Thursday, April 3, 2014

Quick and Easy DIY Cutters for Fondant, Gumpaste, Cookies, Modeling Chocolate or Clay

I don't know about you but I am constantly finding cute little cutters that I would love to add to my stash. The problem is how expensive it can get collecting them all. 

There is a set that I have had my eye on for doing gumpaste orchids. I have no need for them and so I have a hard time justifying spending $16 for the cutters or $31 for the cutter and veiner set. So the idea hits... make them! 

I just used an averaged size can for this.  If you want to make larger cutters then try to find larger cans or you might be able to put two pieces together, although I haven't personally tried it.
Please be safer than I was and use gloves! Start by cutting off the top and bottom of the can. Once you have done that then take your scissors and slice down the center so that you end up with one rectangular piece. 
The edges will be pretty jagged at this point, so take out your ruler and measure out and draw on a perfect rectangle (I ran into some issues because mine is a little less than perfect as you will see later but, meh!) inside the rough edges and cut off the excess. 

With the pattern of your can facing down take your ruler and lay it parallel with the longest side at the edge of either side, bend up 1/4" section towards the ceiling using your ruler to get a straight edge.
Move your ruler to the other side and repeat. It should look like this. 
Fold both sides down flat. You could use your ruler to press it down for a straighter line but I just used my fingers. 
Use the handle of your scissor to run across the folds to make a clean edge on both sides. 
Repeat the last few steps so the folded edges are doubled up.
Mark the middle in between the two folded edges. Draw a straight line through the center. 
Take your scissors and cut right on the line, dividing it into two pieces.
Using your template as a guide, take one of your pieces and some pliers and and bend your cutter into the desired shape. When doing corners, try not to pinch them too tightly at first because they will want to split at the crease if you do.
For rounded edges I like to bend it against something that is a similar thickness. In this case it was the end of one of my paintbrushes. 
This area split because I didn't bother doing perfect lines in the beginning. It was easy to fix but it is better to just do it right in the first place. "Do it nice or do it twice", right?! Lesson learned.
If you end up with an area that is trying to split then take about a half inch length piece of tape (I used electrical tape), center it on the front and then fold it over the back.
Once you get to the end, line it up with first section. Add about an extra cm to end to allow for closing it up with the mini brads. 
They should end up looking like this.
At the end where you added the extra 1cm add two holes towards the middle with the smallest hole puncher you can find. Mine is a paper puncher I got at Hobby Lobby for around $2 on sale and it is the smallest of the circular sizes.
Line up the other end with the holes you just made, making sure that the bottom of the cutter is completely flat and mark where the holes should go. Punch out where the marking are. 
With the excess section on the outside, put mini brads through the holes, open them up and crimp them down with pliers. These cute little black and white mini brads are from Michael's.
After you have finished closing them up, they probably won't be in the perfect shape that you are going for and that's ok, just continue shaping them until you are happy with the final shape. Wash them with a little soapy water, rinse and immediately pat dry.  
These worked SO WELL for cutting my gumpaste orchids. I just need to perfect my flower making now. The options are endless of what you can make with these super quick and easy cutters! I encourage you to make some of these and let me how it went and how you like them. 

-Pretties and Pastries

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