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Tag Archives | Provo Craft

Edible Embossing

Reported by Anam Stubbington

All to often, craft supplies get relegated to the particular craft they are labelled for in the shop, but there are so many cross-over opportunities, not just in the paper craft work. We have yarn and paper crafts mixing with crocheted flowers on scrapbook layouts; oil pastels and watercolors for making your own paper backgrounds for cards; and fabrics used for texture in clay work.

Today I decided to use my ProvoCraft Cuttlebug Embossing folders for something new. I use and abuse my folders because they are just so versatile and easily cleaned – a big bonus in my book.

We have all done the inking trick with the embossing folders, used them on velvet to extend their usability and used them on fimo and clay to make jewelry pieces. I had made the traditional clay ornaments with them – perfect for the Christmas season – I gave them as party favours using handmade air drying clay to match the invites I made also using the embossing folders.

(don’t know why the purple one looks dirty but in real life its got a gold and silver sheen)

In making these, I thought that I would try and see if I could continue the theme onto the cupcakes using icing and chocolate. I have the basic standard embossing folders so all I added was a rolling pin.

Turns out the embossing folders are awesome for making edible decorations – and I cleaned mine by sticking them in the dishwasher afterwards.
I started with Ready-to-roll icing because I will admit that I suck at baking. It was super easy – decide what folder you want and if you want the image in relief or embossed into the icing – remember with text plates, the relief version is in reverse when you place it down on the icing.

If you have a steady hand, you could even color the embossed images with food coloring. Food coloring though does not stick to the folders so you cannot coat the folder and then emboss like you would with an inkpad (which admittedly was a disappointment for me).

Then cut out your shapes either by hand or use cookie cutters to make awesome cake toppers.


Imagine the fun you could have with the whole image embossing plates for the tops of cakes or as frame bases for cake flowers.

I then tried chocolate to see how much fun I could have with the folders. I tried a few ways to do it and found these two worked best.

  • Firstly melt your chocolate to a runny dough consistency – I would suggest you buy proper cake chocolate so the chocolate stays harder longer once it is solid as my very yummy milk chocolate melted in my regular kitchen temperatures.
  • Add a little oil or cake release to your folders – I used olive oil and no-one mentioned any taste issues.
  • Put the folders on a flat tray with some greaseproof paper underneath them.

Option 1 is to pour the melted chocolate on top of your folder and allow to harder. once hard you turn the folder over and peel the plate off the chocolate – it should come over very easily. You can then use a cookie cutter to cut out the shapes you want – I found it worked better with a metal cutter that was heated in some hot water first.

Option 2 is good when you only want a specific part of an embossing folder. Place your cookie cutter (slightly oiled) on the area you want as your image. Pour the chocolate into the cookie cutter and allow to harden. Once hard, you can remove the plate and then pop the chocolate shape out – this way seemed to give me thicker shapes.

I left them in the fridge for a few hours and then added them to the cupcakes just before I served them. That said, some of my guests decided they would have happily eaten the chocolate toppers on their own so maybe make them with dark chocolate and serve with coffee for adults?

Remember to leave the cut shapes for a little while to dry out if you want them to be used flat or standing. Making cupcake toppers with the folders was so easy and would be a great addition to anyone’s DIY arsenal of tricks for wedding or party cakes.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Lots of designs available
  • Easy to clean afterwards

Cons:

  • Not all designs work well
  • Have to work in small batches due to size of folder
  • Lots of chocolate left that needs to be eaten

I hope you also find uses for those crafting supplies in the kitchen!

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YUDU tips, tricks and a review

Reported by Christian Tamez

My first memory of screen printing would be at summer camp, years ago. We all got to make t-shirts with the camp logo on them. I remember that the screen printing machine was huge, and that I just somehow knew that screen printing was a kind of special thing to be doing yourself. Flash forward to the future, I had just been introduced to the wonderful machine that is the Cricut Expression and I was looking into what else Provo Craft had to offer, immediately the YUDU screen printer caught my eye.

Being able to personalize textiles is a huge thing for me; I love being able to customize anything I can get my hands on. With the YUDU you can create your own screens, with your own designs, to use for printing. With some care the screens are reusable, allowing you to create as many or as few screen printings as you want.
The machine itself serves as an all-in-one screening station; you can dry and hold up to two screens in a holding compartment in the lower part of the YUDU. The top has a lightboard with two different light settings, one being used to expose screens to whatever design you have chosen, and the other being a less bright light allowing you to properly place your designs, before you “burn” them into the screen.


Included with the YUDU is a 110 mesh screen, 110 meaning per square inch there are 110 threads creating the openings for your ink to flow. Also available are 220 mesh and new 40 mesh screens. The 220 is used for screen printing on paper, the higher number of threads allows for greater detail. Personally I find that I prefer to use the 220 mesh screens for all of my screen printing. The 40 mesh is a new screen designed for use specifically with the YUDU glue and new foil and glitter textiles out. To use the mesh you take an emulsion sheet, and adhere it with water. The emulsion sheet is photosensitive and this part should be done in a darker room, and only when you have placed your design and are ready to burn it into your screen.

