Friday, October 29, 2010

DIY Cupcake Carrier

Yet another great idea from Amy Bakes Cupcakes!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Alien from Toy Story Cupcakes

The green aliens are my favorite Toy Story characters so they had to be included in the party. I found this idea online through Disney. If you go to the link you will find detailed instructions on how they made theirs. Mine were similar with a few differences. I used fondant to make the eyes and poked black licorice into the balls for pupils. The aliens had two mouths, one being black fondant and the other being black licorice. The antennae were made from sour straw candy, cut into 2" pieces and topped with a green cake decoration (buttercream was the glue). The ears were made from rolls of sour green candy that I found at a gas station, of all places. (This was by far, the hardest ingredient to track down. I went to candy stores, pharmacies, etc. and almost jumped out of my skin when I found the strips at the gas station by accident.)

I assembled all of the pieces, a day in advance. The pieces were stored in plastic containers. The cupcakes were vanilla with vanilla buttercream. I frosted the cupcakes and then added the parts that had already been assembled.

Hamm Cupcakes

The piggy bank, named Hamm, from Toy Story was my inspiration for these easy cupcakes. They would also work well for a barn-themed party. The idea came from Hubpages. The original cupcake used marshmallows for the snout. I used fondant. Either would work just fine. The ears were made by cutting pink wafer cookies into triangles. The eyes were chocolate chips. The mouth was a strip of licorice.

Assemble all the parts in advance and store in parchment lined containers. The cupcakes were vanilla with vanilla buttercream. But strawberry would also be grand.

Mr. Potato Head Cupcakes

This is one of several cupcakes I made for Milo's Toy Story Party. We made all of the parts, a day in advance with fondant that we dyed and rolled. My five year old helped me make the mustaches, noses and eyes. The body was cut with a small oval cookie cutter. The eyes were white fondant with pieces of black licorice for the pupils. The lips were red licorice, but I also made some with red fondant and they looked great. We made all of the parts assembly-line style and stored them in tupperware containers lined with parchment. We also used the parchment to separate the layers. Then we covered them until we were ready to decorate.

The cupcake was chocolate with chocolate cream cheese buttercream. I used a pastry bag, fitted with a small tip and filled with the buttercream to act as the glue to connect the parts. If you are doing this, make sure to use the least amount of "glue" as possible.

I also had my daughter help me put the faces together by giving her all of the pieces on a plate with a frosted cupcake. It was really quite easy.

Jessie's Hat Cupcakes

My daughter is in love with Jessie from Toy Story. She is going to be her for Halloween, in fact. She also happens to be allergic to wheat so I made these especially for her to enjoy at our Toy Story party. The original idea came from Disney Family's website and were done as an adorable sugar cookie.

Our version was made from a gluten and wheat free cupcake frosted with vanilla buttercream. The top of the hat was half of a large red gum drop. The stitches of the hat were made of white buttercream, which I reserved before dying the rest of it red.

Etsy: How do I love, thee? Let me count the ways!

If you do not yet know about Etsy, you really should check it out. It is the most fabulous website in the history of the internet, where artisans and craft people peddle their wares. You can find almost anything from artwork to toys and clothing. The prices are generally quite fair and most items arrive on your doorstop, lickety split. When I was planning my son's Toy Story-themed party, I went to their site to see what fun things they might have. And boy, did I hit gold. I found so much for the party including the invitation, the favor bags, a shirt for my son to wear and labels to put on the water bottles.

The invitation was one of the coolest things we have done for a party. Usually, I make the invitations for days in advance. And often, they end up being quite expensive after I buy all of the ingredients. I ordered these and the designer entered all of our personal details. Then he sent them to me via a pdf which I took to Kinkos and printed out myself on a self-help machine. The grand total for everything was around $25 and that covered 30 invitations! Here is the invite that we purchased...

I thought it would be a fun way to get the kids to drink more water since we were having a party at a Jr. gym so I bought this label from InviteDelightToo which arrived as a pdf. I printed them out at home and adhered them to water bottles from Costco...

MadeCuteJust4U made the shirt, which we personalized for my son...

Jettabees made the favor bags for me...

There are tons of other fun things to check out on Etsy. This is just what we used. And there is a full spectrum of party themes. Your party guests will be impressed and you will not have to do ALL of the work yourself!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monster Cupcakes & Halloween Fun

Every year, my daughter's original baby group gets together for a Halloween costume party. The kids are now five and a couple of siblings have joined the group. It is an event that I look forward to for months. We hosted the party at our house yesterday and had a lot of fun making goodies and decorating. The cupcakes were decorated with all kinds of candy. I just filled up several bowls with all kinds of shapes, sizes and colors. We also cut up some licorice strands. I frosted the cupcakes and handed them off to my decorating crew (Ella, 5; Milo, 3; and Gabe, if I revealed his age he might kill me). Milo's cupcakes looked less like monsters and more like giant mounds of candy corns. Ella's were the most elaborate and she had a story about each of them. This would also be a really great activity if you are looking for a Halloween party activity. Just pre-frost the cupcakes and let the kids go to town. Just be prepared for sticky fingers!

Veggies can be fun! We got this idea from a magazine and it was a hit.

Carmel apples (a classic) & Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

The spread. The candy corn seemed to disappear before our very eyes!

My husband and kids helped me decorate these scary beasts.

As it turns out, kids like candy. Even the monsters knew they were in trouble!