cake smash backdrop party decor

The Best DIY Unicorn Horn Headband Tutorial Around

DIY Unicorn Felt Party Horn



Are you throwing a unicorn birthday party? Or maybe a unicorn themed baby shower? ¬†Well, the one thing your party has to have are these DIY unicorn horns! Kids and adults will love wearing them. I know, since they were an epic success at my little lady’s first birthday party. They add just the perfect amount of whimsy to the party for adults and kids alike!

This project came together way faster than I thought, which is always a plus and not usually the case in my world. ūüôā So, without further ado, I give you my super easy, super quick plush unicorn horn tutorial!

First, I purchased a package of felt pieces that were 6×6 inches. I got a rainbow assortment pack, because the party is rainbow themed. Pick whatever colors will suit your party or costume needs. The key to using a 6×6 pre-cut piece of felt is it makes ¬†the perfect size horn. If you wanted to make mini horns I would suggest using 4×4 inches. Those can also be ¬†purchased pre-cut!

Start by taking one felt square and fold it in half.

Comprehensive DIY Unicorn Horn Headband Tutorial

Now, you want to start at the top of the felt near the fold (about 1/4 in away from the fold)  and cut toward the bottom outer corner of the felt.  Make sure to save the scraps (on the right in the picture below) as we will need those later to finish up the project.

If you were to unfold your felt now it would be a triangle (with a flat top) and look like this:

The triangle is great, but to get the perfect look for our horn, we want to round those bottom edges. So, fold your felt back in half and cut a slight curve  on the outside edge of the felt. It should look something like this:

OK, so that wasn’t hard at all, but if you want to make it really easy, sign up for my newsletter at the end of this post and you will receive the PDF pattern for the unicorn horn headband FREE! The pattern is scaled for using felt pieces that are 6 inches by 6 inches. You can always scale the pattern when you print to fit the size you need.

If you do opt to use the PDF pattern, all you do is cut the pattern out and then trace it onto your felt. Don’t worry if your lines are there after you cut it.¬†You won’t see them ¬†once the unicorn horn is finished ūüôā



 

Alright, now the fun really starts. Get out that hot glue gun and glue the two long edges together. Be careful!! I may have burned my fingertips off doing this step! I find it easiest to start at the top of the horn and work my way down as I glue it. That way I get a nice point on top. See how nice an pointy it is? Perfect! What a beautiful unicorn horn this will be!

 

I made these horns in assembly line mode, so here is a shot of all of my hollow unicorn horns after the glue step!

Next, take some fiber fill, I picked mine up at Walmart, and stuff each horn. This is no time to be stingy! Use lots of stuffing! Lots and lots! And then add a little bit more ūüôā

OK, now do you remember those scraps I told you to save? Well, its time to use them! Take a piece of felt the same color as your horn and cut out a circle-ish shape (doesn’t need to be perfect) the same size as the opening of the bottom of the unicorn horn. Set your circle aside for now.

unicorn horn

The horns are now ready for a little sculpting.  I used embroidery floss (mainly because I already had it at home), but you could use any heavy duty thread you would like. I, personally, like to use contrasting thread, but you can also match your thread to your horn if you prefer it to blend in. Start at the top of the unicorn horn and work your way down wrapping the thread around the horn at an angle. I secured the thread by making a stitch at the glue seam each time around the horn.  Keep tension on the thread to get that definition look. The more tension the more definition the horn will have.

Once you reach the bottom of the horn, adjust the tension of your thread along the horn to the desired tightness. Make a stitch at the very edge of the horn and start sewing the felt circle to the bottom of the unicorn horn. You will have to squish in the stuffing as you are doing this step. Sew around the bottom of the entire horn and tie off your thread.

You could stop here, but I thought these horns needed a little more pizzazz. So, I decided to use some colored feathers that I picked up from Michael’s to give each unicorn horn a little tuft of hair. I just hot glued the feather to the bottom of the horn. Easy peasie!

The final step is to cut a piece of elastic the desired length. I hot glue the two ends together and then hot glue that to the bottom of the horn!

Here is a great reference chart for the length of elastic needed for a headband based on age.

Now we have some beautiful unicorn horn party hats! I can’t wait till party day to see everyone wearing these. I think they could not have come out cuter!

unicorn horn

Ok, so to make this project super simple, make sure to sign up below to gain access to the unicorn horn  pattern. You will also gain access to all my freebies in the Secret Liar. New freebies will be added monthly, and sometimes even more often than that. Make sure you check the Secret Liar often for new member only exclusive content!



For the birthday girl, I did add a little extra to her horn. I purchased this floral headband on amazon. I just hot glued the horn into the middle of this headband and my little miss had a rainbow crown of roses to wear with her unicorn horn.

unicorn horn

 It was the cutest little unicorn horn headband ever. Just like her!

Unicorn horn headband party supply DIY tutorial

 

Make sure to share with me if you tackle this project! I would love to see how your unicorn headbands turned out!

 

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cake smash backdrop party decor

Unicorn Cupcakes Done Right – Chic & Easy

unicorn cupcakes easy diy

Are you looking for unicorn cupcake ideas? Well, I have one I would love to share with you! My daughter, little miss, just turned one year old and I threw her an epic unicorn theme birthday party! If you hang around the blog long, you will learn, when I say epic, I MEAN EPIC!

This post is one in my DIY series “How to Throw Your Own Epic Unicorn Party”. Oh, and since it’s mainly DIY it is so much more economical than purchasing everything! For today’s edition we are going to chat about making unicorn cupcakes. YUM! YUM!

