Thursday, August 20, 2015


This is what happens when you get dragged through the nine sparkly circles of unicorn hell and finally come out the other side, the physical manifestation of the elusive Spidercorn.

One my daughter's friends, who apparently knows me all too well suggested I make a spider unicorn and I thought that was a brilliant idea.

I started with the basics from MovieTrollop's "How to make a SUPER EASY horse and/or pony", that I used for my fondant unicorn.  I just added more eyes and legs and actually used polymer clay this time. 

If you want to try making your own Spidercorn and need some eight legged inspiration Adorable Spiders lives up to it's name with tons of pictures of adorable spiders.    

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fondant Unicorn Cake Topper

Cute doesn't come naturally for me.  Attempts at cute wind up being monstrous abominations (not that I view this as a bad thing). So I'm just as surprised as anyone that this adorable little guy was made by me.  I did have a little help from this wonderful video from MovieTrollop, "How to make a SUPER EASY horse and/or pony".  There's no way I would've come up with this on my own. Left to my own devices I would've been flailing all over the place. Even though the tutorial is for making tiny (an inch?) little horse bodies out of polymer clay, it easily translated to a five inch fondant body.  She starts by showing the size of all the balls of clay that are needed in proportion to each other, from there it's easy to make a body of any size. 

I used Wilton fondant.  I read quite a few recommendations that Wilton is a good brand for newbies, at least for this type of thing, as it tends to be stiffer.  It seemed like most professionals use higher grade fondants with hardening agents mixed in.  I don't plan to become proficient at fondant, so Wilton is fine for the likes of me. I'm happy to leave real cake decorating to true artists. 

I also read that Wilton is one of the worse tasting fondants, but then does anyone actually eat this stuff?  I've never heard anyone say, "Oh you have to try this fondant it's so delicious." Probably the highest compliment I've heard anyone give any particular fondant is, "It doesn't taste horrible." That folks, is not enough of a reason for me to put something in my mouth. 

For this guy I used most of a 24oz package.  I used about two-thirds of it for the body, legs, ears and nostrils. It is definitely softer than polymer clay. After forming the body, I turned it over, and stuck a toothpick through each front leg and one through the base of the body into the head, for a little added support.  Then I flipped it back over and added the nostrils and ears.  I brushed the whole thing with Wilton white pearl dust and then added the eyes which are round black candies. Then I set a parchment paper tent over it to protect from dust and let it set for a while.  The front legs did get tiny wrinkles, like elephant legs, from the weight of the head pressing down, but no one but me seems to have noticed. 

I colored some of remaining fondant using Wilton neon gel colors.  I made the horn using the same process I used to make the polymer clay horns.  I used a teeny bit purple and a teeny bit blue fondant marbled with white. I stuck a toothpick two thirds into the horn and then stuck the other end into the head. The hair is the opposite with a lot of purple and blue marbled with a teeny bit white.  I brushed on a little bit of water to attached the hair. Here's a few shots from different angles. 

I let it dry out for a few days in a deep dish covered with parchment paper.  Besides keeping dust off, I also read that light can fade colored fondant.  My daughter wanted to keep him, so to prevent getting frosting on him, I cut out the bottom of a paper plate to match the unicorns bottom and set that down on the cake first.  I don't know how long he'll last, but for now he's in a bell jar, in a cool place that gets very limited light.  He hasn't melted or faded or attracted bugs or seeped any of his cutest into the rest of my realm. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Unicorn Poop Charm

The whole reason I started on my adventures with polymer clay is because I saw some rainbow poop cookies and thought they looked awesome but would probably taste like crap with all the artificial coloring.  (The whole reason I started down this dark path of unicorns and rainbows is something we do not speak of.)

If you are a polymer clay virgin like I was, you might want to read this, I listed a few things that helped me to get started. 

Much like the unicorn horns the only thing I did differently than most of the rainbow poops out there is the way I add the eye pin and mix the colors. 

I used the marbling technique in this video to mix the colors.  I love the way this looks, but I think a little bit goes a long way and too much will muddy the colors. It might be my imagination, or that I need to improve my technique, but I found I got better results when starting with larger quantities of clay. The amount I used below is enough to make 8-10 poops approximately 3/4 inch diameter at the base. This video shows how to make rainbow poop with a nice basic twist of colors which is just as pretty, just a different look and less steps. 

