Does Anyone Else Do This? Whenever I'm In A Store-Any Store

Decorating By Foxicakes Updated 10 Nov 2010 , 4:44am by madgeowens

Foxicakes Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 4:03am
post #1 of 71

...I find myself looking through the housewares, toys, arts and crafts, gardening and all of the other sections in the store (and again, this can be ANY store, from the drug store, to the convenience store, to Walmart, etc.) looking for things to use in decorating. I'm not talking about just decorationS (capital S for emphasis) but utensils to decorate WITH. Like, for instance, I haven't worked at my job in nearly a year due to medical issues so I don't have the money for a cricut cake or a really-neat-but-twice-as-expensive-fondant impression mat, etc. (Anything with the words "for cake decorating" on it seems to drastically increase the price tenfold!!) So, I have had to get creative. Like, for instance, I too, use a painputty knife ( a really wide one) instead of a pastry scraper to smooth the icing on my cakes and it works like a charm( cost: about $3.50) . I have also discovered that Lowe's and Home Depot (and, I'm sure other stores that sell wall coverings) allow you to tear off a good sized piece of wallpaper as a "sample". Well, there are some that are textured with beautiful designs on them and they are plain white(i.e. no ink in your fondant) I just spray it with a good food safety sealant and voila! instant fondant impression mat. (cost: FREE!!!) I also purchased a 2 inch wide piece of PVC pipe that is stocked in these stores precut to be like 24 or 30 inches long. It's the BEST rolling pin I've ever had!! (cost: about $3!) Finally, I am always looking in the stamping-craft area at WalMart, Michael's and other stores that carry stamping sections. I like the silicone ones because they tend to be less expensive. They are great for making impressions in fondant and they have all kinds, from flowers to letters. They are really helpful if you want to pipe a design on a cake and aren't quite comfortable doing it. Gives you great confidence knowing you have a guide right there in the fondant (especially for letters!!). (cost: $1-$5 typically)

So, there you have it!!! I just thought I would share my ideas and discoveries and to be truly honest with you all, I am REALLY HOPING that this will become a thread where others, like yourself, will jump in and tell us what YOU are doing to save money on supplies. How are YOU "thinking outside the box" in these hard money times? What kind of neat tricks do you use to make awesome cakes?

Please, please share with the rest of us-- YOUR CC family!! Thank you so much. Further, I would like to add that EVERY one of you talented ladies and gentlemen inspire me every single day!! You make me strive to want to be better and better. And, best of all, I know that if I need a question answered, and I post it on here, that somewhere in this big world, someone WILL stop what they are doing--even if they are buried in work and pulling their hair out-- to answer MY question. And, that, my dear friends is PRICELESS!!

I can't wait to see what tricks and ideas you all have!! This is gonna be FUN!! Ready. . . Set. . . GO!!!!!!! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

70 replies
VickeyC Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 4:27am
post #2 of 71

Foxicakes, I too find myself looking "everywhere" for the same kind of things. I look in the toy dept for things that are meant for playdoh or easybake ovens etc. I can not go anywhere that caking is not on my mind. Like you, my $ is limited and I have to think out side the box on alot of things. I am soooo thankful that God has allowed me to have an imagination.
My uncle (retired now from 3 very prominant government positions) once said, " I have done so much with so little for so long, that I can do almost anything with nothing". I just love that quote.

Tracy7953 Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 4:30am
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Ditto ladies!

silverc Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 4:38am
post #4 of 71

I am the same way...my family thinks I am crazy! I love to look in the clay isle for cake decorating things. I am currently in search of a piece of fabric, or placemat ...anything that has the texture of a football. I have a 3D football next week and the guy wants it to look so real that people don't think it is cake. I know I have seen something with the texture I need, I just can't think what it was....

Foxicakes Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 4:50am
post #5 of 71

Oh I almost forgot!! In her book, Cakes To Dream On Collette Peters, says that she prefers using foam core board to regular cake circles (the ones that are the exact size of the cake and that stay under that particular tier). I really like those too. But when I went looking for them, they were not cheap!! Like upwards of $6 to $8 for a sheet that is about 18" x 26" (or somewhere close to that) Then I happened to find them at Dollar Tree. Same exact thing for a buck a piece!! And it is really easy to work with!! If you trim the edges of your cake to make it as neat as possible, you can actually cut this stuff with an xacto knife and it just stays looking perfect.