Prepare Fondant Cupcake Accents

Before we do any baking, you are going to want to jump over to my DIY Unicorn Cake Decorating Tutorial and follow the instructions to make unicorn horns  and ears for your cupcakes. Remember to make one horn for every cupcake. Also, instead of a skewer, use a toothpick to support the unicorn horn. You will see what I am talking about when you look at the tutorial. The fondant horn preparation can be done a few days in advance to when you make your cupcakes. In fact, I recommend that!

Decorating Your Unicorn Cupcakes

On cupcake day, the first thing you need to do is whip up a batch of your favorite cupcakes. A family recipe, straight outta the box…it doesn’t matter. However you roll to get cupcakes baked, just do it! Once your cupcakes are baked and cooled we ¬†start the fun part: decorating. Oh, and here is today’s¬†random fact. See that pig cutting board in the picture below…my daddy made me that! Pretty crafty dad I have there! I love that pig if you can’t tell! Mainly because he made it. ūüôā

unicorn cupcakes easy diy

Cupcakes baked. Check. OK, so next, whip up a batch of buttercream frosting.¬† While ¬†I’ve got frosting ion my mind here is a little frosting tip for you: Add a jar of marshmallow fluff to your buttercream recipe. It makes it taste so yummy! My¬†DIY Unicorn Cake Decorating Tutorial¬†also has a great link for a super buttercream frosting recipe if you are looking to try one out. Guess what, it uses marshmallow fluff!

So getting back to business, after preparing the frosting, add color to it, if desired. Personally, I decided to leave mine the  beautiful cream color that it is. It coordinates nicely with my chocolate cupcakes and golden horns.

Prepare your large pastry bag by putting an extra large star tip, I used the one from this cupcake decorating set, in and filling the bag with icing. Pipe a swirl of icing onto each cupcake. I let a little of the chocolate cake show through on the edges for a nice  color contrast.

unicorn cupcakes easy diy

Next, place all the unicorn horns in the cupcakes.Try to center them the best you can. After that,  place those cute little ears on the unicorn cupcakes.

Voila! These easy and chic unicorn cupcakes are ready to be eaten!

Additional Unicorn Cupcake Ideas

A few additional ideas I had, but ran out of time to do:

  1. Sprinkle the cupcakes with a bit of sanding sugar in a coordinating color to give them a magical glimmer or add some star shaped sprinkles. I love the gold star sprinkles!
  2. On pinterest, I also saw clear plastic wine glasses (the kind from the dollar store) filled with gummy bears, which were sorted by color and layered in the glasses, following the colors of the rainbow,  with a cupcake sat on top. This would be a fun way to display your final cupcakes. I actual displayed mine on the desert table using the DIY serving platters I made. They look delicious and the fact that there were none left confirmed that they were!

unicorn cupcakes easy diy

 

It is amazing what a magical creation your ¬†cupcakes can become with just a bit of frosting and a few easily made fondant accents! I look forward to seeing how yours turn out! As always, I would love to see, so don’t be shy. We love to share here at Paisley & Pugs! ¬†Also, if you ever have¬†questions or need help please reach out to me. I am always happy to help out my fans and love to hear from you!



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cake smash backdrop party decor

Unicorn Meringue Cookies AKA “Unicorn Poop”

 

Another cookie recipe! Yep, sure is! Really a meringue isn’t a cookie (at least in my book). Well it doesn’t taste like one to me. Cookie, not cookie…it just doesn’t matter! Whatever it is, I am going to teach you how to make the cutest and best tasting unicorn poop (unicorn meringue cookies) out there!

DIY unicorn meringue cookies recipe and tutorial

The recipe I used for these is my tried and true meringue recipe. It yields delicious, melt in your mouth cookies with a taste reminiscent of  toasted marshmallow. Scroll down to the bottom of this  post to whip it up!

Now, lets get on to how to make those meringues of yours look like unicorn poop. ūüôā

Once you have your meringue batter made (following your favorite recipe or test out mine) we need to add some unicorn colors  to it. Otherwise, they will just be plain old boring meringue cookies as opposed to these really awesome unicorn meringue cookies.

Take approximately 1/3 cup of batter and place in into a disposable plastic cup, or a glass one if you feel like doing dishes ūüôā I made 5 aliquots in separate cups. Set the rest of the batter aside. It will remain white.

Add the appropriate amount of food color to get your desired colors. I choose pastel rainbow colors, which matched beautifully with the rainbow unicorn theme of this epic first birthday party I was throwing for my daughter. Place each colored batter into a small pastry bag. Cut off the tip of each of the bags, making a small hole. The hole should be slightly smaller than a pencil eraser.

Once you have all your batter colored, prepare your pastry bag ¬†with the tip you want to use for piping the cookies. I used this star tip from Wilton and I LOVE LOVE LOVE how the cookie shape turned out! Take each of the colors and pipe a vertical line along the inside of the pastry bag. ¬†Start as close to the tip at the bottom as possible. Space the lines evenly around the inside of the bag. This gets a little messy and its hard to hold the pastry bag sometimes too. ¬†That is OK though, Don’t get frustrated. I did and thought that the cookies would be a hot mess (good news, they weren’t). It will all be worth it for these unicorn meringue cookies!