I think this video has nicely shaped poop.  This video also has a nice poop shape and was the inspiration for how I do my eye pin. If you just want to make a stand alone poop like this golden poop my daughter made, just skip the eye pin altogether. All hail the Golden Turd!

I couldn't help but notice that other people had poop swirls far superior to mine.  What I've decided many poops later is that:

While I totally recommend making cute
little poop earrings, these aren't the
greatest shape for the reasons mentioned.

a) I was tapering the ends too much.  Leaving most of the log a uniform length and just tapering off the tippy top of the ends results in a much more pleasing poop shape.

This poop is in serious danger of
being mistaken for soft serve ice cream.

b) I was making my logs too thin and coiling them too much.  I believe three is the magic number of poop swirls, four can be acceptable, but it starts to look more like a soft serve ice cream cone. than poop. 

c) The last video I mentioned coils the poop around a small piece of clay.  For me it is easier to coil the poop and then feed the center piece through the bottom. Skip down to the bottom to see pictures.  In fact just skip down to the bottom anyway, it's only the last few steps that are really important anyway. 

I started with approximately 1/8 inch slices of each color.  I used Premo Sculpey Accents Pink Florescent, Orange, Zinc Yellow, Accents Bright Green Pearl and Accents Peacock Blue Pearl. I love the sparkle that the Accent colors give to these poops. I stacked them and then rolled them flat and then rolled them into a tube. You could roll each color into a snake and then press them together. 

Gently press evenly on all sides until there is no space in the center. 

Roll it out into a log and give it a nice twist.
Then fold the ends to the middle and twist.

Roll it out until it's smooth. Cut it in half, set one half aside and roll the other out. I do this a lot, working it a little and then setting half aside for later. Working down to a smaller chunk of clay makes it more manageable.   Also if I don't like the end result, I've only messed up that one little piece, not the whole batch. 
Because it's always the last twist that was the one time too many. 

Cut that in half, set one aside and roll the other out.
Twist the ends to spiral the colors.

Fold the ends to the center and give it a twist.

Roll it out, cut it half and set one piece aside. It can be helpful to loosely coil the final log of clay to see if it's about the right length and thickness. 
The piece below is pretty close, you want it a tad shorter and thicker because after the next step it'll be just right. 

Roll the piece out a little more and cut a bit off the end.
Taper the ends and roll the bit around the eye part of the eye pin. 
For size reference that is a two inch long eye pin.

Coil the log into a poop shape and insert the eye pin through the center.

At this point I put on a pair of latex gloves, to keep from leaving anymore fingerprints.  Gently cradling your poop so you don't misshapen it, use a ball stylus tool or similar to smooth out the center piece. That center piece doesn't have to fill the entire cavity, remember it's only purpose is to hold that eye pin secure. Turn the poop back over and smooth away any fingerprints with a gloved finger or smooth tool.  And there you have your poop. 

To bake, I used the set up described at The Blue Bottle Tree, with the tile and aluminum pans clipped together.  I baked it at 275 for 2 hours. This poop was about 3/4 inch at the base.  The Sculpey instructions say a half hour for every 1/4 inch.  I've read a lot of people saying to bake for longer, so I've been tacking on a little extra time to be on the safe side.  

Ever hear the expression, "You can't polish a turd."? Not only has that been debunked by MythBusters, but you can see from the results below that you absolutely can polish a turd.

After baking and cooling, I did a little wet sanding, quickly going around in little circles, maybe spending 10-15 seconds with each grit of paper. I used 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200 and 2000.  I didn't worry about getting into every nook and cranny. I also didn't worry about sanding the eye pins and accidentally sanded the finish off in some places, oops. After sanding, I buffed with a piece of denim. The more you buff, the shinier it gets.  The poop on the far right below was buffed for about a minute. The poop in the middle was buffed an additional minute and look how it gleams.  The poop on the left was not sanded or buffed, it just has a coat of glossy acrylic on it.  It's more work to sand and buff, but I like the finish better. 

Then wire wrap the end and if you so chose, decorate with glitter glue, rhinestones or googly eyes.  If you are unfamiliar with wire wrapping this is a nice illustration or if you like more detail here's a comprehensive video.