Birthdays Make Me Crafty

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while then you already know how I feel about birthdays. To sum up for the new kids: I like them a lot. (example, example, example)

I had a string of birthdays recently, and it brought out the craftier side of me that apparently had been napping for the past couple of months. I love a good craft project so I sort of ran with it. It started with my gal L’s birthday. I had planned a specific project for her birthday since it was a milestone year and I was going to visit her in San Fran (read about it here). My plan was to make a scrapbook of her birthday weekend. I prepped the book prior to leaving for the trip and the plan was that I would run to the store, print out the pics, glue’em in (I brought some supplies with me) and I would give it to the birthday girl just before we all left. It was a flawed plan. We were jamming in super fun activities until the moment we left for the airport. So I had to finish it when I got home and mail it instead.

A book to remember our magical weekend gallivanting all over San Fran together and celebrating birthdays.

A book to remember our magical weekend gallivanting all over San Fran together and celebrating birthdays.

Not too long after that came two back to back birthdays. First was one of my best buds C. Second came my co-worker R. I attempted to try something cool for C that I had seen on the internet, and Pinterest, a millions times. An ombre layer cake in a mason jar. All I can say about this endeavor is that it was horrible lol. EPIC PINTEREST FAIL.

UGH...started off decently with the ombre cupcakes. But look at this shizzzz. HORRIBLE.

UGH…started off decently with the ombre cupcakes. But look at this shizzzz. HORRIBLE.

Ugh. Just looking at the picture annoys me. I couldn’t possibly give this monstrosity to C. It ended up in a mushed pile on my counter that was later eaten by my roommate.

I ended up admitting defeat on the whole ombre thing and making a mason jar cake instead. I filled it with some nutella as an added perk. To make it extra special (and because I turned into an unstoppable craft machine for like 2 weeks) I printed out tiny pics of us from our years of friendship and made a little photo-tree topper for the cake.

Apparently we are incapable of making attractive faces.

Apparently we are incapable of making attractive faces.

As you know, I love a good theme. As it happens, my coworker R shares my love of Doctor Who…so it struck me with the idea of making her some Doctor Who cupcakes for her special day. Basically it gave me an excuse to craft and indulge my nerdiness.

The Doctor Who Gang

The Doctor Who Gang

I printed small pictures of each of major characters from the new reboot of the series, including a 3D Tardis so that I could use them as cupcake toppers.

I used my awesome little cupcake screw thingy and filled them with some Tardis blue buttercream icing (recipe from my Gram…thanks Gram).

I got this little tool from some weird Chinese overstock website I found 2 Christmases ago

I got this little tool from some weird Chinese overstock website I found 2 Christmases ago. Icing piped in with my super sophisticated ziplock bag.

Vanilla and Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting and blue buttercream filling

Vanilla and Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting and blue buttercream filling

All in all, the birthday crafting went over really well. Everyone seemed pretty pleased with their birthday surprises.

Also, if you’re interested in making the white cake the recipe is super simple:

-1.5 c flour
-1 c sugar
-2 eggs
-1/2 c milk
-1 3/4 tsp baking powder
-vanilla

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Add everything else. Bake for 20-30 mins at 350.

 

DIY Picture Candle Holders

So for some reason I’ve been sitting on this post for MONTHS. I’m not certain why I haven’t gotten around to putting the whole experience into words…that I would then share with all of you.

I saw this project on a few different blogs and thought it would be cool to try out. But the specific site I used is here. It happened to coincide with my friend’s wedding so I thought I would include it as part of her wedding present. Like a true creeper I stalked her Facebook photos for engagement pictures that I could transfer onto these cool glasses/candle holders that I grabbed from the dollar store.

I did this project a second time as a Father’s Day gift for my dad. I’m just going to include pictures from both to illustrate how it came out.

You start by gathering your materials. You need a printout (from an laser printer, inkjet won’t work!) of the photo you want to transfer, A candle holder/glass you want to transfer to, scissors, and clear contact paper.

 

You want to cut out the picture/s you want and put it picture side down onto the contact paper. Then cut the contact paper so it matches the picture. Take a Popsicle stick or credit card and rub the image. You want to tranfer the ink onto the contact paper. So rub firmly to get sharp detail and a solid transfer.

 

Then you want to soak the image for at least 7 mins in warm water. Be careful because the picture will roll, just make sure its under the water. Next comes the hard part. You have to slowly and carefully rub the paper off of the contact paper. Use your thumbs and rub the paper off. This part is tricky because you don’t want to rub too hard because you’ll rub the ink off. Get off all the paper (hold it up to the light to see areas that still have paper remnants on it. You can hold it under the warm water to help get some trouble spots out.

Then you want to let it dry. Once its dry/as its drying you’ll see any paper still remaining. You can re-wet the area and rub the paper off. Once its dry the tackiness will return and you can attach it to you’re candle holder.

 

You can see from the pictures that my transfers weren’t perfect. I had a hard time getting the paper off the contact paper. But in general I was happy with the way they came out.