Now, after all your lines are piped, spoon in the rest of the meringue batter into the pastry bag. Try to place it into the center of the bag so it doesn’t pull down the batter on the edges of the bag. Once the bag is full, squeeze the batter all the way down to your tip. Sorry no pictures of getting the batter ready. I need more hands! ūüôā

A side note, I made solid colored cookies with all the colored batter left in the small pastry bags by just piping them onto the trays as well. We don’t want to waste the deliciousness!

Alright, now you are ready to pipe your  cookies. This is where the unicorn magic happens! Prepare a sheet pan by placing parchment paper on it. Pipe the cookies directly onto the paper. Mine were about 1 inch. I recommend that size for the perfect bite size treat. They are also the optimal size for baking. You can make them slightly larger if you want. Here are my cookies all ready to be popped into the oven for baking.

Bake your unicorn meringue cookies according to your recipe. Let them cool…that is the hardest part for me (almost as bad as watching paint dry, ya know?!) Once they are cooled, ENJOY!

Take a look at my freshly baked unicorn meringue cookies. DOUBLE YUM!

unicorn meringue cookie recipe and tutorial

I would love to see how your cookies turned out, so link ’em up in the comments. Or do you have a to-die-for meringue recipe? I would love to hear more about it!

Happy baking. And if you do try out my recipe (below) let me know how  you like that wonderful toasted marshmallow tasting cookie!

 

Unicorn Meringue Cookies a.k.a. Unicorn Poop


Ingredients

3 large egg whites (chilled)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
2/3 c sugar
dash salt

  1.      Preheat oven to 250 F.
  2.      Add egg whites, vanilla, salt, and cream of tartar to mixing bowl.
  3.      Beat on medium speed until frothy.
  4.      Add 1 tbsp of sugar at a time. Beat mixture on high after each addition.
  5.      Repeat until all sugar has been added.
  6.      Beat mixture until stiff peaks form. At least 5 to 7 minutes. Stiff peaks will be shiny in color.
  7.      Add desired coloring to mixture.
  8.      Place mixture into pastry bag and pipe onto parchment paper. Space each cookie an inch apart. Alternatively, use a teaspoon to drop mixture onto parchment paper.
  9.     Bake for 40 minutes.
  10.      Turn off oven. Do open door. Let meringues sit in oven to slowly cool for at least 2.5 hours.
  11.      Remove the cookies from paper and store in airtight container.

Yield of approximately 60 cookies 1 inch in size.

Just a note on this recipe. Some people will make it without the cream of tartar. For me, this is what makes it no fail. I have tried to omit it before and my cookies were not quite the right consistency after baking. As long as I always add cream of tartar and follow the above baking directions, I have had no problems.

Water is your enemy when making meringues. Make sure your bowls and beaters and completely dry prior to using. Any moisture will destroy your meringue consistency. (This is another common problem many people run into. Good thing I worked for my dad in a baker for years as a teen, so now I can share my wealth of baking knowledge with you!)

cake smash backdrop party decor

Why (and How) You Should DIY Backdrops for Party Decor

 

DIY backdrop scene setter photo booth for dessert table

Anyone knows that throwing a party gets expensive quick, Right?! I am sure I am preaching to the choir here. The decorations, the food, invitations, favor bags, and the list just goes on. I love to throw parties, but I also like to be cost effective when I do it, but I sure will not let style or the finished product suffer. This is why I am sharing my entire DIY Unicorn Theme Party Series. Many of these tips and tutorials can be applied to any party theme too! Sweet! Double bonus!

OK, so today, we are going to chat about backdrops. If you haven’t noticed, the new ‘it’ thing at parties are fancy dessert tables and photo booth stations. Both of these look amazing and honestly, really deserve a beautiful backdrop to set the scene perfectly and pull your party together.

It is important to think about the theme of the party and the mood that you want to convey. A few thoughts to keep in mind as you design your background:

  • What is my color scheme?
  • What scene is this backdrop setting?
  • How big is the area that you are covering with your scene setter?
  • How will I display the backdrop?

Once you have answered these questions it is time to set out on creating the scene setter. For my party, I had a few criteria that I just would not compromise on after I thought about the above questions.

  • I wanted my scene setter to be once continuous piece. This meant using fabric was not an option as I was covering an area that was 6ft x 8ft and would result in having to seam the fabric.
  • I wanted my scene to represent a nice inviting soft sky. I looked at options of tasseled party backdrops, but that wasn’t going to convey the image I desired for my dessert table. Although, I did decide to use them for the smash cake session (DIY Tutorial on that Coming Soon!)

Well, that really limited my options. So as Winnie the Pooh would say ” I sat down and I THUNK, THUNK, THUNK!” And then it came to me…well actually it came to me on one of the many wonderful family trips where my daughter and I are gleefully drug through Home Depot for what seems like no apparent reason for an eternity (did you sense a little sarcasm there?!) Yes, the mister loves to go to Home Depot.

Anyways, I totally digressed, as I was ‘joyfully’ walking around the store I found myself in the paint section staring at canvas tarps. Did you know that canvas tarps come in HUGE sizes? And are relatively inexpensive for the amount of fabric you get? And are essentially a blank canvas? Oh yeah, and are designed for paint? Yes, it was an epiphany. The angels sang, and I grabbed up a 6ft x 9ft tarp for 15.00 dollars and a can of sky blue spray paint for 3.99.

DIY back drop scene setter photo booth for dessert table

I was able to make my backdrop for under 20 bucks and it was going to be EXACTLY what I wanted. SCORE!

I was so excited, as soon as we got home, I set to work. Let me share how you would go about making a backdrop.

