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.
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.
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).
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″.
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.