The first project I wanted to share has to do with personalizing cardboard boxes and fabric squares for my honey. I took a sharpie and drew a honey bee design, scanned it into my computer and printed it on one of the transparency sheets. The first tip I have is to print out the design twice on two separate pieces of transparency paper and then tape the designs together. It’s very important to not let any light through any of the areas you’re trying to burn into your screen. Just using one transparency you run the risk of exposing an area just enough to not let any ink pass through, rendering your screen useless. Even though the emulsion will still wash off and you may see your design, there could be an almost invisible film inhibiting any ink from coming through. Trust me, I learned this the hard way.

I always try and burn as many images into an emulsion sheet as possible, so I can use different areas of the screen for different projects and cut down on my need for new emulsion sheets. I usually keep my platten covered with parchment paper, this way I’m able to print a test print of my design and see where it’s going to be placed when it’s printed. To make it so that I’m able to position my item to be printed on, I draw around something either a template or cut out matched to the exact size, this way I get a pretty good idea of where my print is going to end up.



Once you start screening, it’s a good idea to be set up to print all of your projects. The actual printing process is very fast, and you don’t want any ink to lodge in your screen. The ink dries faster than you might think, I ruined one of my screens by stepping away for just a few minutes to answer the phone, when I came back I immediately washed the screen but to no avail, gold ink all lodged in. Which is why it’s a good idea to try and burn multiple images into your screen, I just moved on to another area of my screen to continue my project.



My second project had much more detail in it, a series of cartoons I drew, and wanted to put on a tote bag. The 220 mesh would be necessary in a project with fine lines like this. The main trick with this one was printing out the images twice and layering the transparency sheets so no light would get through the fine lines, not too difficult and it made all the difference. I also was determined to use glow in the dark YUDU ink, when I screened the image using just the glow ink, I wasn’t happy with the quality of the print. I mixed in some white ink, just to make the print stand out more, on the dark fabric. I was happy to find out that the white ink being added still allowed the glow ink to glow.


When you’re all finished with your project, if you haven’t destroyed your screen through the rigors of numerous printings, you can either store it for later use or use the emulsion remover to remove all of your design and leave you with a screen ready to be designed with again. I really like my YUDU, I don’t use it as much as I thought I would, but when I do need it, I’m glad I have it.



Here’s a video I made shortly after I got my YUDU, it’s the first time I ever used the thing, and it was easy enough for me to make a video out of it. I hope it explains things for you!

Pros:

  • Completely customizable – you decide what design you want to make, and with a fairly wide array of inks you can make almost any color
  • Fast – Once you have your screen ready to use for printing, the actual printing process takes seconds, the ink sets pretty quickly
  • Washable – Did you make a mistake? Wash it out, the ink is only permanent after being heat set, so go ahead wash your item and try again!

Cons:

  • Expensive – The emulsion sheets are very expensive and you only get two to a pack. Buy extras because accidents can and do happen with the emulsion sheets. All of the YUDU textiles are pricy.
  • Inks had varied consistencies, some were chunky and some were runny
  • If you step away from screening the ink can dry and lodge itself into the screen.
  • The emulsion can be damaged when wet, take care not to damage your design when washing.

Do you have a YUDU? Are you screen printing with another cool tool? Leave a comment below and let us know!

CHA Summer 2011 | ProvoCraft Cricut Mini and More

The newest member of the Cricut family is the Cricut Mini. Provocraft’s Cricut Mini is a small, lightweight, ultra-portable way to make almost anything you want – out of many different types of materials, including thick and thin paper, fabric, vinyl, magnetic material, craft foil, and lots more. With Cricut Mini, it’s easier than ever to make projects and be more creative!

This small, portable, and lightweight machine is a great space saver. It works with any computer PC or Mac with a standard wireless or wired Internet connection. Simply plug it in, turn it on, connect to Cricut Craft Room – the online design tool where you can see and design with every Cricut cartridge – and start making projects. It cuts up to 8.5” x 12” paper and other materials. Cut small shapes and fonts from ¼” to larger cuts up to 11½”.
Here’s a little video walk through of this hot new little machine…

Also in the Provocraft booth at the show was Jinger leading attendees through Cricut classes right on the showroom floor.

There are also plenty of new cartridges for your Cricut machines, like these boxes. Extremely cute!

Plus, there are cupcake inserts. Anything that is cupcake compatible is good in my book.

Plus cool new flower cartridges.

And a really cute new cartridge for the Cricut Imagine that will please your little pirates:

And if you are a fan of space (and who isn’t?!), you’re in luck with robots, space ships, and planets in this new cartridge.

And a gorgeous frame cartridge that is sophisticated and delicate.

So, what do you think of what ProvoCraft has in store for you? What do you think of the new Cricut Mini? What cartridges do you hope they come out with next?