Sunday, November 25, 2012

Beach Cupcakes

I haven't had much time to do any elaborate cake projects lately, but for my mom's birthday earlier this month, I did manage to throw together some cute beach cupcakes. There are similar cupcakes all over the internet so I had no shortage of photos for inspiration.

Making this batch of cute cupcakes was actually pretty simple. First I baked some gluten-free cupcakes and gathered my supplies.

I used a gluten-free cake mix to bake the cupcakes and went the easy route with the icing and just bought some Pilsbury blue frosting instead of coloring it myself. I put a little smear of the icing on half of the cupcake and then rolled it in smashed up gluten-free animal cookies.

After the "sand" was glued on, I added the ocean part of the cupcake using a closed star icing tip to make swirls. Gummy sharks and Swedish fish served for tasty sea life. Cocktail umbrellas gave these cupcakes the finishing touch.

Monday, November 5, 2012

DIY Custom Electrical Panels

My previous home improvement blog post involved "sewing" and painting some curtains to cover my closet, which have turned out to be a wonderful investment of time (just a few hours) and money (just a few dollars!)

Now it's time for another frugal and fun home improvement project: custom electrical panels. Because we (okay, I) chose a theme for each room in the house, I've been toying with inexpensive ways to unite the furnishings and decor while conveying the theme. Also, because we did a lot of painting and tearing down sheet rock, many of our electrical panels ended up stacked on various counter-tops.

For our travel-themed room, I used some pages of maps from an atlas of Alaska that I bought for a dollar at an estate sale. I traced around the panel and adhered the map to the panel with decoupage glue. Then I used a craft knife to cut out the space where the plug-ins go through or the light-switch flips up and down. Lastly I covered the maps with a few layers of the same glue and sprayed a clear sealer over the top.


I used the same method to create some panels for one of the spare bedrooms where I've decided to have an owl theme.

The cute owl wrapping paper came from World Market, and I used the same paper to add some pizazz to an old Ikea bookcase.

I also covered the panels in the hallway bathroom in a giraffe print to match the tile and mirror:

The living room downstairs is going to be outer space themed, but I wasn't able to find paper that satisfied me, so I painted them with acrylics.

I'm hoping to do more of these fun (and easy) decorating projects, and I'll try to keep up with blogging about them!