Hello everyone! I love getting ready for xmas and now that uni is finished I've had lots of time to think about what to get everyone. My gift pile is getting surprisingly, or should I say satisfyingly, tall, but my cash flow is low and EJ shouldn't have to pay for my extravagance. But there are other people who I love and who I want to give a little gift, and so I decided to go handmade and save some money but keep the extravagance high. These bouquets came in at just over $5 each.
I've just finished making my very first Cake-Pop bouquet and I was so excited that I decided to put together a tutorial detailing how to make your own!
I got the idea for this project from a chocolate bar bouquet that my Aunt gave to my Dad one birthday - it used the same concept, but with chocolate bars on skewers. You could use lollypops or anything you want, but doing it all handmade is absolutely delightful.
Note: I don't explain how to make the cake-pops in this tutorial. There's already a great recipe for them from Bakerella right here. You can make them from any kind of cake, thought I wouldn't go for a mudcake since you add frosting into it. I didn't use candy melts for the coating since I couldn't find them in the supermarket, but who doesn't love white chocolate instead? Mmm...
(Also, to any curious WiiR3D followers, sorry for the distraction - I didn't want to take down the WiiR3D site just to post my own bits and pieces, so I just added it in sneakily.)
Tools & Materials
Let's get down to business! The first part of the tutorial will explain how to make the containers from yarn inner tubes (or as they're better known in my family, 'doo-do-doos'). You know, when you finish a ball of yarn you're sometimes left with one. If you are using a premade container, then just follow the bits you need. (Heh, I guess you could've figured that part out yourself, eh?) Anyway, each set of four images is explained in the text below it. Enjoy. :)
So, take as many yarn inner tubes as you need. I'm using lots because there's plenty left over after my last crochet project. Reduce, reuse, recycle, woohoo!
Trace around them on your spare cardboard and cut our the circles. These will be the bottoms of the comtainers.
Get your paint out. I'm using Jo Sonja's brand acrylic just because it was a bargain at $4 per tube and my local art shop. You can use whatever paint you want, though watercolour might wash away when people drool over your delicious goodies.
Prepare your workspace by laying down newspaper, wetting your brush, getting your water ready, etc.
Paint your tubes! Wait for them to be dry to the touch and then give them a second coat.
You don't need to paint the whole inside, but make sure you paint over one edge a bit as pictured, so that if the top is uneven you won't see any unpainted areas. Leave them to dry.
Whip out your florist foam. It's used to arrange flowers, and I was told you can get it at florists and craft stores, so I went to Spotlight, the evil giant that has put all the other nice craft shops out of business in my area. I got this 23 x 11 x 8 cm block (good to fill at least five of my containers) for only $2.50.
This stuff is great because it squashes really easily. So, take your tube and position it is the most space-conscious way you can. I'm using one of the many extra tubes I have around, but you can use your painted one as long as it's dry, just dust off the outside after you're done. Also, you can press together two pieces of foam to make a chunk big enough to fill your tube like I have in the final image above. It'll be compressed when you're finished so there's nothing to worry about. If you want to prevent it from slipping apart you could put a bit of PVA glue in between.
Press straight down and your tube will slice through the foam like a hot knife through crunchy-sounding butter.
The foam block was actually a little taller that my tube, so I used another tube positioned directly on top of it to push it the rest of the way through. I ended up with a foam cylinder a little longer than I needed.
To fix this I used my ruler to slice through the excess foam.
Now the foam is the exact size I want it. Don't worry if it's a little rough around the edges, that's fine, you won't see it. Push the foam gently out of the tube.
Get one of your painted tubes and make sure the painted edge is facing your work surface.
Get one of your fabric scraps and place it centred over the tube, good side facing down.
Take your foam cylinder and place it on top, shifting it until you've made it fit again.
Press the foam back inside using the palm of your hand to keep it even.
Trim any extra edges or corners of the fabric that might be sticking out.
Now you have a pretty, smooth fabric surface covering that ugly green foam.
Take one of the cardboard circles that you cut out earlier and add some PVA glue, brushing it around and making sure you cover the edges well.
Position the circle over the bottom end of the tube - not the one with the fabric!
Press down for a little while until the glue takes so that the circle doesn't curl away from the tube. Leave it a while and wait until the glue is dry.
Paint the bottom. It doesn't need two coats, people will rarely be looking at it!
Go over the edge and make sure you get paint in the little skinny gaps between the tube and the cardboard circle.
Don't worry, the paint dries to look like one even layer. :)
Heat up your hot glue gun (if you haven't got one, PVA will work, but you'll have to be a bit more patient).
Measure the lace around the cylinder and cut to size.
Cut ribbon to size matching the lace.
Whip out any other embellishments you may desire. I got these pretty stick on jewels at evil Spotlight for $2.50 (there were 15 in the pack originally, I've just used 12 of them already).
Glue the lace down using minimum glue.
Trim the lace carefully.
You can press the ribbon onto the glue for the lace if you're quick. If not, use more glue.
Stick down the other end of the ribbon. Trim.
Add a dot of hot glue to the back of the gems.
Affix them over the seam of the lace and ribbon.
Make a pretty pattern.
Use the sharp end of a skewer to stab through the fabric in the pattern you want to have your cake-pops. If you need to, snip the holes a little bigger to make it easier when you insert your cake-pops.
Measure the circumference of your cake-pops. Add at least 4cm to this measurement and cut squares with this side length. My cellophane squares were about 16cm long.
Centre your cake-pop on the cellophane square and then wrap it up like a lovely little lollypop.
Tie off using cord or tape.
And there you have it, a beautifully packaged cake-pop!
Insert your covered cake-pops through the holes you made. The florist foam will hold them steady even though they are top-heavy.
Add any other flourishes you desire.
I used pretty feather tufts that I got from evil Spotlight on special for $2 each since the race season has just passed.
Isn't it lovely? I couldn't resist taking some more pictures because I am so inordinately proud of myself.
There you have it! A gorgeous and cost-effective gift. Let's see if I can calculate my approximate cost per bouquet.
What a bargain and a lovely gift. I hope you've found this tutorial helpful and I hope that your loved ones like thier xmas prezzies. If you have any questions or comments, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Love and kisses!