Royal Icing Lattice Valentine’s Gift Box

January 28, 2011

Ever since I saw this beautiful church from a tweet by Craft Gossip just before Christmas I knew that I had to try to create something using this talented baker/decorator’s technique with royal icing.  Not ready to attempt the church quite yet, I did think that I could create something for Valentine’s Day and set about to create the templates I would need to make a royal icing lattice gift box.

It required only 4 templates and for the most part, it was not difficult.  The process of piping the pattern onto pieces of waxed paper is easy.  Letting it all dry is a cinch.  Carefully pealing away the waxed paper from the hardened royal icing is pretty simple.  Handling the finished pieces and putting them together….um…not so easy. Well, not for me at least.  However, I did do it and it was worth all the failed attempts to get to the one successful one.

The owner of the blog which featured the Church is not kidding when she stated that the pieces are fragile.  This is not a project for those who get frustrated easily!  I made a total of four sets of templates before I managed to get it all put together without one section or another crumbling or cracking into little white particle mounds of misery on my dining room table.

I thought at one point that this idea may never see its way into a blog post but I also knew that this gift box could be made.  I could envision the finished piece in my head, filled with cookies and chocolates and I really wanted to make it happen.  After all, if you can think it you can make it (right?) besides, other people have built an entire church out of royal icing!

I’m glad that I didn’t let my failed attempts get the best of me because the finished piece did come out looking exactly as I had imagined and nothing feels better than having an idea and being able to bring it to life.

Here’s how I made this gift box.

Using my templates, I traced over the waxed paper covered lattice pattern with royal icing and a number #4 tip.  I used a #4 tip for all the horizontal and vertical lines and a #3 for all the diagonal lines.  I found (after going through three sets of templates, that a #3 tip for the entire pattern was not strong enough). Shown is the template used for the front and back of the box.  The templates for the sides is slightly shorter, being only 12 rows x 10 shows. If you are going to make this, be sure to make a few extra templates.

‘Cause….you never know when something like this is going to happen…

To get the lid to curve, after I had piped the pattern and while the royal icing was still wet, I laid the waxed paper over a roll of drawer liner paper.  Anything cylinder will do just as long as it is not too big in circumference.  The lid template shown below is one of the first ones I did.  In the end, I made one that was two rows wider and that is what is shown on the finished gift box.  Let all your templates dry overnight at least, before assembling them.

For the base to display the gift box on, I covered a piece of corrugated cardboard with aluminum foil and then flooded it with royal icing.  When dried, I then piped and flooded little red hearts in each of the corners and little red dots around all the sides and let it dry completely.

When ready to assemble and doing one section at a time I first brushed along the bottom of each section with clear corn syrup and stood it in its position in the center of the base.   Once each section was standing upright, I piped royal icing along the bottom of it.  Something light is needed to support the section until it dries so I used plastic storage containers. As I joined the sections together, I piped royal icing along each of the side seams.

When the box sides and ends had all been assembled,  I attached the lattice hearts I made that would be used to support the lid.  Again, I used clear corn syrup and then a layer of piping.  This was trail and error and the photo shown below depicts the earlier attempts at the box.  These heart supports are larger that the ones I used in the final creation only because I didn’t like the angle of the lid when resting on the larger hearts and because this box did not make it to completion.  My sweater sleeve brushed against one side of it when I was putting the lid on and…well…bring on the extra templates!

Once the hearts had dried, I attached the lid with a line of clear corn syrup along the bottom of it where it met the top of the back section.  I also dabbed a bit of syrup on the hearts where the lid would rest against them. To finish off the base, I decided to pipe little white dots all around (my grand-daughter Ella was here when the lid was attached and she liked the idea of little dots all over the base).

To finish off this gift box I put a few pieces of pink tissue paper in the bottom and then filled it with my home-made Valentine cookies and of course, some chocolate hearts :)

If you are interested in making this box, here are the links to the pdf. files of my templates. The finished box measures approximately 7″ long x 6″ wide and 5″ deep.  The lid is approximately 7 3/4″ wide by 6″ high.  The base is 10 1/2″ x 9″.

Royal Icing Lattice Gift Box Side & End Template

Royal Icing Lattice Gift Box Lid Template

Royal Icing Lattice Gift Box Heart Template

Sunday, Jan. 30/11:  Oops!  I linked this post up to Cheryl’s I’m Lovin’ It Friday’s link-up party and forget until now to say so.  If you aren’t already a follower of hers, think about subscribing.  Cheryl has a fantastic blog and her link-up parties are awesome with so many wonderful and inspirational ideas.

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Gail Dosik January 28, 2011 at 8:50 am

I nominate you for sainthood, Paula. The Patron Saint of Patience. I would have been screaming like a banshee had I taken this project on. Fabulous.

That said, I do like a good challenge….hmmmm……

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Amanda January 28, 2011 at 9:03 am

I am in such awe of this brilliant and beautiful work Paula… you are a talent like none other!!!

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SweetSugarBelle January 28, 2011 at 9:10 am

Speechless…

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homemademummy January 28, 2011 at 9:42 am

Wow! I’ve never seen anything like this before. Such a special gift to give.

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Jen Kim January 28, 2011 at 9:51 am

absolutely stunning! such amazing patience and a steady hand you must have :-)

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Rachel @ Baked by Rachel January 28, 2011 at 9:58 am

I am in total awe.

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Made With Pink January 28, 2011 at 10:11 am

Wow! That is amazing! I’m very impressed.

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MissG January 28, 2011 at 10:12 am

That is absolute positive lunacy! Like great, incredible lunacy, but lunacy nonetheless.

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Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) January 28, 2011 at 10:37 am

Wow! I’m truly in awe! I’ve worked with RI, so I can imagine how hard this must have been!

