Friday, 14 January 2011

Cute Cupcakes - a Toyologist review

Galt Cute Cup Cakes Kit 

"This pretty plaster moulding kit lets you mould and decorate 4 mini cupcakes and a cake stand to display them on. Add sparkle with glitter glue. They almost look good enough to eat!"

I misunderstood what this was at first. I thought we were making real cupcakes... to eat. After the initial disappointment, I remembered the Plaster of Paris kits I had as a child and felt a warm flood of nostalgia.

The kit said that it was not for children under 5 years. My 2 year old (who could actually add "and three quarters" after the 2) is not aware that she is under 5 years!! Obviously she was heavily supervised but  I think that she actually did a pretty good job. She has certainly learned a lot of new vocabulary in the course of the craft project. 

Unpacking the kit I was surprised at how tiny the models were but this was a good thing for me because I have a slightly out of character love of miniatures.

We mixed the plaster (the 2 year old thoroughly enjoyed this part) and filled the moulds. It was difficult to get the tops level and smooth, especially as by the time we had finished blobbing and dolloping, the plaster was already beginning to harden. The controlling perfectionist part of me really wanted to take over and make sure everything was exactly right but I forced myself to allow the kit to remain in the hands of the intended users.

The dried models slipped easily out of the moulds (which is more than can be said for the latex moulds I used as a kid - I lost count of the number of headless Donald Ducks I made because the model separated at the neck as I tried to ease the mould off the last few millimetres of the sailor's hat).

Both the cupcakes and the stand are constructed from two separate pieces that need to be glued together with the PVA glue provided. The bumpy surfaces didn't really fit together very easily but with enough glue they held and didn't look too terrible. Again, the perfectionist in me wanted to sand the surfaces smooth to make a perfect fit but that would have been horribly messy and not an appropriate task for a little one. I satisfied myself by picking the rough edges off with my fingernail! The 2 year old loved to squeeze the glue out of the tube but was not too impressed at having to wait for it to dry.

The instructions suggest that the models should be painted before glueing but putting them together so they actually looked like cupcakes before painting made it more exciting for the 2 year old and they were easier to handle.

The painting part was great fun. I was concerned that the paintbrush provided was too fine - good for detailed work but frustratingly slow for larger areas. This did not prove to be true. The acrylic paints were lovely and thick so the paintbrush could be well loaded (a fact my daughter tested to the limit!). I painted one cupcake myself (just for purposes of this review you understand - nothing to do with the fact that I was getting far too into this!) The paint, in invitingly lovely pastel shades, covered beautifully with one coat.

The 2 year old was totally absorbed and did not consider herself "finished" until every drop of paint was used up! This of course meant that the models were somewhat "overpainted". Everything ended up a rather homogenous nondescript shade of yuk but did go through some beautiful marbled pastel stages in the process. She got paint everywhere but it all cleaned up easily with a damp cloth.

Lots of mess

Every drop of paint used up 
Then came the glitter phase. A bit of sparkle was just what our cupcakes needed and the 2 year old was happy to oblige.

Before I started this review I imagined that I would conclude with something like "I'd rather spend the money and time making edible cupcakes" but my opinion has changed. As you can probably see from the video, the 2 year old got a lot out of the project and the finished product is small and discreet enough to not be a monstrous eyesore. As much as I would have liked eating the real cupcakes, at least this way is calorie free!


  1. Smells yummy... that girl is a spoon XD

  2. Wow I'm impressed!! And none of that "I've just eaten 4 cupcakes" guilt.

  3. The end is so adorable - but it seriously can't have tasted good!!
    And really, couldn't you have decorated your cupcake to match Addy's masterpieces, she showed you up with those colour concocting skills! ;)


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