I believe that creativity is a powerful skill that can be practiced and developed. I hope my blog inspires you to find your very own "creative lment". ~LM
Recently I decided to try candy making for the first time and I invited my BFF over to share in the fun. Lucky for me, her mom had spend years doing this type of thing, so I had the bennefit of her knowledge as well (sweet!). Not shown in the photos are all the…uhm…experimental projects we tried (including some very neat tye-dyed looking ones). I decided to concentrate mostly on making these chocolate pops with pink centres, as I knew that our office was going to be holding a bake sale to raise money for breast cancer. I also thought it would be neat to have a pretty display case for them. It was such a fun project, one especially nice for fundraising, so I thought I would share how I put it all together.
As you can see, we are using a griddle to melt the chocolate. We just added some water into the base (like a double boiler) and set the heat to its lowest setting. Then we placed heat safe dish wear into the pan and started adding candy melts (I bought the ones from the local Buk Barn). It was so much easier than trying to melt candy on the stove top! We just occassionally stired the candy as it melted (it never burnt).
I bought plastic candy molds – which were only about $3 each (also from my local Bulk Barn). They had a good selection – including many complex looking designs, but I ended up selecting an easy flower mold (not too many details). This gave me the option to fill the mold with with straight chocolate (melted discs) or add some interest by filling in a coloured centre. Because we were fundraising for breast cancer, I filled the centres with pink candy (melted discs) using a small paint brush. Then I placed the mold in the fridge for 5 minutes to firm the centres up. All that was left was to place the lollipop sticks into the tray, pour the chocolate overtop (filling in the rest of the mold), and tap the bottom on the counter a few times (to make any small air bubbles rise to the surface). Then, I just placed the finished mold into the fridge to set for 25-30m. You know they are ready when you can just reach in and take them (or shake them) out of the tray – as you would with ice cubes.
To build the base, I used one (1) piece of foam board from the dollar store. Because I had planned to use designer scrapbook paper to finish the top, I cut the top of my stand to fit, exactly 12×12.
Then I used the remaining foam board to cut sides out. I wanted my stand to sit about 3″ off the table, so I cut strips 3″ deep and then trimmed them to 12″ long.
As you can see, I first hot glued two of the sides on, then, by placing the remaining sides on the display, I could eye ball what needed to be trimmed to make the other two sides fit. A person could measure this out, however, some variation will occur due to the angle that you glued the other two sides and how accuarately the foam was cut. Best to just take a more organic approach on this one, I say!
Once I trimmed them out, I dotted the edges with hot glue and snuggled them in.
Here I took a moment to plan out exactly how many rows and columns would look best. This will depend on the size of your finish product. For my project, I could fit 5 wide by 5 deep. I discovered that by using a bamboo skew, I could just pop in the holes. To practice, I tested out a row.
So, I actually didn’t pop in all the holes until my designer paper was glued on. I used my fancy “eye ball” techinique to determine where the holes should go (placing a ruler on the side of my stand as a guide of sorts). I love how all the messiness got covered up by designer paper!
Lastly, I took some time to package up and tie little bows on to each lollipop. It might look expensive, but I used an assortment of ribbon at different price points – ribbon which I had been collecting for some time. It felt good to use it up for such a great cause! It made the finish product look more high end – much I hoped would result in more donations. I was so glad to hear after the bake sale that these pops, were indeed, a top seller. All the best!~LM