Easy Steps to DIY a Background or Scene Setter

The first step, which I skipped (and highly recommend NOT skipping) is to throw your new tarp in the dryer to get all the fold wrinkles out. If you are not doing a basic solid color backdrop then this is even more important!

Next, set up a painting area. Dry, dust free, well ventilated, and something on the floor under your tarp to catch the over spray. ¬†It doesn’t have to be pretty. As you can see in my photo below, I have some ugly black foam that has paint on it. Talk about silliness, that is usually what the tarp is for ūüôā

Spread the tarp out so that it lies flat. No matter what you are putting on your backdrop, you want to start with the overall prominent background color(s). For me, it was super simple, as I was just using sky blue.

DIY back drop scene setter photo booth for dessert table

 

Start at the top of the canvas and spray small areas about 2ft x 3ft. I worked across the top in this size section and once I completed a row I moved down to work on the next row.

DIY back drop scene setter photo booth for dessert table

I did not want even coverage because I was going for a soft whimsical sky for unicorns to flutter through. If you want full solid coverage you will need to do a few additional passes over each area.

Once the entire tarp is covered, allow it to dry for at least 2 hours. This was my stopping point because I was going to use it just like this, with some white puffy 3-D clouds hanging in front of it.

DIY back drop scene setter photo booth for dessert table

If you want a more elaborate scene setter¬†this is the time where you can go in with additional spray paint and add details or use acrylic paint and brushes. An example would be to spray the entire tarp, with 2/3 blue and 1/3 green (for step 1). Then go back and paint little flowers and cute woodland creatures in the green area and a sun and some fluttering butterflies and a few clouds in the blue area. This would be perfect for a spring photo booth backdrop or an Easter brunch table background. Really, the possibilities are endless… let your artistic skills and imagination lead the way!

Make sure once you have completed your design you allow the tarp to dry for at least 24 hours prior to mounting it. I mounted mine using rainbow glitter Duck Tape. I had planned to use it from the beginning. It does two things. It acts as a frame, helping to pull my whole dessert table area together, and it also holds my backdrop in place securely to the wall.

The key word is securely. You need to make sure you attach or hang your backdrop so it won’t fall down. The last thing you want to happen is for it to fall on your desserts and crush them. That would be sad after all your hard work. I am delighted with how mine turned out!

DIY back drop scene setter photo booth for dessert table

OK, so remember, making a backdrop is easy and not expensive. You need a tarp, some spray paint, acrylic paint (optional), and your creativity! The sky is the limit!

Now, its your turn. In the comments show me your DIY scene setters, backdrops, and photo booth stations. I can’t wait to see what everyone creates.

cake smash backdrop party decor

How to Easily Create Awesome (and Cheap) Dessert Platters and Cake Stands

diy party dessert platter cake stand tutorial

Have you ¬†gone shopping for a cake stand or dessert platter recently? Well, I did since lil miss was turning one…and I HAD TO HAVE A PARTY ūüôā because that is just how I roll. I scoped out Target, Walmart, and Amazon. You know what…not one had a dessert platter or cake stand for less than $15.00…and you can bet it sure did not match my d√©cor scheme. Oh and with that price, I couldn’t buy multiples either, which I would surely need for my dessert table plans I had in mind ūüôā That means I had some seriously big dessert plans!

This is where I took matters into my own hands. I came up with a way to make 5, yes 5, platters for a little more than 3 dollars each. And this was with buying cans of spray paint, which will last for many more projects to come. If I already had the paint at home, or if I actually calculated the price to make the platters based on the amount of paint I used from the can, the price to make each platter would be even lower! Oh yeah, and even better, these platters matched my décor and color scheme perfect..

Where to Buy the Most Economically Priced Materials to Build Dessert Platters and Cake Stands

The first thing you will need to do to whip these little guys up, is take a trip to the dollar store. I purchased candle holders, and platters. Another good place to find large, good quality platters is Michael’s or A.C.Moore, especially after holidays. I scored some platters from their Christmas clearance. They were a buck each, and really ugly, but I didn’t care because I knew I was going to paint them anyways!

I then took my endeavors over to Walmart. It is the cheapest place I have found to purchase spray paint. You can customize these platters in a variety of ways, just by the paint you choose.I got the colors I wanted, which happened to be bright spring colors. Rustoleum has some awesome finishes, like metallic if you are after a faux metal look, or the looking glass finish, which provides a mirrored surface! Both super cool. See, the possibilities for your platters really are endless!

diy party dessert platter cake stand tutorial supplies

 

Step-by-step Guide to Creating Designer Cake and Dessert Platters in Less Than 15 Minutes

Now that we have our supplies, the most important step is to prepare the items for painting. I used rubbing alcohol and wiped down each platter and candle holder. They need to be very clean so the paint will adhere and there are no little texture bumps. Items from the dollar store can be dusty some times, so this step really is critical to obtaining a beautiful finished product.

Next, I go down into the scary cave below my house, OK, actually its our basement! I have set up a board as my painting station. It is not anything glamorous, as you will see in the pictures, but it does the job. Not to mention, it is going to get covered in paint. ūüôā Make sure your work area is clean and free of any dust particles, dirt etc. Also make sure you lay a painters tarp on the floor under your work surface. Let’s just say, I may have forgotten to do this in the past one or two times, and the mister was not very happy about my over spray….

Place the items to be painted on your work surface. I started by spraying the candle stick. Apply an even coat of paint. More the spray can in a wisping motion. You do not want to make thick layers of paint. That gives the potential for drips. It is much better to do multiple thin coats. I walk around the candle holder as I paint it to make sure I have painted all the crevices. You only need to paint the exterior of the holder.