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Anne January 28, 2011 at 11:02 am

This is so cool! I do remember seeing that church you referenced…but this box is such a great idea for a gift! Love it! Way to go! I’m inspired!

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NATI January 28, 2011 at 11:19 am

Me he quedado maravillada, es un trabajo muy meticuloso, me alegro de seguir este blog se aprenden muchas cosas buenas. Un besazo.

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Sue January 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Paula, I’m floored! This is an incredible undertaking! I hope the recipient truly appreciates the patience, time, skill, and love that went into making such an amazing gift box! :)

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Jackie (BakingLand) January 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm

This is amazing! You are so talented and I admire your work and patience!

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Violet January 28, 2011 at 8:06 pm

How great is this!!! I LOVE it! When I learn how to pipe I will definitely try this!

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Amalia January 28, 2011 at 10:57 pm

AMAZING! This does not look real! You can tell it takes precision and PATIENCE!!! Beautiful work!! Always love to see your works of art!!!!

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Diane {createdbydiane.blogspot.com} January 29, 2011 at 2:08 am

WOW!
you have patients that go beyond!!!
So pretty. I can’t believe it :) You are amazing!

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Manni January 29, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Omg! thats amazing! At first glance I thought it was a unique box you purchased and then in reading noticed that it was made by you!!! How cool is that : )

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Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction January 29, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Oh my goodness!! This is absolutely amazing. You must have some incredible patience to pull that off.

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Lora January 29, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Unbelievable! It looks like metal in the picture. So beautiful.

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Renee (Kudos Kitchen) January 29, 2011 at 7:15 pm

You sometimes seriously bring me to tears. I am forever in awe of your talents! I’m all choked up at how beautiful this truly is. I have no words. You AMAZE me!!!

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faithy January 30, 2011 at 2:23 am

AMAZING!! breathtaking!

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Kristin January 30, 2011 at 7:15 am

Holy cow! You are amazing and this is amazing! You are an artist. Thank you so much for being willing to share your talents and provide some insight on how you make the magic!

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Barbara Bakes January 30, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Wow I am so impressed. I don’t think I could even pipe that many straight lines. You are so talented and so patient!

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Jenn@eatcakefordinner January 30, 2011 at 11:17 pm

You are freaking amazing! I never in my life would have thought of something like that.

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brandy January 31, 2011 at 8:08 am

WOW! That is incredible! I am just blown away by the amazing work you do! Thanks for sharing how you did this Paula!

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SweetSugarBelle January 31, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I am still not over this. I have been back at least five times just thinking about what it took. Part of me is just happy to not be alone in my craziness! Once again, I’m in awe.

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JulieD January 31, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Wow, your talent is limitless. You’re amazing! It’s really, truly beautiful. Thanks for sharing the wonderful tips and advice too.

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Jackiefo January 31, 2011 at 10:07 pm

AH-MA-ZING…that’s all I can say!

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Samantha February 1, 2011 at 10:53 am

WOW! Just WOW! What a great idea! So much detail and I imagine it took a looooong time :)
Royal icing doesn’t dry as quickly as people think.

Very, very pretty!

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Rosanne February 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Royal icing and myself have not yet become friends….but I see you have definatly mastered the royal icing.
Love it!

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Cookbook Queen February 1, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Paula!! I am in awe.

Seriously…..amazing. It’s gorgeous on it’s own, but the fact that it’s edible? Blows my dang mind.

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mari February 2, 2011 at 2:24 pm

This is unbelievable. Gravity-defying, really! I remember seeing something like this in one of Colette Peters’s books and decided against trying it. I just knew I’d give up after breaking it a few times, so I really, really admire your patience and perseverance.

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Modern Country Lady February 6, 2011 at 5:47 am

What a fabulous job you did there- and the picture of the broken lattice shows how hard it must have been- but it was all worth it- it looks wonderful.
I am so rubbish at Royal icing- and I have bought this lovely box with all kind of ends for different width of piping- this has made me more determined to do some practice runs.. starting this afternoon :-))
Thanks for sharing and the great tutorial!!

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Megacrafty February 12, 2011 at 10:17 am

WOW is pretty much all I can say… just WOW!

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Monica (MsHobby) February 13, 2011 at 1:08 am

Wow – that is amazing. I don’t think I’d have the patience to work through it crumbling. You did a great job.

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Adryon February 13, 2011 at 11:12 am

Absolutely stunning! I can not imagine the steady hand/calm head to do this. You are insanely talented.

Beautiful!!

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Becki D February 26, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Oh. My. Goodness!!! Again I say, you must have the patience of a saint! Wow!! Go Paula!!!

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Nathan Noland March 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm

This is unbelievable work, really! I consider myself an average piper and could not dream of making these beautiful boxes with precisely piped lines … and then piecing them together without breaking them to bits. Bravo!! I’m totally fascinated by your work and if you were in NYC I’d beg for a piping session with you!

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aryanna April 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Wow. I still can’t believe how amazing this is. Truly inspiring work. I’m definitely putting this on my to do list.

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Haniela May 26, 2011 at 4:33 pm

This is so beautiful, I love royal icing work. It is too bad it is so delicate and sometimes pieces break easily, finally effect though is really breathtaking and you really did just that.
GORGEOUS!!

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Meagan February 14, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Just spent 2 weeks on and off making this for Valentine’s Day. So much fun! All went fantastically until transport; I bumped the lid in the car and it caved in :( Back to the kitchen! Hopefully it gets there in one piece this time!

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Andrea June 7, 2013 at 11:31 am

Pleaseee could you put on the blog the recipe of the royal icing that you use?¿ I have been searching a good recipe to do good royal icing, but I didnt found it. And your box are GREAT!!!

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