Monday, March 21, 2016

Paper Towel Stained Glass

I have to admit, my 8-year-old just came up with a great idea.  She's my little artist, and is always doodling, coloring, and writing any chance she gets.  She was in the kitchen being so quiet, so I peeked around the corner and was shocked (and awed) to find she was finishing up on this:

Paper towel Stained glass art - by my 8-year-old
It's beautiful!

I was pretty impressed.  She had found an extra piece of paper towel that was lying on the island and started tracing the absorption pattern on the towel with colorful sharpies.  I couldn't believe how she stuck to a pattern with the colors, and she made it such a lovely mosaic.

My 11-year-old like to leave more negative white space with her stained glass art attempt
My other two girls immediately wanted to make their own stained glass art, so off they went and this is what they came up with.

A work in progress.  Picking the colors for the different shapes was the fun part.
This craft is pretty self explanatory, but might make for a nice little artsy time killer over a rainy weekend or spring break.  All you need is white paper towels that have an interesting texture or pattern on them, a handful of sharpies, and something under your artwork (more paper towels, extra printer paper) to protect the sharpies from bleeding through to any surface beneath. Then have your artist trace the patterns with whichever color they want.

Paper towel stained glass looks nice no matter what part of the drawing you are at
After they were finished, we decided to hang them up on the back window for a while, and they really did look like bits of pretty stained glass.They also looked nice on the fridge.  (Note: If you are interested in exactly what kind of paper towels we used, these were the 12 pack of Kirkland Signature "create-a- size" towels from Costco).  They almost made my fridge look like a patchwork quilt!  So pretty.

Stained glass paper towel art - they just couldn't stop making these
Today was their cousin Gabe's birthday party and so my youngest made him a lovely birthday card because she knew he liked "art".  So sweet of her.  

Even though he was 14, he made her feel nice about it and hung it on their fridge, and she was beaming from ear to ear.  Anyway, it's a great little artsy time killer, and I have to admit, I didn't even think if it, my kid did! She was so pleased when I told her I was going to make a blog post featuring her art invention.  She was so excited!  Not to mention they really did turn out just beautiful! Enjoy!

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Stained Glass Rainbow Cake

With Saint Patrick's day around the corner, my thoughts always seem to turn to rainbows.  A few years back we had a rainbow birthday party in the middle of winter, and I was able to make a very cool cake with a surprise rainbow center that the kids went gaga over.  Then two years ago, my 10 year old wanted a sleeping bag cake, and she wanted another rainbow inside.  Instead of doing the concentric circles like we did the first time, we layered in the colors quite randomly, and what we ended up with, was nothing short of the most amazing "stained glass" rainbow cake!

The Stain glass rainbow cake up close
Now isn't that pretty?  If you want to take a peek at how we did it I will give you the play by play below.  First, for a reminder, if you want to see the original rainbow cake technique, this is how it turned out.  (Note, if you want to make the larger, color patched rainbow cake pictured below, the full tutorial is here).

The original rainbow cake - using concentric circles
The technique used here was to pour 1/2 cups of cake batter in concentric circles (each pan the opposite color order as the first one) to get the above chunky rainbow look.  Here's what they looked like baking:

See how each pan we layered the colors in opposite rainbow order, so when we stacked them on top of each other later, each color would have it's own share of the color scheme.

For our new and improved attempt to make a stained glass rainbow cake, we were trying something completely new.  Luckily, it starts out pretty much the same as the original rainbow cake by separating the batter into 6 bowls, and giving each it's own color.

This is the equivalent of two boxes of cake mix, split into six bowls
We drizzled the different colored batters, and spooned in or layered in the different colors randomly as we went along.

Pan #1 of the stained glass rainbow cake - pre baked
Then we did the same thing to the next pan, trying to do different colors than we did the first time.  Almost a drizzling effect.

Pan #2 of the stained glass rainbow cake
Here they are baking, and we were just hoping and praying the colors would not blend too much during the baking time.  We were surprised when the colors held strong, even if they had been created with very thin lines.  I was impressed!  We baked these by the way for the regular recommend time on the box for two 9x13 pans, as we are making a double-layer cake.

Stained glass cake.  I have no idea why those rectangles appeared, but they are cool!

I tend to let cakes cool, remove from the pan, and let them sit in the freezer so they are easier to work with.  We stacked them on top of each other with a layer of strawberry jelly in between.

A layer of strawberry jelly between the stained glass rainbow cake
After that, I frosted them to look like a cozy sleeping bag (It was her first official sleep over, and all her friends were bringing their sleeping bags too).

It's a sleeping bag cake with a secret rainbow surprise inside!

When we finally cut it open, there were plenty of Ooo's and Ahh's to be had

Stained glass rainbow cake - a very special treat
The colors were amazing!

Stained glass rainbow cake - WOW!
Let's just say the birthday girl was pretty happy.

Why yes, there were rainbow plates too!

So if you need a fun new way to celebrate St. Patrick's day, or I have inspired you to do a future birthday theme party decorated entirely with rainbows, or if you need a cool Wizard of Oz cake, or you want to switch up the colors to your favorite team or school colors, it's all good.  Well, delicious actually.  Enjoy!

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