Cupcake Dreams

Cupcakes have just the right balance between fluffy, sweet frosting and cake. I’m not a big cake person, but cupcakes piled high with frosting are great in my book. Cupcakes also look pretty, so they look great regardless of whether they are edible or if they are faux cupcakes for decorating or wearing.

My cupcakes are sized according to their purpose, big ones for decorating and tiny ones for earrings. They’re all made from AMACO Cloud Clay which is light and yet very robust when dry.

You will need:

  • AMACO Cloud Clay in white and colors you can mix to make the colors you need. Or, buy a packet of white and color it with acrylic paints (think DecoArt Americana or Plaid FolkArt) or alcohol inks (think Ranger Adirondack Alcohol Inks).
  • Scissors
  • Non-stick work surface
  • Acrylic roller
  • Ranger Inkssentials Glossy Accents (optional)
  • Findings: headpins, jump rings, earring wires, cell phone charm attachment, key-ring attachment
  • Jewelry tools

Mix the white clay with the color. If you’re using colored clays, you only need the smallest bit of color to mix with the white to get dreamy pastels. If you’re using paint or ink, start with small amounts and add more if you need it. To mix the clay, add the colored clay, paint, or ink, and fold the colored bits into the white clay. Pull apart, fold over, and repeat. It only takes about 20 folds and pulls to mix the color; it’s simple to do.

Now shape your cupcake. For the big one, I used an individual silicone cupcake mold and filled it with the Cloud Clay (once the clay is a bit dry you can easily remove the mold to complete drying). For little cupcakes, just roll into a small cylinder and add dents around the edge by pressing the edge of a credit card into the clay. Set aside to dry a little while you mix the color for the icing.

For the big cupcake, I mixed a heap of colored Cloud Clay for the icing. Pull it into long strips and you’ll see it begins to take on a texture. I just placed one end on the cupcake base and started winding and building it up so it looks like piled-up icing.

For the little cupcakes, you need a much smaller amount of clay. Roll it into a long thin snake and curl it for the icing. Tuck the end of the clay back into the icing to finish.

Make a strawberry shape – basically a large teardrop – from red clay. As it dries, press small dents into it with a toothpick for its seeds. Add a small green leafy top and push it into the icing so it dries in place.

The tiny cupcakes just need a small ball of red clay and a green leaf if desired.

The large cupcake, when dry, is a fun decorative piece. The smaller ones can become cell phone charms and key-ring charms if you add the appropriate hardware. The teeny tiny ones are great earrings – I like to cover these mini cupcakes with a coat of Glossy Accents to protect them and give them a sheen.

by Helen Bradley (www.craftinggoodness.com)

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