Friday, 4 April 2014

Things to do with a cupcake wrap No. 1 Texture Stamp

Despite appearances, I'm not a massive fan of cupcakes. But these pretty wraps were on offer in the supermarket after Easter, and they were too good to pass up! Some ideas immediately came to mind ...

Rough & ready texture stamp

What you need:

A pack of laser cut cupcake wraps with a fairly open pattern
2-part silicone moulding putty

First, clear a bit of space on your worksurface. I used a silicone product called Hiflex for this, which just happens to be food safe (you can use it for moulding chocolate and sugar decorations and the like), but if using one of the others, I'd recommend you work on a tile rather than your kitchen counter, just in case.

Now, depending on how deep you want your texture, you can either separate out the cupcake wraps or leave them stacked; I used the stack of 6 and left the end in the pack to help stop them shifting during the moulding process ... if I'd been a little less impatient I might have used a stapler to hold them firm. Lay them flat on your surface.

Working quickly, mix up some moulding putty according to the instructions on the pack. Flatten it a little in your hands and drape it quickly and evenly over the stack of cupcake wraps. Again, quickly - because this stuff sets fast - apply even pressure over the surface to ensure the putty reaches all the nooks and crannies. Now leave it alone, and - WAIT. It's best to give the putty the full amount of curing time indicated in the instructions, because some of it will probably have latched onto the minute indentations between the paper sheets, and tiny bits of the design could break off if you peek underneath too soon.... wait some more ... remove nosy cat from worksurface ........... remove nosy cat from worksurface again

.... When you're sure the putty is fully cured (test it by gently poking the tip of a fingernail into the upper surface; if it springs back without leaving a mark, and the putty has a rubbery feel, it's done), carefully lift the edges first, and gently separate it away, holding the wraps down flat as you go. If you're careful, the paper wraps will still be virtually unmarked, and you have a lovely stamp or sheet of texture to use for polymer clay, or anything else you like!   Trim the texture sheet if you like tidy edges.


If you don't have moulding putty, you could still make a texture stamp with scrap clay, or try pressing the wraps directly onto your clay. But this way you get to keep them intact to use another time; plus the moulding putty makes a flexible sheet. Some types are more flexible than others; the one I used sets a bit firmer than some, which I think is better for texture ... but any sort will work fine.

The straight sides of the cut paper make for a very crisp impression. Cupcake wraps are easy to find and inexpensive, but there are lots of other lasercut card and paper items to experiment with: doilies, favour boxes, gift cards, stationery ...

As ever, I was impatient, and I made a small, rough-and-ready texture stamp, which is fine for me. If you're a perfectionist, or want a bigger sheet, you could theoretically lay two or more repeats of cupcake wraps adjacent to each other, make a shallow frame to contain the much larger amount of moulding putty you will need, and use your acrylic roller to roll the putty over the wraps, making a tidier and more professional-looking job.

Finally, having hopefully retained your pack of cupcake wraps reasonably intact, it's probably not a good idea to use these particular ones for cupcakes now, but there are some other things to try ... more later!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014