Tutorial for Building a Royal Icing Crib

May 12, 2011

As promised in the feature post, the following is the tutorial on how to make your own baby crib from royal icing.  Other than using as a center piece for the sweet table at a baby shower, I can think of no other use for such an item but they are cute :)

1.  Print off the enclosed templates and lay out separately on a smooth, flat surface.  Cover each template with a sheet of waxed paper.  You will need to pipe two sides, two ends and one bottom.  The crib mobiles are an optional decoration (more on those later).  Note:  The quantities states in the template document is for one complete crib.  As these structures are very fragile, I recommend that when you initially pipe your templates that you make more than what is required as some breakage may occur during construction.

2.  Prepare a batch of royal icing and then colour with your choice of food colouring gel.

3.  Fill your piping bag with royal icing (thinned to piping consistency)

4.  Pipe the outline of each template with royal icing.  I always do the outside borders first, followed by the horizontal lines, then the vertical lines and then the diagonal lines.  I then go over the outside borders, the horizontal lines and the vertical lines twice for greater stability.  When piping the side rails to the crib, pipe all the vertical lines in the template but only fill in with the detail *x’s* in an alternating sequence so as to leave a *space* between each of the crib rails.

5.  Pipe over the *leg* sections of the crib three to four times just to ensure a good support.  Let the legs dry between each application however.

6.  Let all your piped templates dry overnight.

7.  Gently peel the waxed paper away from the royal icing templates as opposed to lifting the templates from the waxed paper.

8.  Using a light support (empty flood bottles) attach the bottom of the crib to one end of the crib *head board* by piping a line of royal icing on both the edge of the *head board* and the end of the crib bottom.  Let dry completely.

9.  When this is dry, attach one crib side-rail by running a strip of royal icing along the outside edge of the crib bottom, along bottom edge and end of the crib side rail and along the edge of the head board up to the point that it begins to curve.  Let dry completely and then repeat this process for the other side rail.

10.  When both side rails are attached and completely dry, attach the crib *foot board* by running a strip of royal icing along the ends of the rails and the edge of the crib bottom as well as along the edge of the *foot board* starting just below where the curve ends working your way down to where the *feet* start, pipe across and up the other side to just where the curve of the *foot board* begins.

11.  When this section has dried, it is time to attach your mobile (see instructions for making mobile below).   Once this is completed, arrange the crib and the mobile in such a manner so that it can be balanced as shown below.  Attach the mobile to the head or foot board of the crib by running a strip of royal icing along the inside edges of the longest section of the mobile stand going from the bottom up to the end of the 3rd or 4th *square*, across and back down again.  Lightly place this against the head or foot board and let dry completely.  (Note:  My first pink mobile broke and when I made another one, I forgot to add the second arm.  I only noticed my mistake after the mobile had dried to the crib and once it had, it was too late to try and remove it without breaking the crib.  Lesson learned! Don’t do what I did as your mobile will hang incorrectly. It’s the only picture I have of the mobile drying so it shall serve as a reminder to me and you :)

The blue circular piece of royal icing you see on top of the glass is not part of the pink mobile but rather used to keep it level.  Also, the hanging butterflies are attached, just not visible in this photograph as they are draped across the other side of the glass.

11.  When the assembled crib has completely dried, gently lift it and place on your display board.  If you are going to transport this any distance by car, I recommend that prior to attaching to your display board, gently brush the bottom of the crib legs with corn syrup before placing on the board.  This will *glue* the crib to the board.  Another suggestion (and one I would follow if I made these again)  is to not flood your display board until just before you are ready to put the crib on it.  Once flooded, you can place your crib in the wet flood icing and it will be *glued* to the board once the flood icing has dried.

Instructions for Making the Crib Mobile

Using the templates provided, lay out on a smooth flat surface and cover with waxed paper.

Using the same colour of royal icing as you used to make your cribs, pipe the mobile stand, mobile stand arm and mobile stand arm #2.  I go over the border and the horizontal and vertical lines twice for more stability.  Using the circular template, pipe around the outline and fill either with piping icing or with colour matching flood icing.    You can use the template for the butterfly or just do a butterfly shapes with piping icing approximately the same size.  I used three butterfly shapes to hang on crib mobile so if doing three yourself, you will need to pipe six butterflies.  When the mobile base (circle) is almost dry but still damp, using a needle, poke a hole in the center of the circle.  Let everything dry overnight.

