Glueing, cutting, sewing, stencilling… you name it, we had it this year on Polka Dot Made! Now if you’re a keen DIYer but you missed some posts, here’s a little “best of” to keep you busy over the festive period. Just remember to avoid the stapling gun if you’ve had a couple of wines!

1. DIY Moss Letters Project

Image from The Crafty DIY Bride via DIY Moss Letters Project

I love this project. The moss gives this an organic, earthy feel and you can use the letters to spell out anything you like. Customize with the colour and type of ribbon you use to hang them up. Gorgeous!

2. Pretty Bauble Paper Garland – Tutorial

Image by Stephanie at Stelloberry Designs via Pretty Bauble Paper Garland – Tutorial

Another organic substance – paper. Easy to shape, bend, manipulate and make beautiful projects like this out of. I’d love these strung up with fairy lights too.

3. DIY Photo Booth – Tutorial

Image by Alicia Parsons (The Atypical Type A) via DIY Photo Booth – Tutorial

With photobooths being the flavour of the year in 2011, our amazingly talented, regular Made contributor Alicia, gives us a DIY version that is sure to be a hit! Some great ideas on how to customize it to suit your theme too.

4. Mr and Mrs Hessian Chair Bunting – Tutorial

Image by Emma Durkin Photographics via Mr and Mrs Hessian Chair Bunting – Tutorial

One of my favourite tutorials this year with beautifully clear images and concise instructions. Enjoy the DIY!

5. Polar Bear and Christmas Present Cupcake Tutorial

Image by Sharon Wee Creations via Polar Bear and Christmas Present Cupcake Tutorial

How can we wrap up the best of 2011 without a Christmas DIY project? We can’t! That’s why we’re bringing you this gorgeous tutorial to get your bake on! Enjoy and Merry Christmas to all!



Catering by The Farm Cafe Made mid banner

I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of guest books at weddings: after all, by the time I’ve written an engagement card and a wedding card, I’m kinda running out of new ways to say the same thing. But of course, it’s still wonderful to be able to have special messages from your guests as a keepsake from your wedding day.

We chose to incorporate it into our photo booth with DIY blackboard speech bubbles. Here’s how:

You will need:

  • Sheet of MDF
  • Blackboard paint and brush
  • Jigsaw
  • Chalk
  • Computer and printer or pencil

1. Prepare your bubble shapes. I used a dingbat font, enlarged it and printed out in a couple of different sizes, then lightly glued it to the wood. Alternatively, if you’re confident working freehand, simply sketch straight onto the wood.

2. Cut out using your jigsaw tool.

3. Give them a couple of coats of chalkboard paint.

Tip: Chalkboard paint isn’t as easy to write on as the blackboards you remember from school, so enlist a friend to make sure there’s a damp cloth available to properly wipe them between messages.

Leave them by your photo booth and you’ll end up the day after your wedding discovering hilarious shots like these…

You can give your guests suggestions on what to write (for example, their marriage advice) or give them free reign to leave any type of message they choose.

Photos by Alicia Parsons

Swirl divider7 Branch Altarpiece And Twig Ball 2 Ways   Tutorial

Ms Gingham says: Super easy and it looks like they’d be a hit in your photobooth. Thanks to Alicia for another fab project.

I am Alicia Parsons, the Atypical Type A. I live in Adelaide, South Australia in a modest townhouse with my new hubby Ryan (aka The Man). I am the owner and graphic designer behind Akimbo, which specialises in quirky invitations, announcements and greetings.

Get more fantastic DIY inspiration from Alicia here.

I don’t know about you but I can’t believe that December has already rolled around. I’m sure like me, most people are so time poor during the holiday season. Between elbowing your way at the shops, to finding any available time to catch up with friends and family, it’ll be a wonder if you even find time to just relax.

Creating sugar art always seems to relax me. It’s like I am transported to another sugary fun world and I forget all the hustle and bustle of the outside world. These two designs I have chosen above are simple but have great impact. You will need minimal tools and can easily produce many of them at a time to present as gifts on Christmas day.

What you will need:

–          Circle Cutters

–          Spatula

–          White Chocolate Ganache or your favourite frosting

–          Acatate or any flexible piece of thick plastic (ie. Overhead projector plastic)

–          White Fondant

–          Teal and Lime Green Gel Colouring Paste (optional)

–          Black Fondant (this can be pre bought or you can also colour your own with black gel paste)

–          Small Sharp Knife and Frilling Tool

–          Balling Tool (optional – you can always use the end of a paintbrush)

–          Rolling Pin

–          Cornflour (for dusting the table)

–          Black Edible Marker

–          Paintbrush and Water

Covering the cupcakes

Using the spatula, spread a thin layer of ganache on the cupcake. This is to ensure the fondant has something to stick on and that any baking imperfections are removed.

Dust a little cornflour on the table and roll out the white fondant icing. Hold the circle over  the cupcakes to work out what size you will need. Try to go one size bigger if your cupcake has a big dome. Cut the circles out of the icing and place over the cupcake. Be sure to keep any unused icing covered if you are not using it or else it will dry out.

Using the acetate, gentle rub and buff the fondant so that it smooths onto the cupcake.

Polar Bear

Roll out some white fondant – make sure it’s thick as this will be his snout.

Cut out some smaller circles and using the paint brush and some water, stick it onto the bottom part of the cupcake. Use your fingers to smooth out the edges so they are rounded.

Use a knife to make an indent down the middle of the snout and then use the frilling tool to indent the mouth.

Roll out two small balls and using the balling tool, press down on the balls to indent them. Stick them on the top of the cupcake to form the ears.

Roll some black icing into a ball and stick it on top of the snout with some water. Use the edible marker to draw on the eyes.

Christmas Bow Cupcakes

Roll out the light green and teal fondant (one at a time) and cut out thin strips. Stick the strips onto the cupcakes with some water and cut off any hanging fondant on the sides.

For the bow, you will need one long rectangular strip and one shorter strip. Brush a little water in the middle of the longer strip. Fold the two edges to meet in the middle as shown below. Wet the smaller strip and place the bow on top of the strip. Fold the strips down onto the middle and then flip the whole bow so that the seams are not showing.

For the tails, cut a V shape on the ends of a long strip. Fold the strip in to a V shape and stick it on to the cupcake with water.

You can make it wavy or just place it flat if you like. Apply more water and then stick the bow on top.

Photography by Sharon Wee

Swirl divider7 Macaron Cupcake Tutorial

Ms Gingham says: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I love that these aren’t the typical red and white holly based designs. The polar bears are so cute. Thanks Sharon!!

About Sharon: Years ago, after discovering a passion for baking and cake decorating, Sharon started making cakes and cupcakes for her friends and family. Her belief is that any edible creation should taste as good as it looks and should be remembered long after it has been consumed. After being encouraged by her friends and family to sell her creations, Sharon Wee Creations was born. Sharon specialises in creating custom designed edible goodies and loves experimenting with new flavours and designs. Now, years later, her creations have been on TV, in magazines and on the radio. She enjoys creating figurines, teaching and is constantly thinking of new cake designs in her head. In her spare time, you’ll find her visiting patisseries, dreaming of holiday destinations, cooking up a new dessert recipe or playing volleyball.

Want to learn all the tricks of the trade? Enrol in one of Sharon’s cake decorating classes here.