.

Once the first coat of paint on the candle holder is complete, spray the platter, either the same color or an accent color. Whatever is your preference. Again, use the same wisping motion for the paint application Thick coats of paint are not your friend! I am talking from experience here people!

diy party dessert platter cake stand tutorial painting

Now, go back and do another coat on the candle holder. Repeat, going back and forth between the two pieces until a total of three light coats of paint have been applied. Do a final once over and make sure the items have even coverage. If there are any thin spots add a little more paint.

Let the items dry, at least over night. You could go back and paint the bottom side of the platter now if you want. No one was going to see my bottom side, so I did not bother to do that.

diy party dessert platter cake stand tutorial drying

Once everything is dry, put hot glue on the top of the candle holder and place the painted platter on top of the candle holder. Make sure the platter is centered. Firmly press the platter onto the candle holder and continue to hold for about two minutes.

Set your platter aside and let the glue cool completely. I recommend not to use your  platter for at least another hour, however, it is now fully assembled and ready for use.

diy party dessert platter cake stand tutorial painting

 

Display and Usage Tips for Your New Cake Stands and Dessert Platters

I have a few platter tips that I want to share with you since you are making these bad boys to help up your platter game even more!

    -Use a doily to dress up the platter and make it look a little more fancy

    РA doily is also great if you have concerns about the food directly touching the painted surface ( I recommend serving

      things that are already in wrappers on these platters, such as cupcakes, mini pastries, cakes, etc)

    -To create the illusion of various height platters, place Styrofoam blocks under some of the platters. I was able to do this

     and hide the Styrofoam in my decor so no one even noticed I had given them a little lift.

    -For a different look, glue 2 completed platters together to obtain a multi-tier platter. These look great with mini cupcakes!

And there you have it. An easy 15 minute project that is easy on the wallet and creates designer looking cake stands and serving platters! The best part about this tutorial is I love how customizable these platters are, making them so versatile for all types of decor.

Oh, P.S. If you need to make those unicorn and cloud cookies (and don’t we all :)), the tutorial is here! And, the unicorn cupcake tutorial will be coming shortly, so stay tuned!

cake smash backdrop party decor

Behind the Scenes: DIY Unicorn Cake Decorating Tutorial from a Professional Baker

 

Unicorn cake tutorialHello, Hello!

Last time we chatted, I shared how to make an easy an amazing 6 layer rainbow cake. Well, I sure wasn’t going to leave you hanging. I am back to tell you how to turn that awesome layer cake into a beautiful unicorn!

If you are not familiar with my past life, I will let you in on ¬†a little secret. I grew up in a bakery family. My father ran a bakery ¬†long before I entered the scene until just last year. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with him¬†from the time I was 15 until I graduated college. It was a great experience. The quality time I got to spend with dad was simply priceless. I didn’t know it at the time, but I sure do now…It’s crazy what living over a thousand miles away from your family and a few years of wisdom will really help you to appreciate. As an added bonus, I also learned some mad cake decorating and baking skills.

With dear old dad retiring from the family business, it made me nostalgic for all those times we shared together in the bakery. Learning life lessons, hard work, and the importance of a good sense of humor. Little miss just turned one, so I decided Momma needed to whip up an epic birthday cake. No way was I going to do store bought for my little lady, when I know my finished product will taste and look a million times better than what I can get at most stores around here.

So for all my fans, who have actually made it this far through my reminiscing, I want to share with you how to create your own professional unicorn birthday cake. Everyone will be asking who your baker is and where they can purchase one for their next event and you will get to smile and say “I did it!” You will feel so proud and accomplished.

Homemade Frosting Tips

icing frosting rainbow pastry bags
© Klublu | Dreamstime.com РBeautiful Color Pastry Bags Photo

 

In full disclosure, I did have to call dad and get a few last minute tips on how to pull off¬†this unicorn cake feat at home. There is a big difference in the types of materials a commercial bakery can purchase vs what the home enthusiast can get their hands on. Good thing for me, dad is well versed in this and was able to give me some great substitutions so that everything will work out. Below are a few tips from my dad’s mini cake making pep talk that might pertain to your baking adventures, too. Just wanted to share the love! <3 <3

  • Buttercream frosting will not be white if you make it using only butter.
  • Buttercream frosting will not taste very good if you use basic shortening (ex: Crisco)
  • Bakeries make buttercream using cake shortening and butter: Typically a 2:1 ratio in order to have optimum taste as well as white color. Note, it is very hard to order small quantities of cake shortening, and it is somewhat expensive in comparison to the other ingredient options.
  • Using a jar of marshmallow fluff in homemade buttercream will give it a nicer flavor, especially if you are using Crisco as your shortening
  • If you use Crisco and butter combination for homemade buttercream use a 1:1 ratio and add the marshmallow fluff.
  • If you make buttercream just using butter, I still add the jar of marshmallow fluff.
  • The slight yellow tint from frosting made just using butter will not effect your ability to color the frosting, but you will not have a true white color.

Making Fondant Cake Accents

For this particular cake, I used fondant to make a few accents. It is important to plan ahead of time and make sure you make your accents a few days in advance so they have time to harden and be painted, with food paint of course. : )¬†I purchased Wilton’s pre-made fondant.¬†¬†Note, always sprinkle your work space with confectioners sugar prior to working with the fondant.

