Get Started Decorating Cakes

I think always having a pretty cake on display in your kitchen is a great way to create a decoration that smells and tastes great. I thought I'd go over some basic cake making tips.
  • When you are preparing your pan, try using a 2-inch wide paintbrush to paint on the shortening or butter. Then finish by dusting with flour.
  • Only fill your cake pans half way.
  • Let your cake cool completely and even let it sit in an airtight container for several hours or even overnight before you ice it.
  • If you're making a two layer cake cut the mounded portion of the cake off with a knife so that the next level of cake will fit on top better. Even if you're just making a single layer cake that you plan to decorate a flat top will probably look better.
  • Turn the cake over and brush the cake with a wide paintbrush to help remove the crumbs.
  • Use plenty of icing to ice the top of your cake. Try not to let the icing spatula or knife touch the top of your cake, because this will get crumbs in your icing.
  • Let the cake sit for 20 minutes after you have iced it and then smooth out the cake by using parchment paper. To do this, place the parchment paper on the cake and gently smooth out the icing.

Check back soon for more on cake making, these are just some basic tips. I plan to post several more blogs on hope to make wedding cakes, birthday cakes, and how to get creative and artsy with your cakes.

Decorating with Birthday Cake

If you or your child is having a birthday party a nice cake can really help add to the party theme. Many people buy grocery store cakes for birthday parties, but if you make your own cake and decorate it according to the party theme, people will take notice and appreciate it. It can be fun to make a unique cake for your child's birthday or even for your own birthday. As an added bonus the cake will make your home smell nice. Make sure you get a container for the cake that will look pretty and show off the cake. You can get really creative with a cake, because even if you don't have the right pan size for your vision you can always cut the cake after it cools and place it next to other cut pieces for a very different design. When you are done shaping the cake you'll be covering it with icing or fondant, which broadens the possibilities even more.

The most important thing is that you select a theme. Once you choose your theme get creative about how you will incorporate the cake into the theme. For example, if the theme is My Little Ponies, you could decorate a flat cake with ponies, or you could get creative and make the cake in the shape of a pony.
It is easy to do this as long as you have visual aids, so hop on the internet so you can find a drawing to work from. Another option is to find a pan in the right shape. You can even find kits to make cakes for kid’s parties.

Decorate on a Budget – Refinish Cabinets, Use or Remove Curtains

Decorating is always more of a challenge if you are on a budget. On a budget you won’t have as many choices as when you have money to spend. However, if you are willing to be a little flexible in what you are looking for you can usually decorate for quite a lot cheaper. Here are some tips on how to decorate on a budget.
Instead of replacing cabinets reuse what you can out of the cabinets you have. If the doors are in decent shape but the paint is peeling or you are sick of the color, think about sanding them down and staining or painting them. If the doors are shot but the cabinet frames are good reuse just the frames and only buy new cabinet doors. The new doors most likely will not match the frames and boxes, but you can paint the frames and boxes either the same color, or a contrasting or complementary color to make sure they look exactly the same or different on purpose in a good way.
Remove curtains from windows that have nice views. Windows without curtains will have a cleaner more elegant look to them. Although, curtains can add more personality to a home and they can also help to add a seasonal feel. Gauzy curtains feel summery, while heavy curtains give a room a more cozy winter feel.
Check back soon for the next blog post which will be about decorating on a budget using wallpaper, mirrors, or by covering up imperfections strategically.

Decorate on a Budget – Use Mirrors, Cover Imperfections

The previous post on this blog covered how to decorate on a budget using curtains, removing curtains, or by repainting cabinet doors.
Use mirrors to make a room seem brighter and larger.
If you had plenty of money, perhaps you would want to actually open up the room or put a window in, but mirrors can help if you can’t afford an expensive remodeling project. Framed mirrors can even look like windows. Place artistic items in front of mirrors to show them off. Mirrors can also be hung in patterns on the wall. If you love the idea of mirrors, you could even buy all sorts and sizes of mirrors at a used store or off of craigslist or ebay and then display them all on one wall pieced together about an inch apart mosaic style.
Cover up imperfections that you would otherwise have to pay to fix. This probably isn’t something you want to do permanently, but if you are struggling financially it is a way you could keep your home looking nice temporarily. If your floor has a stain you can put a rug over it or even rearrange your furniture to get by until you can afford to replace the flooring. If your wall has a dent or hole cover that spot with a tapestry or picture until you can fix the wall properly.
Check back soon for the next blog post which will be about decorating on a budget by painting floors, hiding clutter, wallpapering, and using greenery inside.

