Monday, May 9, 2011
For reasons I can't even begin to explain, I was suckered into attending a Kentucky Derby party and dressing the part. That means that not only did I go out in public wearing a dress (egads!) but I also wore a goofy hat along with it. I got my inspiration from this dessert-themed hat, which I saw in a series of photos from a hoity-toity British event:
Of course, I had to put my own spin on it so turned it into a cupcake hat. Much more appropriate since I'm known for my cupcakes. As much as I wish I could have mastered the cascading cupcake effect I had to be realistic and did what I could with my limited crafting skills and budget. I picked up a ridiculously large hat from a thrift store and set about turning the center into a giant cupcake. I wish I could have come up with a better idea for how to do this as I'm not entirely sure it's recognizable as a cupcake but I figured my second element would help tie it together. I'm kind of embarrassed by how badly that bit turned out.
Anyway, I am proud of how my cupfakes lining the brim turned out. I loosely followed this tutorial but because I needed to be able to wear these cupcakes had to come up with a lighter solution for the "cake" portion since theirs calls for plaster of Paris. While not the prettiest, I wound up cutting up some giant sponges bought at Family Dollar into circular pieces to help fill out the bottom of each cupcake. Sorry there's no picture of this step but given the way I hacked at the sponge with my dull scissors the result was not attractive. Which doesn't really matter once it's covered with the styrofoam balls and "frosting" in the form of lightweight spackle.
By far, my favorite part of the process was chopping some 3" styrofoam balls in half and painting around the edges of each one to make it resemble cake. I found that Jo Ann Fabrics' brand of acrylic paint in ivory was the perfect match for yellow cake. At this point I wasn't sure if I should continue turning them into cupcakes or make tawny-haired Prince William dolls.
After hot gluing my mangled sponge pieces to the bottom of the paper cupcake liners I stuck each painted and dried styrofoam piece onto a toothpick, added hot glue to the bottom of each for good measure, and stuck them into the middle of the sponge.
The other fun part of the project came when piping some lightweight spackle on top with my usual 1M piping tip to create those swirls. I did this in three batches so I could have an array of colors, making sure to wash all of my tools immediately so the spackle didn't set. I simply added some acrylic paint to a bowl, scooped in some spackle, and stirred quickly before putting it into a piping bag and piping just as I would onto a real cupcake. I wish I'd had more shiny things on hand to use as fake sprinkles but I used what I had, some small sparkly beads. On the blue ones I made the mistake of trying to sprinkle some edible sparkle powder on top, but it didn't really sprinkle so much as land in giant blogs that kind of melted. Not very attractive but I didn't have enough spackle left for a do over. We'll just pretend that polka dot cupcakes are en vogue.
I wound up tying for first place with my creation so all of my hard work paid off. And now I have a ridiculous item that I don't even have the room to store in my house. Something I'm sure many of you crafters out there can relate to.