Unicorn Horn

To make the unicorn horn, start by taking a piece of fondant and kneading it like dough. You want to soften it and make it pliable.

Next, roll a snake shape ( like you did as a kid with Playdoh). Tapper the two ends of your snake shape. The center should be the thickest part and the two ends the skinniest.fondant unicorn horn DIY

Bend the snake in half having the two tips meet. Twist the two ends together working your way down until you get to the bottom of the unicorn horn.

fondant unicorn horn DIY

Take a skewer and put it into the unicorn horn and push it about 3/4 of the way up the horn. This will help support the horn when it is placed into the cake.

Lay the horn on a pan and let dry for at least a day. Two to three days is ideal.

Once the horn is dry, use gold (or whatever color you want) food paint and paint your horn. Stick the horn skewer in Styrofoam to allow the paint to dry. Now your horn is ready for the cake!

Unicorn Ears

Knead and make the fondant pliable. Roll the fondant flat.fondant unicorn horn DIY

I used a heart cookie cutter to cut out the ear shapes.  The top part of the heart was placed off of the fondant, so I only used the bottom half of the heart to make the ear shape. I used the cookie cutter to make sure the ears were uniform in size. Alternatively, you could also just cut out triangles. Cut out two ear pieces.

fondant unicorn horn DIY

Take the ear piece and pinch together the bottom of the triangle.

fondant unicorn horn DIY

Place the ears on a pan to dry. Remember, a day is the minimum and a little longer than that is even better :).

Once the ears are dry, I used a couple drops of pink from the Wilton color system and thinned it with a teaspoon of vodka. I then painted the centers of the ears pink.

As you can see from my images, I was mass producing unicorn horns and ears to top the birthday cake, smash cake, and all the cupcakes! That was a lot of horns and ears ;P

fondant unicorn horn and ears DIY

Steps to Decorate Cake as a Unicorn

So, lets get started. ¬†Place your cake on a cake turntable. The first thing you will need to do, after you have assembled your layers, is it to give it a crumb coat (or not…read on for more info about that). ¬†A trick that I love to use for frosting cakes¬†is if you have the time and space, is to stick your cake in the freezer for a few hours or even overnight. A chilled cake is so much easier to work with and will prevent you from ending up with tons of crumbs in your frosting. To be honest, when I start with a frozen cake, I don’t even do a crumb coat unless I am going to cover it with fondant. If it is frozen, I tend to just go for it and frost it.

Prior to frosting the cake, decide what color you would like the base of the unicorn head to be. I used a true all butter buttercream recipe for my unicorn cake. Due to the high concentration of butter in my frosting, it has a cream color as opposed to white. This is perfect for the look I wanted, so I didn’t even need to color my frosting. If you would rather have a different color for the head, then color your frosting before you start.

Once your frosting is the color you desire, we will start by frosting the sides of the cake. I use a flat icing spatula to apply frosting to the cake. While holding the spatula parallel with that of the cake sides, I spread the frosting, using gentle pressure, until a smooth coating of frosting all the way around the cake is achieved. Make sure that none of the cake layers are peaking through the icing. It is too thin if you can see any of the layers and you need to add additional icing.

Once the sides are covered, I then plop some icing on the top of the cake and spread that out evenly using the same spatula. I make sure to spread all the way past the edges.Some icing may even drip onto the sides. That is totally OK.

Next, I grab the icing smoother. As I spin the cake on the turntable, I hold this parallel to the cake and use slight pressure. This tool is taller than the layer cake and will smooth the frosting

Once the sides are smooth, I go back to smoothing the top. I use the flat icing spatula and spread the icing from the edge of the cake toward the center. I do this working all the way around the cake.

To get any additional remaining lines removed from the top of the cake I will let you in on a secret. Boil a pot of water and keep it boiling. Place your spatula in the hot water for about 15  seconds. Now, slowly drag across the top of your cake. This melts the icing just enough to smooth it and remove any spatula marks. We used this tip at the bakery all the time.

Next, I placed the fondant unicorn horn in the top of the cake and one ear on either side. Note, you should make the fondant horn and ears a few days ahead of time to make sure that it has time to dry and harden.  Instructions for making the unicorn horn are at the end of this post.

Once the fondant pieces are in place I began making the mane. I prepared five pastel colors of frosting: pink, purple, blue, yellow, and green. The pink and purple were put into pastry bags with a regular size rose tip (104). The blue was put into a mini rose tip (102). Green was put into a leaf tip (352). Yellow was put into the closed star tip (35)

I made roses and covered the front top of the unicorn head in a triangle shape. Next, I filled in gaps between the roses with the star tip adding little yellow flowers, as well as adding leaves to all of the roses.

I then added flowers in the same manner around the ears. On the back of the head I used flowers to create the mane and had them go down the back side of the cake too. I even had some flowers wrap around the bottom of the cake towards the front on the cake board to extend the mane slightly. I then sprinkled gold star sprinkles and little white pearl sprinkles throughout the mane to add a little extra dazzle.

The finishing touches to decorating the unicorn are adding the eyes. I painted on the eyes using a small paint brush with the black food coloring from the Wilton Color Right Performance Color System. Do not dilute the food coloring or it will run and drip, ruining all that hard work. We sure don’t want that to happen. Ta-da! Unicorn cake complete!

 

 DIY Rainbow Unicorn Birthday Cake

Phew! Glad you made it through the LONGEST POST EVER! Sorry about that. I just had so much good info to share with you. Hope it helps and you can use it on some of your next cake frosting endeavors. If you have questions or need more frosting (or general baking) feel free to post in the comments and I will get back to you ASAP. Happy cake decorating!



