties, weddings, movies, fashion, music, art shows and even recently in the the Saks Fifth Avenue 2011 Christmas Lights Show in NYC!!! Yes, the old, vintage, industrial era is back and trending!

Decorate the Cake has come up with a new set of wonderful silicone molds of gears and chains and impression mats for your steampunk-industrial-retro-futuristic cake, cupcake and cookie designs.

I had the privilege of doing this special project that aims to tickle your imagination. This sample cake and cookies can fit any occasion. I think that this might be an Engagement cake, a Wedding cake that can mean an infinite love, Groom's Cake, Children's Cake, (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse???), a Biker's cake, an Engineer's cake, it can also be a Christmas ornament, New Year Countdown cake, some Cookies to match the theme to serve as give aways.... The possibilities are endless!!!

There are tricks to make each gear and chains come out of the mold perfectly. It will be best illustrated through the photos that I will be including in this tutorial.

For this purpose I have used straight Gumpaste. Fondant, Melting Chocolate, Modeling Chocolate, Marzipan, Isomalt or Gelatin, can be used with the silicone mold. If using a non edible material such as clay, crayons (wax) or soap, make sure that the molds will solely be used for this purpose and not be used anymore for any food or edible ingredient.

Things you should consider when using this mold:

For use with fondant , gumpaste, marzipan or modeling chocolate is to make sure you have dusted lightly your mold with cornstarch or powdered sugar. The paste should be well kneaded to a pliable stage before pressing into the mold. There may be times when you need to refrigerate before you unmold the the ingredient out of the silicone mold.

For use with melting chocolate , a proper tempering is needed, pour and tap to make sure air bubbles are out.

For use with isomalt crystals, cook isomalt at 338F make sure that the crystalline have dissolved and the liquid isomalt has reached right temperature for pouring at somewhere 275F-300F. Always take caution when dealing with hot sugar, always use gloves for protection against burns.

I hope this will spark up ideas for your upcoming projects. I'd like to thank Glenda and Decorate the Cake for coming up with such beautiful molds and the opportunity to play around with it.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Decorate the cake or email me at thelittlecakedecorator@thelittlecakepatch.com

Cakefully Yours!!
Joanne Wieneke

Products Used:
Bike Chain Mold
Mini Gears Mold
Sprocket Set of 9 Molds
Diamond Plate 1 - Texture Mat

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Homemade Crayons

I have been wondering what else we could use the molds to make.  How about some crayons!

First get all of your supplies collected.

  1. Crayons - I ran out on Black Friday and got a great deal on the 96 Crayola pack.  You don't need to buy new crayons - this is a great opportunity to recycle the broken nubbins in the bottom of your craft box. 
  2. Molds of your choice
  3. Knife 

Peel all of the paper off the crayons.  Then chop them into smaller pieces.  You can play with different size pieces to get different patterns in the finished crayon.  Pile up the crayons in the mold.  For the seahorse it took 3 whole crayons.  The koi fish took about 6 crayons.

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.  Place the molds in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the crayons melt.  After partially melted I added a few extra bits to make sure the mold was full when done.

When I removed the molds from the oven I used the back edge of the knife to slide the melted crayon from the edged into the cavity and clean it up a bit.

Let the crayons rest a bit until cool.  If you are a tad impatient you can pop them in the fridge to help them cool.

Once cool, gently pull the sides of the mold away from your new crayon to remove from the mold.

And there you have it!  Some great new crayons for the kids.


A couple close ups of the colorful creations.

 Used the metallic crayons for the seahorse.  Can you see the sparkles?

Close up of the seahorse face.  Very cute and I love the colors!

Added a sand dollar at the last minute.  

Remember if you use the molds for non food items they are not considered food grade after.  Keep these molds separate from the ones you are going to use for food.  I place a black "X on the back so I remember.

Products Used:
Seahorse Mold
Koi Mold
Sand Dollar Mold

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tiara and Tassels

The next project is a wonderfully detailed tutorial by Robin Pennington showing the tiara and tassel mold -- Thank you SO MUCH Robin for this project!

Supplies needed for the Tiara are: Fondant, Gum paste, or a mix of the two, cutting tools, rolling pin, mat or board for cutting, Isomalt or hard candies, and DTC Tiara mold.

To make jewels I started out by breaking a couple of Isomalt sticks in a silicone cup. Melt sticks in microwave in 15 sec intervals until melted. Stir gently with tooth pick to remove air bubbles.

Pour Isomalt into mold where jewels are located. I used both sides of mold to get all jewels. Set aside to harden. I did this step a day before I started fondant part of Tiara so Jewels could harden. I then removed them and set them aside.

For Tiara roll fondant out flat with rolling pin to desired size. Place on mold and add top part of mold. Press down top with moderate pressure.

Trim excess fondant around edges of mold. You can trim more off after you remove from mold to get a cleaner look.

You can also cut out parts of Tiara to give it that realistic look. This is optional and you can choose what parts you want to remove.

This gives you an idea of how it will look with parts removed.

To achieve the shape of a real tiara place standing up around a glass, bowl or in my case a fondant bucket. Let dry for several days until hard. When using straight fondant you should give it at least a week to set up. If you add tylose powder your tiara will be dry in a few hours. Gum paste and a 50/50 mix will also set up faster.

To get this look I painted the Tiara with petal dust mixed with alcohol and added the jewels by wetting the location of where the jewel will be placed and sticking Isomalt jewel to tiara.

If your wanting to achieve a tassel look to your pillow cakes the DTC tassel mold is quick and easy to give your cake a realistic look.

Supplies you will need include fondant, cutting tool, rolling pin, petal dust, and DTC tassel mold.

Place log shape fondant into mold.

Roll or press flat into mold.

Gently pull tassel from mold.

Trim off access fondant. leave plain or color with petal dust of food color. Add to cake with small dowels or tooth picks and a dab of frosting.

DTC Products Used:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Let it snow!

The supplies:

- Silicone snowflake mold
- Isomalt stick from Cake Play
- Hot pot for melting isomalt
- Silicone cupcake liner - I use it to melt the isomalt
- Some fun cake sprinkles
- Snowflake quins
- Blow torch - not in pic

First I broke up the isomalt stick and placed it in the silicone cup. Microwave in 15-20 second increments until all melted.

Sprinkle some of the red sugar and snowflake quins into the mold.  Carefully pinch the silicone cup - be gentle and cautious so that you do not spill the hot isomalt on your fingers.  Pour a steady stream into the mold.

Set mold aside for a bit to cool and firm up.

Once set and barely warm to the touch begin to gently pull the silicone away from the isomalt.

On this particular mold I was worried about the centers pulling through the isomalt so I gave it some help.

When removed from the mold there were tiny surface imperfections.  To fix this I got out my trusty blow torch and very quickly ran it over the surface.

 Let the snowflake sit and cool for a bit before touching.

One way to display the snowflake - loop a string through and let it hang.  Doesn't it sparkle?

You can use the melting pot - with a broken isomalt stick melted to dip the bottom of the snowflake....

Set the snowflake where you want it and hold still while it cools.

ooohhhh  shiny!

Products used:
Snowflake #2
Snowflake #1