Letterpress Sugar Cookies

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I've been making a lot of plans for Sadie's first birthday party! Party planning for an almost-one-year-old is incredibly fun as you know they will be happy with whatever you choose. So I've been enjoying dreaming up a lot of little details that I will probably enjoy and care about far more than anyone else.

I picked up this letter pressed cookie cutter set a little while ago (you can buy it here). It was supposed to be for a holiday party gift exchange, but when I ended up not attending at the last minute I ended up keeping the set for myself. I imagined all of the fun I would have stamping away creating little letter cookies.


The set comes with each letter of the alphabet, plus "!" and "&". Each character is a rectangle or a square, which you use to cut out the shape. You then flip the cutter over and press the letter onto the dough, imprinting the character. After baking, you can fill the indented letter with icing or leave as-is. Simple, right?


I made up a basic batch of sugar cookie dough - any recipe will do. My first batch was a total flop. If you don't press the letter hard enough into the dough, the impression will disappear as the cookie bakes. If you press too hard, you'll completely deform the dough and/or cause the dough to rip. My suggestion is to make a few as a test batch and bake them before wasting an entire tray of cookies (like I did).

And although the instructions provide absolutely no detail, I have a hunch that if you pressed the letter onto the dough first and then cut out the rectangle/square shape around the indentation, you would be able to avoid deforming everything. That's my experiment for next time.

Anyway, I managed to get one batch with really good impressions.

After pulling them from the oven, you can see that while they puffed up some, most of the impressions were still fairly deep (with the exception of the letter "s." You know, the one letter I absolutely want to do, as "s" is for "Sadie.").

I then made up a batch of icing. While it is suggested you use royal icing, I don't care for the taste of royal icing. I ended up making something that consisted of powdered sugar, almond extract, light corn syrup and milk. It tasted delicious and the corn syrup ensured the icing was both glossy and firmed up pretty well (not as hard as royal icing, but definitely set up well enough to stack and transport the cookies without ruining them).

Making sure the icing was fairly running, I tinted it different colors and put the icing into decorating squeeze bottles. From there, I simply filled the impressions with icing. All of the cookies that had really good impressions were very easy to fill.


They are far from perfect, which is why I tested these out 2 months before Sadie's birthday rather than 2 days before. I think by the time I do them for the party I'll have my technique completely perfect and will make some beautiful S - A - D - I and E's!

Bib DIY: Fashion + Function!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I'm continuing my quest to get sewing projects both completed and blogged! It seems like I finish one thing and I'm right onto the next (with three more projects being planned in my head).

I had a lot of fun sharing our Christmas stockings and the super fun retro dolls I made. But I'm almost more excited to share the bibs I've been making, which are essential for anyone with a drooling, teething baby on their hands! (Sadie is 9 months old with 6 teeth and possibly another on the way, so the drooling never ends in our house.)

I've loved this waterproof bib tutorial from Our Little Beehive. The pattern is great and the instructions are very clear and concise (because who likes cutting out their pattern pieces and then realizing they have no clue how to sew everything together?).

Now, what makes these bibs extra special is the fact that they have three layers: cotton fabric on top, absorbent flannel in the middle and a waterproof fabric on the back. This works so well for us because the absorbent bibs would always leak right through onto Sadie's shirt and the waterproof bibs tends to just be one layer of waterproof material, so drool/water/milk ends up running all over. Fail. This combination of materials means Sadie can drool all she wants but her shirt stays dry.

The materials are simple and inexpensive. I had fun using bright, colorful cotton fabric for the top layer - I had plenty of options in my stash of fabric so I didn't have to buy a thing. For the middle layer I used a cheap white flannel. The back layer is a waterproof PUL fabric (I got mine from Fabrics.com), which is fairly inexpensive.

It can be time consuming to cut the pieces out as you need to cut 3 pieces for each bib, but once that's done they can be sewn together in minutes (perfect for naptime sewing project). 

The size is great for the under 12 month crowd - if the bib is too small it won't cover her shirt and if it's too big she tries to eat it. This bib is just right. And, obviously she's super excited to now have fashionable, functional bibs! Priorities.