Linking up to DIY Show Off, Nifty Thrifty Things, and¬†Monday Funday, This Momma’s Ramblings, ¬†DIY Show Off, I Should Be Mopping the Floors, Think Tank Thursday,¬†Funtastic Friday, Home Matters, No Rules Weekend Blog Partiy, BFF Open House Link Party, Creative Collection, Flaunt it Friday, Fanday Friday, Food Friday, Pretty Pintastic Party and Round Tuit

 

A Fresh Start on a BudgetWelcome Home Wednesdays“Inspire

 

cake smash backdrop party decor

How to Create the Perfect Rainbow Layer Cake

 

6 layer rainbow cake tutorial

This year we celebrated our daughter’s first birthday. I love birthdays, parties and decorating! And you know what, I love to do it even more when it’s for my sweet little miss! Her party was rainbow unicorn themed. So, what else is this mom to do, but whip up a 6 layer rainbow unicorn cake?! Well, that is just what I did! Read on to learn how to easily make a rainbow cake for any occasion.

Start by whipping up a double batch of your favorite vanilla cake batter. I used a family recipe. Use your favorite go to white cake recipe, or even a box mix. If you use a box mix, you will need two. I actually made my batter in batches as well. I made one batch, the equivalent to one box mix, and split that into three separate bowls.

Then I¬†colored each of the bowls an individual color. The first batch I did pink, orange, and yellow. You do not want to over mix your batter or you risk your cake becoming slightly tough. I stir the food coloring in just until I reach color uniformity, or very close to it. I use Wilton’s ¬†Color Right Performance¬†System.

Next, grease three cake pans and add the batter. I used this cake layer pan set from Wilton. It worked fabulous! Bake according to your recipe’s directions, but check your cake a couple minutes earlier than normal. These layers are slightly thinner than a typical cake layer.

Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes. After this time, flip the cakes out of the pan onto wax or parchment paper.

rainbow cake layers

During the time the first batch is baking, I whip up and color the second batch of batter. This time it was green, blue, and purple.

Sometimes cake layers will slightly dome at the top during baking. So,after all the layers are baked and cooled, use a bread knife to flatten  each of the layers so they will lay even when you put them together, if needed. Now, take your favorite cake filling, or frosting recipe and stick each layer together.  One of my favorite filling combinations is to use red raspberry jam and buttercream frosting. Put a thin layer of jam on one side of the cake and on the other layer a thin layer of buttercream. Now sandwich the two sides with filling together. Repeat this for each layer until you reach the top. If you are looking for a great buttercream recipe I highly recommend this Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting by Amanda Cupcake . It is simply delicious!

Once you have assembled your layer cake than you can decorate it. Always remember to do a crumb coat prior to frosting your cake, even if you are going to use fondant. This technique also works for ombre layer cakes.

 

And here is a peak at what it looks like when you cut into it.

unicorn rainbow layer cake

I finished off my cake by frosting the whole thing with that delicious marshmallow buttercream. Then decorated it up as a unicorn. I made the horn out of fondant and added a beautiful floral mane. For the full tutorial on how to decorate the cake like a unicorn check out this post.

unicorn cake party dessert table

 

 

 

cake smash backdrop party decor

The Ultimate Guide to Easy DIY Cookies on a Stick

DIY cookie on a stick tutorial

As promised, here is the first of many tutorials, Easy DIY Cookies on a Stick, that are the result of my daughter’s EPIC unicorn first birthday party…and my it was epic! ¬†My goal, is to help anyone who may want to recreate this unicorn party for their family and friends. This party theme lends itself nicely to kids birthday parties as well as baby showers. It is such a universal and fun party theme. The sky is the limit with the creativity surrounding this type of a party.

One of the most important elements of a good party is good food. In my opinion good food also means fun food! And seriously, what could be more fun than food on a stick. ¬†Think about it. Those super fun experiences in life always seem to have food on a stick…the circus you can get cotton candy, fairs and carnivals always have yummy snacks like corn dogs and meat on a stick…yeah, really what it boils down to is food on a stick IS THE BEST! So, of course for my little sweet’s party, we had to have cookies on a stick.

Although the idea of making cookies on a stick may seem daunting, it really isn’t bad at all. I have been making all types of pastries, cookies, sweets, and desserts since I was about 12 years old. Growing up, my family had a very popular German bakery, so really, baking is in my blood!¬†Now, I am here to share my wealth of baking knowledge and teach you the tricks of the trade to make you baking so much easier!

How to Make a Cookie on a Stick 

First things first! Start by whipping up your favorite batch of cut out sugar cookie dough. If you are feeling like taking a short cut, you can even use a box mix to whip up your cookies. I won’t tell anyone if you do ūüėČ

Once you have prepared your dough, you want to roll it out and cut out your shapes. The key with cookies on a stick is that you need to roll your dough a little bit thicker than normal. I personally roll my dough 1/2 inch thick for cookies on a stick, but you can get away with ¬†3/8 inch. I use this rolling pin with guides¬†to help make sure that my dough is the correct thickness. Super helpful, as the dough thickness is what will make or break these cookies. If you do not have thick enough dough, the stick will fall out of the cookie and then you will have a crumbled cookie not on a stick. ūüôĀ

After your shapes are cut out (I made¬†unicorn and cloud cookies) you want to place them on a cookie sheet. ¬†Make sure to leave room to insert the stick ( this happens post baking). My cookies were approximately 2 inches and I was able to fit 5 on a pan for baking. Once you have the cookies on the pan, bake per the recipe’s directions.