Attach the end of the mobile stand to the end of the mobile stand arm by applying a strip of royal icing on the end of each.  Attach the mobile arm to the mobile arm #2 using the same process.  Lay on it’s side and let dry completely.

Using a needle and a short length of thread knotted at one end, thread the needle through the centre of the circular mobile base until the knot is against the underside of the mobile base.

Using three short lengths of thread (approximately two to three inches) and lay each length in the centre of the underside of one of your dried butterflies with approximately 1/2 inch extending from the bottom of the butterfly.  Attach a small dot of royal icing on top of the thread in the center of your butterfly and apply the top half of your butterfly.  Press together gently and let dry.  Trim off the 1/2 inch piece of thread extending from the bottom of your butterfly when the sections have sealed together.

Take all of your threaded butterflies and arrange the ends of the threads on the underside of the mobile base.  Attach with royal icing.  Let dry.

Take your finished mobile and attach it to the dried stand by threading the thread through the patterned section in the stand and bringing it down to the top of the round section. Using your piping icing, run a coat of icing around the base where the arm and the base meet to cover the end of the thread and reinforce the mobile to the stand.

Click here to download the templates for this project.  Have fun with it :)

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen May 12, 2011 at 10:40 am

Holy cow Paula, that is amazing. So wouldn’t have the patience to do that! Just beautiful!


Nicole (Life's a Batch) May 12, 2011 at 11:46 am

Paula, these are just stunning! I don’t know how you have the patience for such creation, but I’m sure glad you do because I *so* enjoy looking at your royal icing masterpieces! Absolutely splendid! :-)


Krystal May 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Really? strung butterfly mobile?! you are too much! I just love your attention to those little details! (I didn’t even notice the mobile was wrong until you pointed it out)


Cakewhiz May 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm

i am just speechless at how wonderful these look. all that hard work must have paid off coz the cribs turned out perfect. all those details… i am so impressed!


Bronniebakes May 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Wow, wow, WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This just looks so amazing and I can’t get over the attention to detail. Thanks for taking the time to post a tutorial and now I just need to wait for one of my friends to fall pregnant so I have an excuse to try it!


Diane {Created by Diane} May 13, 2011 at 12:02 am

You are so amazing with your royal icing!!! I love seeing how you make these beautiful items. I watch in wonder. I myself, would knock them down like a house of cards….I’m clumsy that way! You have fabulous skills Paula!


Renee (Kudos Kitchen) May 13, 2011 at 8:55 am

You’re gooooooood! Nicely done.


Amalia May 13, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Oh my goodness.. I had to show my mother your blog today….we are both just completely stunned at your talent!!!! So incredible…must take lots of patience!!!!!


Lora May 14, 2011 at 5:47 am

Fantastic tutorial. I just love those cribs!


Manni May 14, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Paula, you are truly an amazing artist. I just checked out several of your posts and am amazed at your creations. Absolutely love it:)
Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m really grateful to have met you!! I will definitely be keeping in touch:)
have a wonderful weekend


paddle attachment May 15, 2011 at 2:36 am

Your royal icing sculptures are really wonderful. It reminds me of gingerbread houses and cross stitch, in delicate sugar!


Kimmie May 15, 2011 at 2:59 am

These are gorgeous! I would have never thought… but wow. Such a great idea!


Kelly @ JAX does design May 15, 2011 at 1:27 pm

It must have taken you as long to write the tutorial as it did to make the crib! Wow! I’m just in awe of your artistry and creativity and patience :-)


shelly (cookies and cups) May 17, 2011 at 5:23 pm

oh my lord!! that is the craziest thing I have ever seen done with royal icing!! I would be petrified!!!
Great work and incredible patience :)


Myrna May 20, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Wow! These cribs are absolutely amazing! Talk about a steady hand!=D


Sue May 22, 2011 at 3:24 am

You are so ambitious, Paula! Thanks for the tutorial and templates!


Eftychia May 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm

I could never think that such a thing was possible. Thank you so much for the tutorial. Great Job!! Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!


Janani July 20, 2012 at 1:33 am

Wow! Hats off… it looks amazing!


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