Kbatz Kraft: How *Not* to Make Mystical Orbs!

Cast a spell and make some magic any time of year with your very own mystical orbs! Except when you attempt a Pinterest method that results in disaster that is. Read on for both how to paint and how not to glitter your own crystal ball DIY.

The ingredients to make your own affordable, family friendly orbs are surprisingly pedestrian – clear plastic ball ornaments from the dollar store, broken lamp bases for suave pedestals, and two of each to test two different mystical how-tos. One lamp turned orb stand had already been Painted Black and separated into smaller candle holders but now the reunited pieces are dry brushed with yellow ochre for a bronzed look while the second solid lamp base is painted with yellow and brown for an aged vintage. A glittery orange ball to go with the brown was the Pinterest attempt, however, the seemingly simple food dye for orange water, plenty of glitter, and cotton balls combined inside the ball were a complete failure. Although the shine and the color were great, there was either not enough cotton balls or too much water, maybe both because everything just sat there in one ugly clump. Once the soaked gunk was drained out again, I tried painting the outside of the ornament with a mix of yellow paint and coppery glitter, but this too was unsightly and unsuccessful.

Frustrated, I temporarily abandoned this orb in favor of the much more pleasant second attempt. This time blue, white, and purple acrylics were mixed together, varying the colors and brush strokes for a textured, marble effect followed by a glow in the dark paint topcoat. Once dry, the ornament was glued in place on its base – splendidly contrasting the dark bronze pedestal and vindicating my painting method. I went back to the disastrous ball and likewise painted it with a varied yellow and orange. This orange is not opaque like the Dark Shadows Candle Sconces, but a shiny vintage top with the dark brown base. Twine wrapped around the glue seams set everything off, and although it’s tough to photograph them glowing in the dark, they do!

While craft experimenting can be good wholesome fun, it can also lead to time, supply, and cost consumption that isn’t always a day well spent in tough times. Here, my first instinct was correct compared to a dreaded Pinterest fail – one in which discouraged kids, liquids, glitter, and supplies can end up a messy ruin. Fortunately, by reusing found objects and dollar store finds, anyone can paint their own colorful crystal ball orbs.

Visit Kbatz Krafts on Facebook for more photos!

Revisit More Krafts: 

Mini Coffin Tray

How Not to Make a Spell Book

Cardboard Tombstones Video How-To

Morbid Meals – Red Velvet Halloween

HA-Halloween2015

Halloween is once again upon us and rather than share more recipes for pumpkin-spice everything, I opted for some bloody good red velvet cake recipes!

I was originally going to present a recipe for red velvet cupcakes with shattered sugar glass shards, with some tips on how to make the “glass”. My search for the perfect recipe however led me down a rabbit hole of great recipes for many morbid uses for red velvet. Here’s just a handful of my favorites.

Shattered Glass Cupcake

The recipe that started my search. You can use any cupcake recipe you like, or a box of red velvet cake mix, or even dress up some pre-made cupcakes. The real secret here is in making the “glass”. I’ve seen recipes that called for just sugar and water, but this recipe at FromaWhisperToaScream.blogspot.com has corn syrup and cream of tartar for added structure.

2 cups water
1 cup light corn syrup
3 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

If you have a silicone mat for a baking sheet, it will make removing your sugar glass easier, but this is not necessary. Just be sure that you clean your baking sheet pan thoroughly and DO NOT grease it.

Bring everything to a boil in a saucepan, stirring constantly. When the syrup reaches 300°F (hard ball stage), pour it into a metal baking sheet that is kept level. Cool until completely hardened, which will depend on the humidity of your kitchen. Cover with a towel and smash into shards with a mallet or hammer.

The blog has a great recipe for the edible blood syrup, but I’ve also used raspberry and/or blood orange jam thinned out with a little water to make the drizzle syrup.

Bloody Halloween Cake

For something a little classier, and without the sugar shards, I loved the look of this cake, by Shamene at SayItWithCake.org. It is a simple four-layer red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. What makes it special is the red chocolate ganache. Shamene used red candy melts in the ganache which is dripped down the sides to form the bloody topping. It looks fantastic and tasty. Top off the decoration with a handy cake knife stabbed into the top.

Brain Cake

For the zombie fans out there, this is the pièce de résistance! Yolanda of HowToCakeIt.com presents an incredible step-by-step video of how she made her very realistic-looking and yet scrumptious cake shaped like a brain. Enjoy the video!

For these and more ideas, check out my Pinterest page with links to the recipes.