I will continue to add helpful (atleast I HOPE I'm giving someone some new information) hints as I think of them. And, again, ladies and gentlemen, PLEASE feel free to add some of your ideas for using Non-caking items to decorate with!! Thanks again!!

RheaCakeQueen Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 4:50am
post #6 of 71

for football texture, try using a wire mesh strainer. It looks amazingly real =o)

Cheers!

VickiChicki Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 4:55am
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OH GIRL! YOU ARE SO ON TARGET! I do the exact same thing and thought perhaps I was a "freak of nature"! I go into so many stores and see SO MANY products that can be incorporated into decorating tools! It actually becomes quite fun!

leafO Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 1:06pm
post #8 of 71

I totally know what you mean. My husband totally laughs at me 'cause I'll pick up some random thing and he'll go " that's for cake isn't it" ha ha

I find a lot of things in the scrapbooking aisle. One of my favs are some impression plates that are for embossing paper. They are small so they aren't great for texturing a whole cake but work great for doing accents or small pieces for cupcakes or cookies. I just got a clay extruder and I'm in love! If you get one, be sure to make it one with a handle to turn, it is so much easier. At first I got the kind you just push though but my little hands weren't strong enough! For a football I did recently, I used a new piece of rubber non-slip drawer liner for texture. It worked great!

kristanashley Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 1:24pm
post #9 of 71

Has anyone ever used play doh molds or extruders? I've thought about it, but haven't had an occasion yet... icon_smile.gif I also save egg cartons and wash them really well, and use them as "flower formers." I'm excited to see other money saving ideas!

kansaslaura Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 1:31pm
post #10 of 71

Go down the plumbing aisle for an amazing assortment of cutters! I've got a box full of copper fittings--each one has a different size on each end. They're awesome! Also have a big end cap that makes the most delightful giant sugar cookie just for those times I need an odd one or two.

I have always thought out of the box and feel very superior when I find such things.. head held high!! icon_biggrin.gif

HamSquad Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 1:40pm
post #11 of 71

Ditto, I can't help but look for textures and patterns that I can incorporate onto a cake. I think I feel better now, I'm not the only one. Now my husband and daughter won't shrug there shoulders when we go into hardware stores, toy sections or any store in search of a cake decorating tool! OH YEAH!
Hamsquad

tgress13 Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 1:49pm
post #12 of 71

I find myself doing the same. I was recently at a Michaels rummaging through a clearance rack and found a Letter/Number stencil, and a stone cutter letter set for under $5 each. Now, along with my Wilton alphabet/number cutters and my no-name fancy alphabet set, I have different fonts and size lettering to use on my cakes. I can't wait to try them all!

CakesbyCarla Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 1:51pm
post #13 of 71

Yes - totally with you. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. Now the question is, when shopping, do you ever look at things and say to yourself "I could make that out of cake/fondant/gumpaste" or "Oooo, that'd be fun to make a cake that looks like that -insert object here-!" etc?

I often have dreams about cake too. Obsess much? icon_razz.gif

kansaslaura Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 1:59pm
post #14 of 71

Ok.. confession time... In my photos, the most recent one is a wedding cake I did for a couple who had specific ideas. Rather renaissance, kinda mid-evil... and wanted a stone look on the cake. Old, irregular, worn stone. I used buttercream and a waffle.

Yep, I baked waffles, kept one in the kitchen away from stabbing forks and hungry men, and used that to press into the side of the cake and ran a foam roller over it. Felt prettyyyy smug! lol

Love this thread!

milib Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 2:03pm
post #15 of 71

Take your digital camera with you when you go to the stores. For example: you can find fabrics and ribbons with very cool patterns at the craft stores (JoAnn fabrics); take pictures of those that you like and there you have it, is free. Also go to the greeting cards section they have all kind of cards with different designs that could help when you are running out of ideas. Don't have to buy them unless if you need them but again you can take pictures.

CakesbyCarla Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 2:14pm
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Kansas - That's awesome! As they say necessity is the mother of invention. Nothing brings out the McGyver in us like a cake!

luntus Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 2:22pm
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waffle prints on the buttercream..... that is using your brian to the fullest. WOW! You all never cease to amaze me.

endymion Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 2:32pm
post #18 of 71

What a great thread and super ideas!

