Thursday, December 17, 2009

Evan's First Birthday

I was honored to make some cupcakes for an adorable baby named Evan's first birthday.

In the Korean culture, a child's first birthday (also called Dol) is a HUGE deal. A party is thrown with an atmosphere not too far off from a wedding reception. I think it may have something to do with the low survival rate of babies hundreds of years ago. A smaller celebration would happen after the 100th day of a baby's life. Once the baby hits the 1 year mark, the chances of survival is pretty high.

He and his parents attend my church and are HUGE fans of the Red Velvet Cupcakes I make (I ended up making Blue Velvet!). I usually use this brown cupcake liner that I get at this gourmet restaurant supply store in Culver City called Surfas (I think it's now called The Culinary District.. I'm not sure what's going on). When I went to restock, I accidentally grabbed the black cupcake liners. Doh! So I had to go with the standard white. But it just didn't match well for the elegant theme of the birthday.

I had this genius idea to make my own cupcake liners! I'd bake off the cupcakes in a plain white liner then put it in a handmade liner I'd make with colors to match the theme! Little did I realize that this is not news to a lot of people.

It took me a while to figure out the general pattern that would fit the cupcake but I got it. It still needs a bit of work but it worked pretty well.

This is the back of a 12x12 card stock paper. The front was a shimmery color.
I fit 6 of these patters.
The outer edge I cut with special scissors called Pinking Shears.
They're scissors with a design on the blade instead of a straight one.

To assemble, take a cupcake pan and adjust the paper so it fits inside one of the molds and tape the ends together with a clear tape (I think I used clear packaging tape because it's much stronger than regular tape.)

The mom, Becky, wanted some signs on the cupcakes as well. Here's the process for making them.

I've used toothpicks in the past for signs but when I was at Smart and Final shopping for supplies I found these hamburger picks.
It came in a 3 pack with 750 picks IN EACH BOX!
I only needed 80. They worked beautifully though. The flat picks were easier to work with than the round toothpicks.

For the front part of the sign I used a paper called vellum (8.5"x11"). It's a thick and transparent paper.
My secret on getting these perfect squares?? EXCEL baby. I love that program! It has so many uses.. I have no idea how I did without it for so long!

Here are the specifications I used to get 49, 1"x1.5" boxes (after trimming):
Column Width: 14
Row Height: 110
Font: Pristina
Margins: as small as you can get it!
Borders: Dotted, Gray

I cut the top and bottom with a regular scissor and the sides of it I create a pretty pattern with these scissors.

For the back I got a cardstock paper that was a lovely shade of blue and green that matched the theme and did the same with these specifications:

Column Width: 19.57
Row Height: 110
Font: No writing!
Margins: as small as you can get it!
Borders: Dotted, Gray

These you get 35, 1.5"x1.5" squares (trimmed).

Same cutting process then I glued the vellum on with two dots of tacky glue.

Same stuff I used to glue the sticks to the sign. A TIP when doing mass producing: Always do like actions all at the same time.

For example, gluing the sticks to the sign. Lay out all the sticks (or at least as many as you can before the glue starts to dry out), put the glue on all at once, then stick it on the sign all at once. This is how the pros work so fast! If they spent time doing each item all at once before moving on to the next it would take FOREVER!!!

After I put the sticks on I realized that there was this ugly clear dot where the glue had dried.

It bugged me so I put a dot of this glitter glue that I already had to make it look like a little bling.

Much better!

Turned out pretty well! The hand-made liners really do make a difference! I'm glad I did it... though it took me so long just to figure out the correct pattern!

Here's the family! So cute they all are...

This is my favorite picture.

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