I can't believe how quickly a month goes by. It's time for July's Inspiration Challenge which is "Home Decor". As soon as I finished June's challenge I went to Home Goods and snapped lots of pictures of things I thought I would like to decorate. After reviewing the pictures I kept going back to one plaque and I quickly decided that this was going to be my home decor challenge.
This design did pose some challenges for me. In the end I did not end up with the exact design I had envisioned but I sure do like the end results.
I'm going to run through how I got to the finished design.
First, I typed out the word beach in Gabriola font and printed it out. I also printed a picture of a bucket, a palm tree and a surf board and trimmed them (the surfboard is on card stock). I found a star cutter in a size that would work with the scale of this project. Then I taped the bucket and the palm tree where they needed to be for the design.
I trimmed around the image and then photocopied it onto card stock. The only reason I trimmed it before copying was because I was originally going to use this as my template but I decided card stock would be sturdier.
Once I had my trimmed image I put it on my dough and hand cut it with a knife. I don't have a lot of experience with hand cutting. I use Sugarbelle's sugar cookie recipe which doesn't require refrigeration but for the hand cutting I placed my rolled out dough in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm it up for peace of mind when cutting. You can see that the edges are not as crisp as when you use a cutter. I did not picture it but the surf boards were also hand cut.
After my cookies baked I did not decorate them until a day later so they could firm up a bit. I was worried about the palm tree section of the cookie breaking. In the meantime I made royal icing transfers. I found some shell images I liked online and printed them out. I then placed my printout on a baking sheet, covered it with parchment paper and used painters tape to hold it down.
I used icing that was thinner than piping but thicker than 20 second icing to make my transfers. Once they were dry I went back with the same consistency icing and piped details on them. I did not picture this step nor did I picture the step where I used luster dust and vodka to paint the transfers.
To decorate the cookies I printed out a fresh template on card stock and cut out each letter. I used these as guides to trace lines on my cookie with a blue food color writer. My inspiration to try this came from this post by Stephanie (Ellie's Bites Decorated Cookies).
Next, I outlined the cookies and allowed the outlines to dry before flooding.
The bucket was flooded in two steps for dimension. Once the cookie was dry I took my blue piping icing and glued my decorated star and surf board onto the cookie.
I added a stick to the "e" connecting it to the bucket. Finally, I used leaf green and chocolate brown AmeriColor gels with vodka to paint the bucket for an aged look. I pretty much dabbed all the color off on a paper towel and lightly added color to bucket.
I wanted to show you this picture so that you could see that my design was originally going to be 3-D but I ran into all kinds of problems. First one of my cookies broke on the palm tree which left me with two cookies left. Then after gluing the cookies onto the base cookie those broke off. I got all the way to outlining, flooding and sanding the base and I thought they were dry and I was starting to remove the excess sanding sugar and pow it fell off. At that point I just gave up on the 3-D idea. Thankfully I had pictured my cookie before the 3-D attempt. What you see in the final pic with the sanding sugar and shells on the plate was supposed to be the base of the cookie.
I hope you enjoyed looking at my challenge cookies and how I made them. I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with for this home decor challenge. Be sure to link your designs below. You can submit your designs through the end of July.
Please be sure to head over to Stephanie's page and see her challenge cookies.
Next month's challenge theme is "Staying Cool". How do you stay cool or what represents staying cool to you? A good theme considering we are setting some record temps across the country.