Tuesday, January 22, 2013

DIY Soap Mold Dividers?

I received some new molds as a birthday gift and I've been wanting to get some dividers for them. Since nobody sells dividers the size that I need I'll have to have them custom made which I imagine will be pricey. So what does any crafter on a budget do? Try to make them myself!

I've been looking for a good material to use and couldn't find anything to my liking. While browsing at Lowe's the other day my husband came across this No Parking sign. I would never have thought to use this! Perfect thin plastic material. Easy to cut, yet sturdy enough to hold it's shape. The best part...only $5! So I bought it and decided to give it a try.

First i measured my mold and drew lines where I would need to cut. I cut the strips with a good, sharp pair of scissors.

After cutting the strips I marked where the strips would interlock. Here I had to cut halfway and make the slits wide enough so the other strip would fit smoothly.

Then I put them all together to see if they fit. As you can see, some spots needed some more trimming.

After I finally got them pieced together properly I made sure they fit in my mold, remembering to allow some space for my mold liner. Looking good!

Now for the real test. Do they actually work? I whipped up a batch of soap to test them out. They fit in smoothly and everything looked good. I decided to do a basic CP batch instead of CPOP. That way if something went wrong I would know if it was the dividers themselves or if the oven affected them.

Here's where I find out if they really worked. Unmolding day! Most bars came out smoothly. 2 of them stuck in one little spot but aside from that I had nice clean lines. What I feared would happen though, did happen. Some of the lettering from the sign transferred onto the soap:( If it wasn't for this it would have been a success.

Does anyone know where to get this type of plastic material that wouldn't have any writing on it?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Year of Chocolate

I love to bake. I love chocolate. When I saw the year of chocolate desserts in this month's issue of EveryDay with Rachael Ray, I didn't even have to think twice about making them.

January's recipe is One-Bowl Mocha Cake. The recipe can be found here. I did make a few slight modifications to the recipe. I was trying to use what I had on hand instead of running out to the store and I didn't have any unsalted butter. Instead I used salted butter and eliminated the salt from the recipe. The only coffee I had in the house was vanilla biscotti flavored. I thought I had mini semisweet chocolate chips but it turned out I used them for something else recently and I forgot. My husband just so happened to be going to the store for something so I asked him to grab some. If I get too detailed with him he just tells me to get it myself so I asked for chocolate chips and figured I'd work with whatever he got. He brought home regular sized milk chocolate chips.

I don't know how different it would have tasted if I followed the recipe exactly but it turned out delicious! It's kind of like a big fudgy brownie. I had some yesterday right after it came out of the oven and another piece this morning. I honestly can't decide if I like it better warm or cool. I'll have to warm up another piece later to try to figure it out:)

Next month's recipe: Cran-Raspberry Truffles. Can't wait!

Friday, January 4, 2013

DIY Dry Erase Board

Here's a cute idea for your office, kitchen, craft room, etc. I made this with supplies I already had around the house.

You'll need:

Picture frame (I used an 8x10)
Scrapbook paper cut to fit your frame
Paint (optional)

If you're going to paint your frame do that first. I chose to paint mine a light green to go with the paper I chose. Allow the paint to dry. Cut the ribbon to the size you need for hanging and holding a marker. Attach to the back of the frame with thumbtacks. Insert scrapbook paper. The glass works as a dry erase board. Now you have a cute memo board!