And the hobby in question? Sweets Deco.
Someone requested a starter kit for the hobby, I thought, why not, and came up with this post. I hope my starter kit helps those who want to get into the hobby! I didn’t have a starter kit when I started out this hobby.
Also, my blog turned ONE year old yesterday! But I only realised it just now. Gah, I am such a bad blogger.
No worries, I’ll have a celebratory giveaway sometime within this week, no promises though.
This post will be split into two pages because there are a lot of pictures!
Part 1: Clays + whipped cream
Clay is the building block (hehe, pun) for Sweets Deco, whether you are using oven-baked clay or air-dry clay. However, I will be primarily focusing on air-dry clay, because it is what I use (and I do not use oven-baked clay because I don’t have an oven) and it is easier to sculpt with.
Since I have been in this hobby, a lot of people have asked me what kind of clay they should get when they first start out. My answer has always been air-dry clay, but there are a lot of different types of it as well. But most importantly, if you are tight on budget and you want to get into Sweets Deco (or just clay crafting in general), get yourself a pack of cheap air-dry clay. The cheapest clay I can get my hands on is this pack of soft clay from Daiso (pictured above).
I started out with this clay, Jumping Clay. I got it for $3 at the local crafts store, because it was the only air-dry clay they had. I originally used it for a mascot model in my 2nd year of art school, but still had a bit of leftover.
Jumping clay is… well, the name comes from one of its properties: it claims to bounce. I have not seen it bounce in real life before, but I do know that once it’s dried, it is very flexible and soft. Squishy, even. It also has a nice jasmine scent, for those who absolutely hate how normal air-dry clay stinks. Very inexpensive, about $3 per pack.
For those who have a little more money to spend on, you can get a pack of Hearty Soft (I am not sure if they sell the white one in smaller doses, I’ve always bought the 200g pack). This is by far my favourite clay to work with, nothing to nitpick about. Check out my Hearty clay review here (which is way outdated, I will do a new review for Hearty clays soon).
Now, if you have some more spare change to spare, you can get this Grace lightweight clay. This is basically resin clay, but lightweight. I haven’t used it on its own, so I can’t tell you what’s good about it, but I’ve mixed it with Hearty Soft and the result is simply awesome. This is pretty expensive for starters, it goes about $6 for 80g, whereas Hearty Clay is $6 for 200g. But this clay is good stuff.
You’re probably thinking why I am just introducing lightweight clay and not other clays like Grace, Cosmos, Modena, etc. It is because I think that it is best to learn how to make sweets with lightweight clay first, as it is pretty inexpensive, and once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can move on to resin clay. Resin clay is much more expensive, and heavier, and really, who wants to throw money down the drain? XD
Whipped cream clay. This is the most essential part of Sweets Deco. You really can’t make sweets without whipped cream clay (though if someone manages it, I have nothing to say). You also cannot decorate your phone cases or picture frames without it. This is what binds your cabochons to your base.
Pictured above is Grace Soft Whipped Cream Clay, which you can pipe straight out of the package (depending on where you live). Like the name proposes, it is softer than its normal version which comes in three flavours (white, strawberry, chocolate). It is a must-have in my arsenal, though nowadays I usually make my own (more about it soon). This is a great clay if you can get it to behave the way you want it. One of the cheapest whipped cream clays you can get, too.
Next is also a whipped cream clay by Padico. The Decollage whipped cream clay has the same consistency as Grace Soft whipped cream clay, but you get everything in one nice package: piping bag, decorating tip, spoon, and of course, clay. I haven’t tried this yet, it’s been sitting in my shelf since forever, but from what I’ve seen it’s a good whipped cream clay. You can reuse the decorating tip, just get some new piping bags.
This is also a Decollage whipped cream, but it’s silicone and not really clay. (The one above is made from inorganic flour.) This stuff is really expensive, and I only use it for jewellery. The good thing about this silicone whipped cream is that it is odourless and just basically fuss-free. The smaller dose comes with a decorating tip that you can just screw on top of the tube. Check out my Decollage silicone whipped cream review here.
So how about that? Two items that you absolutely must have for Sweets Deco: clay and whipped cream clay. Now you have your clay, what about tools? Colour? Finishing? Egads! I’m sure it’s going to drive you crazy.