The Violet Cake Shop™

Sharing inspirations for my designs and tips I've discovered along the way in my caking journey! <3

Vintage Happy Birthday Plaque – Mini Tutorial

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The life of a cake artist JUST got easier!  I’m going to tell you about a new product and anyone who does primarily celebration cakes, will know what I mean!!

This vintage style plaque was SO easy to create using this new system and I show you how I did it in a mini-tutorial at the end of the post.

Normally, just the birthday greeting alone would have taken me nearly half an hour.  You had to create all the letters one by one, which takes up time.  You had to let the paste dry a bit to get the cleanest edges, which takes up time.  You could only roll out small pieces of paste for a few letters at a time or else it would dry out, which takes up time.  You only had one ‘a’, one ‘p’ and one ‘y’ to work with in a typical letter set so you had to wait until the first set was done before doing it all again, which takes up time.  Ok, ok…you get the idea LOL!

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Well, I was asked last month by Marvelous Molds to test out a new product that they were launching called Flexabets™.  It’s a revolutionary new way to add lettering, names and messages to your decorated cakes or cakeboards that does not require working with stiff cutters, having to pick out your letters (unless you choose to) or waiting for your paste to dry so you can tap (more like SLAP!) them out.  You can now create letters and numbers using their patented silicone onlay molds!  These letters pop out easily, with barely any effort, and do not get ‘stuck’ in the onlay molds.

More good news.  For helping them test out the Flexabets™ and writing a blog post, they are offering 10% OFF to my readers and fans that purchase a set.  Just enter my exclusive code TVCSFLEXABET at checkout when you purchase from the Marvelous Molds site before March 13th.

Along with three styles of font (Calligraphy, Typewrite and Swirly), they also have four “Happy Birthday” style onlays which makes the most used greeting on celebration cakes, now an ease to add!  You can use the greetings on the tops or sides of your cake, on cakeboards and sheetcakes, or to create plaques or toppers like the one I show here.

Oh how I WISH they’d come out with these back when I was making like 3-4 cakes a weekend!  It would have saved me a TON of time and made the most dreaded part of any order just that much more bearable.

Here are samples from the Swirly set, which is my fave.  I heard though through the grapevine that new, yet unseen fonts may be in development too!

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And here is a FUN celebration style lettering that is available just in the “Happy Birthday” greeting.

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I cannot reiterate enough how versatile Flexabets are for adding messages, names, monograms and more to your cakes, toppers or cakeboard.  Now for the mini-tutorial on how I used the calligraphy font to make a Vintage Happy Birthday Plaque.  Hope you ENJOY!!

(Oh and I also made this tutorial into a quick video that I posted to my Facebook page but without any instructions because I am after all a video novice and hey, getting it on a video was already an accomplishment so forget about adding text right? haha!!)

 

~~

How to make a Vintage Happy Birthday Plaque – Mini-Tutorial:

Step 1:

vintage-plaque-flexabet-1

Roll out 50/50 gumpaste/fondant mix to approximately 1 mm thickness or just under 1/16 inch; if using a pasta roller, roll out to #2 thickness; you can also use fondant with tylose (or CMC) added, approximately 1 tsp per 1lb fondant

Step 2:

vintage-plaque-flexabet-2

Dust the Flexabet mold with a bit of corn starch; tap out excess against your palm or work surface; alternatively, you can brush shortening into the grooves of the letters – this is my preferred method as I find the corn starch sometimes allows the paste to shift too much when you are pressing it into the mold; you can also use a combo of the two which is what I’ve used here =D

Step 3:

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Lay your sheet of 50/50 paste over top of the onlay, good side down; use your palm to press the paste against the onlay along the entire design (not shown in pic); using your smoother, slowly press the paste further against the onlay, then press and twist the smoother against the bladed portions of the design; you will see the design start showing or cutting through – continue until all bladed edges are cleanly cut through the paste

Step 4:

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Slowly remove excess paste; start on one side and slowly, gently bend and pull the excess paste towards you, not upward

Step 5:

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You will be left with just the letters in the onlay mold, along with their centres; use a sharp pointed tool to pick out the centres of the letters that have been left behind

Step 6:

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The cleaned up Happy Birthday message still in the mold

Step 7:

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Roll out some white 50/50 gumpaste/fondant mix to 1 mm thickness or 1/16 inch, or whatever colour you’d like; again, you can use fondant with tylose (CMC) added instead, approximately 1 tsp tylose to 1 lb fondant; roll large enough to fit the Happy Birthday message; you can place your onlay on top (with paste still in the mold) to check

Step 8:

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Brush the back of the letters with a small amount of water or edible glue; make sure to cover every surface; I prefer to use water but with some fondant brands, just water can sometimes end up making the paste too slippery so if needed, use a tackier edible glue

Step 9:

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Lay your message over top of the paste you just rolled out, glue side down

Step 10:

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Use the heel of your hand to press the design down onto the sheet of paste; make sure to press down on all parts of the design; next, go over every section of the design again with you fingers, rubbing against the letters in a circular motion; wait a few seconds (approximately 10-15) before peeling away the onlay; TIP: peel (don’t lift) the onlay, slowly and gently, again bending it away from the gumpaste/fondant sheet, not upward

Step 11:

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Message after removing the onlay; if letters have shifted, just nudge them back into place with a thin tool

Step 12:

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Create the frame for your plaque using any scroll or lace mold; create enough to fit nicely around the message; for deeper molds like this one, (which is the Kelly mold also by Marvelous Molds) I still prefer to use 50/50 gumpaste/fondant mix – I find it sets the shape better so it does not stretch out when you unmold it; again I prefer to use shortening in the grooves of the design to prevent sticking, but you can use corn starch – up to you which method works best for you =D

Step 13:

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Arrange the frame and cut away the excess paste around the message before securing the frame pieces with water or edible glue

Step 14:

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Adorn your plaque with some blossoms for that vintage look!

Happy Caking Y’ALL!! =D

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Author: The Violet Cake Shop™

Hi, I'm Violet, currently a full-time stay-at-home mom of two and part-time cake designer/decorator! I first discovered my love for cake art in early 2008 when researching how to make a cake for my husband's milestone birthday. I consider myself "internet or community taught" having found and learned as much as I could from the many helpful sites, blogs, YouTube videos, tutorials around the net, where people were willing to share their craft. I used every family occasion to practice after that and soon, friends and family were asking me to make their cakes and I have been busy creating cakes part-time ever since. I took an extended break after the birth of my daughter, to spend time more quality time with the kids. I now spend my time creating one-of-kind pieces for special projects and personal occasions, taking the odd order here and there. I currently maintain a popular Facebook page, Twitter and Pinterest accounts and this blog where I share my insights, tips and free tutorials as well as any new creations. I have had the honour of being part of several special Facebook cake community collaborations, with more to come. My cakes have been featured in print in Edible Artists Network and American Cake Decorating Magazines in the US; in Cake Masters, Cake Craft Guide's Party Cakes and Cake Craft Guide's Wedding Cakes & Sugar Flowers Magazines in the UK; and in Australia's Sweet Magazine. I've also been featured online as 'Edible Art of The Day' at Edible Artists Network's blog, as Satin Ice's Cake of the Month for January 2015, and in online magazines or blogs such as Cake Wrecks' Sunday Sweets, the Craftsy Blog, 'The Cake of the Week' on FB, Pretty Witty Cakes' online Magazine, American Cake Decorating's Blog, Satin Ice Showcases, Australian Cake Decorating Network's online Cake Magazine (Joomag) and in Cake Geek Magazine. I've recently begun teaching via online video tutorials having filmed for Pretty Witty Cakes in the UK and Craftsy in the US. I am also a proud member of the Satin Ice Artists of Excellence team. I am constantly inspired by all things around me, particularly fashion, geometric prints, home décor trends and of course, other sugar artists!

2 thoughts on “Vintage Happy Birthday Plaque – Mini Tutorial

  1. I saw these at the Austin cake show and didn’t have time to wait and talk with Dominic. Can these be unmolded individually or do they need to be unmolded onto something that they can stick to (fondant plaque)? I really like them, but didn’t know if they would work for my designs. Thanks!

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    • Hi there…Yes, definitely! You can unmold the letters and numbers and apply them to your design individually (apply water or glue to the back of each letter) if you need to spell out a name or custom message. That is the purpose of the alphabet and number molds :).

      The Happy Birthday ones on the other hand are meant to be applied to your designs directly.

      Like

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