Now, once the cookies are done baking, as soon as they are removed from the oven you need to place the stick in the cookie. You want to insert the stick from the bottom of the cookie and slide it up inside the cookie about 3/4 of the way. DO NOT MOVE THE COOKIES OFF THE PAN. If you do, this will cause the sticks to fall out. As the cookies cool, the dough wraps around the stick and helps secure the sticks, but while the cookies are warm, the sticks have not yet been secured. These are my favorite sticks for cookies!

cookies on a stick

I let the cookies cool on the pan for about 7 to 10 minutes. Then I move them to a cooling rack. I use a spatula to carefully move the cookie from the pan to the cooling rack.

unicorn and cloud cookies on a stick

I recommend waiting at least 2 hours for your cookies to fully cool before preparing to decorate them and use royal icing. It is super quick to whip up. You can check out my go to recipe here. I prefer to make my royal¬†icing ¬†one consistency that has the ability¬†to outline and flood a cookie. Some bakers prefer to make icing with a slightly runnier consistency for flooding cookies. I find this time consuming, especially when icing cookies, but if this method works for you, than go for it! There really is no wrong way to decorate a cookie! Ultimately, you are going to eat it right?! ūüôā

Place some of your icing into a pastry bag and use x tip.  Add the remaining frosting into a squeeze bottle. For each cookie, start by tracing around the edge of the cookie using the icing in the pastry bag. Then, take the squeeze bottle and fill in the cookie with icing. If you have small bare spots you can use the tip of the squeeze bottle to help direct the icing. I recommending doing two cookies at a time. If you do more than this, the icing used to edge the cookie will not blend in with the fill icing. The two cloud cookies on the top left in the image below show where I did the edge of too many cookies before flooding the inside of the cookie and had this issue happen.

frosting unicorn and cloud cookies on a stick

Since my base color for both the cloud and unicorn cookies was white, I  went ahead and did all the cookies. Depending on your cookie design, use the appropriate  food colors to tint your icing and apply a base layer of icing on the cookie. Once you have a base layer, than go back and add in the details.

How to Decorate Unicorn and Cloud Cookies

To finish up the cloud cookies, once the initial layer of icing has slightly dried (approximately 15 minutes) I went and did a swirly border around the edge of the cloud. I also piped a little heart in the bottom, right corner of each cloud.  For the detailed cute little cloud faces, I used these awesome food markers, called FooDoodler. They work like a dream and enable precision design. So glad I bought this set, and it was a steal at only eight dollars on amazon. Finally, I used gold food paint, also scored on amazon, to paint the little hearts and add a little bling to those cutie clouds! My party theme accent color happened to be gold, so I incorporated it into the cookies. I may be bias, but I think they came out super cute!

The unicorn cookie details were a little more challenging, in my opinion. I colored three portions of royal icing, one each, pink, blue, and green. Next, I layered the colors¬†in one pastry bag and used a writing tip to decorate the tails and manes. I was hoping to get a multi-color effect for the mane and tail, which I did.¬†However, when the pink and green colors mixed they, did get a little bit muddy. The execution and theory of how I did it works. I have done it in the past, and will also show how I did it in an upcoming post for my rainbow meringue ‘unicorn poop’ cookies. My issue was in color choice. Next time, I won’t use the green.

I used the same multi-color icing to also pipe a small heart on the unicorn’s side as well as pipe the hooves. I also went back and added an accent strand of hair in the mane and tail of each unicorn. By waiting and doing this a little bit later the accent strand was slightly raise up above the rest of the mane. I then busted out that gold food paint again and painted the hooves, heart, and accent hairs gold. After that, I used my food markers again to add a cute little eye. Voila! Unicorns on a stick!

frosting unicorn and cloud cookies on a stick

If you want to duplicate my cookies you can get the unicorn cookie cutter from SheyB.com and the cloud cookie cutter from Amazon.

cake smash backdrop party decor

Throw Your Own Epic DIY Unicorn Party Series

unicorn birthday party cake

Well hello, hello! It has been a little time since I have popped into the blog. Life got a little crazy with the travel and the holidays, but I am back and have a treat for everyone!

Little miss just turned¬†one (yes seriously…already; I may be on the verge of tears) *sniff sniff* but I will prevail with this post ūüėÄ To celebrate her first trip around the sun, we decided to throw her a unicorn themed birthday party! It was ¬†just as magical as her first year was for us!

My over-zealous, super craft happy excited self had created a laundry list of stuff to make for this party. I did so many projects (meaning I went WAY overboard), but the great news for you is that ¬†I am going to do an entire “throw your own epic mystically magical unicorn party” series chock full of DIY tutorials! ¬†These tutorials will cover decor as well as fun unicorn themed foods! I can’t wait to share. A few of the tutorials that will be coming your way include:

  • DIY¬†unicorn party hats (headbands)
  • DIY sky scene setter background and fluffy puffy clouds
  • Fast and easy no sew rainbow ruffled table skirt
  • Unicorn cupcakes
  • Unicorn Meringue “poop” cookies
  • Unicorn rainbow cake

There are so many¬†more in addition to those listed above,¬†but I want to keep a few surprises for everyone! So stay tuned, as the epic DIY unicorn party series starts later this week!! Below is my little unicorn, who passed out right in the middle of her first birthday party! It was HER party, and she slept if she wanted to! ūüôā

unicorn birthday party