Decorate on a Budget – Wallpaper, Paint Floors, Organize, Use Plants

The previous post on this blog covered decorating on a budget using wallpaper, mirrors, or by covering up imperfections strategically.
Wallpaper a wall to jazz it up, or frame pieces of cool wallpaper to hang on the wall. Framing series of the same or similar pieces of wallpaper can look really cool too.
Painting your floors is a cheap way to improve they way they look for a lot cheaper than it would be to replace the flooring. Painting flooring will probably not last as long as replacing the flooring would, but it is a trick you can use to improve the look of your floors inexpensively.
Organizing rooms really well can go a long way towards making the rooms look better. Decorating and organizing can be done at the same time with stylish wicker baskets that pull out of colorful shelves.
There are even modern looking shelves with different sized cubbies where pull out fabric or wicker baskets could be stored and where some vases and other decorative art pieces could be displayed.
Make sure you bring some of your garden plants inside when winter hits. This way you can reuse the plants as interior design elements without having to spend any extra money. Plants really brighten up a home. Fake flowers and plants look nice too, if you don’t have a green thumb but you still like the idea of having greenery displayed.
Check back soon for the next blog post which will be about decorating on a budget by recovering furniture, replacing lampshades, and repainting.

Decorate on a Budget – Reupholster, Repaint, Replace Light Shades

The previous post on this blog talked about decorating on a budget by painting floors, hiding clutter, wallpapering, and using greenery inside.
Reupholstering furniture is a wonderful and extremely effective way to save money while refreshing your design look and furniture. Reupholstered furniture can last nearly as long as brand new furniture would have and all you have to invest is the money for new fabric and your time. The great thing about reupholstering is that once you get past the initial learning curve you can reupholster your next piece of furniture must more easily.
Dining room chairs are one of the easiest projects you can start with. If the wooden part of the chairs looks dinged up too consider sanding and restaining the wood before you start reupholstering. You could make slipcovers for your couches and easy chairs. If you are ambitious, consider making a few slipcovers for each furniture item, then you can switch them around seasonally or when you just need a change and wash them inbetween using them.
Replacing dingy light shades can make a big difference in the way a room looks. Buy a funky bright light shade for a different look without a big investment.
Repainting should almost be its own blog series, because it can have such a huge impact on how a home looks. Repainting is not overly expensive and it can really change your design.
Check back soon for the next blog post about decorating on a budget.

Decorate on a Budget – Buy Used, Budget, Buy Unfinished

The previous post on this blog talked about decorating on a budget by recovering furniture, replacing lampshades, and repainting.
Make sure you are taking advantage of used furniture stores, thrift stores, dollar stores, and used shopping websites such as craigslist and ebay. These are places where you can find wonderful deals on home decorating items, new furniture or accent items. You might have a hard time finding something very specific, but if you look through these places with an open mind you can usually find some killer deals that you can make work with your d├ęcor in a great creative way.
If you are planning a large redesign that you think will cost quite a bit and be something you will have to really plan for, make sure you make a budget for the project. List everything you will need to consider, and take time to consider how much you can spend in each category. This way you can rest assured that you will not end up in debt over your redesign.
Unfinished wooden products are usually much cheaper than the finished versions.

Buying unfinished furniture is actually pretty great, because you get to choose any color of the rainbow to paint the furniture instead of being limited to what the normal colors generally are. It is more work of course, but in the end you’re getting a customized product for less money.