Wasn't there a thread recently that was saying you could use a clean dish scrubby to make a fabric texture? (On a stuffed animal toy cake.) Can't wait to try that one.

I wanted to make a tiny golf ball on a cookie, and to make the dimples, I rubber-banded some cocktail-size straws together and pressed them gently into fondant. Worked great!

A few years ago, I bought plastic letters that were designed for writing messages on garden stepping stones. They were pretty cheap and I have used them many times.

kansaslaura Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 2:36pm
post #19 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by endymion

What a great thread and super ideas!

Wasn't there a thread recently that was saying you could use a clean dish scrubby to make a fabric texture? (On a stuffed animal toy cake.) Can't wait to try that one.

I wanted to make a tiny golf ball on a cookie, and to make the dimples, I rubber-banded some cocktail-size straws together and pressed them gently into fondant. Worked great!

A few years ago, I bought plastic letters that were designed for writing messages on garden stepping stones. They were pretty cheap and I have used them many times.




Love the tiny straw idea! I've got a big box of coffee stirrers I'll keep that in mind!

Anytime it's labeled Wilton or in the caker's aisle it get stupid in price. Rock on fellow out of the box thinkers!!

leafO Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 2:38pm
post #20 of 71

Waffles on buttercream! I love it! It turned out so cute!

foxicakes, I love your idea about textured wall paper, what kind of spray do you use to make it food safe?

diamonds-and-rust Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 3:22pm
post #21 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by kansaslaura

Ok.. confession time... In my photos, the most recent one is a wedding cake I did for a couple who had specific ideas. Rather renaissance, kinda mid-evil... and wanted a stone look on the cake. Old, irregular, worn stone. I used buttercream and a waffle.

Yep, I baked waffles, kept one in the kitchen away from stabbing forks and hungry men, and used that to press into the side of the cake and ran a foam roller over it. Felt prettyyyy smug! lol

Love this thread!




Sheer Genious! I am in awe...I just bought Duff's impression mat to achieve this exact effect....you ladies SOOOO rock!
Cathy

cattycornercakes Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 3:38pm
post #22 of 71

I'm working on display cakes for a bridal show in a week and a half. I wanted to do a square tiered cake with the damask stenciling. The actual damask cake stencil set is $60 - 70. I went down to Michaels, found 2 different damask wall stencils for $10.99 each that I'm going to use. Hope it works icon_smile.gif

beenie51 Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 3:38pm
post #23 of 71

I always look for things I can use that are not "a cake supply Item". So now I know I'm not the only one. You all have given me some more great ideas such as the copper fittings. It is so nice to have a large group of people to share with. Thanks

divinecc Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 3:51pm
post #24 of 71

I love all of the ideas! I didn't have money for a clay extruder and wanted to make hair on a fairy figurine so I washed my garlic press out really well, put a thin layer of crisco inside and added a ball of fondant. It worked great! I have used it for the mane on a horse and eeyore too!

floral1210 Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 4:09pm
post #25 of 71

Kansaslaura, that wedding cake is awesome!

KASCARLETT Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 4:17pm
post #26 of 71

WOW!! What amazingly awesome ideas!!

debbek152 Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 5:49pm
post #27 of 71

I am always finding cutters and small impression mats and tools in the clay and soap supply isle at Michaes and other craft stores. Basically the same tools as for cake decorating, just a lot cheaper! I also see things in stores and think about making a cake of it.lol icon_smile.gif

Debi2 Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 6:56pm
post #28 of 71

I'm with all of you....I endlessly scout the stores for items that can be used for decorating. Home Depot and Lowe's are so much more fun now! ha ha It' so much more fun finding things that weren't meant specifically for cake decorating and it sure saves some $$$ so you can buy even more cake stuff! icon_biggrin.gif

michel30014 Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 7:34pm
post #29 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by beenie51

I always look for things I can use that are not "a cake supply Item". So now I know I'm not the only one. You all have given me some more great ideas such as the copper fittings. It is so nice to have a large group of people to share with. Thanks








At least I know, I am not the only one. And, my husband can stop thinking I"m nuts for looking for these type things. Great thread, great ideas. I will continue to watch this one! This is why I LOVE Cake Central!! Everyone is AMAZING!!

Ivy383 Posted 15 Oct 2010 , 7:49pm
post #30 of 71

I do the same thing. Loving this thread! icon_biggrin.gif

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