Ruth Stewart of Stewart Dollhouse Creations creates a range of miniature foods and decorated cakes. She also sells a range of miniature supplies for baking, including the frosting kits reviewed here.
Bottom Line on Stewart Dollhouse Creations Frosting Kit
Stewart Dollhouse Creations frosting kits are sold with two disposable Luer lock ended dispensing syringes, your choice of acrylic 'frosting' colors, instructions, a craft stick to load the syringe, and two locking dispensing tips, a 20 gauge and a 22 gauge.
The kit comes with enough acrylic (water based) frosting in the 2 x 1 inch container to ice a lot of miniature projects. The basic kits, which include a single color of frosting, sell for $7 at the time of writing (November 2013). The kits are a great way to experiment with small scale finishes for dollhouse baking.
How Does The "Frosting" Work
The water based 'frosting' in these kits appears to be a lightweight acrylic artist's molding or modeling medium possibly Liquitex light modeling medium. It has no discernible odor and cleans up easily out of the fine dispensing tips and syringe using water. Unfortunately the contents are not listed, so there is no way to determine if people with allergies may have difficulties with this product.
For my sample I tested the white frosting, and found I could easily tint small batches to any color using tube watercolors or small amounts of liquid acrylic paint.
If you want to try the kit, white is a great starting color.
The frosting is a good consistency for using with the tips supplied. My sample needed to be dried out slightly before I put it in the dispensing syringe if I wanted it to hold very crisp shapes. Mine "melted" very slightly if I put it in stiff peaks directly out of the container, but if I allowed the material to dry out slightly before placing it in the syringe, it held its shape much better.
The material works very well through from the dispensing needles supplied with the kit. It is relatively simple to create small dots and lines which do not break when pressed carefully through the dispensing tips. The thin lines of 'frosting' adhere well to polymer clay and other materials commonly used for miniature baked goods.
The frosting becomes slightly clear when dried, shrinking a bit in the process and losing some of its opacity. It dries in as little as 5 minutes for thin lines, up to an hour for thicker applications. When dry it has the slight sheen of a flat acrylic medium, with some elasticity and a slightly soft dried foam texture.
I tested the frosting with jacquard pearl ex pigments added and found they can be added in small quantities with no appreciable affect on the handling of the frosting, this allows you to create pearl and metallic icing effects.
Using the Syringes and Dispensing Tips
The supplied syringes and dispensing tips are easy to use and clean. The locking function of the tips seats them tightly against the syringe. With the tight seal in place, you can rest your syringe with its tip in a small bowl of water to prevent the tip from drying out if you need to stop working for a short period.
To clean the tips, run some water through the tip using the syringe, then remove the tip and soak it briefly in water, using a pin or bit of paper towel to clean any remaining 'frosting' out of the tip before you set it aside to dry. The tips have locking holders to keep them stored neatly once dry.
What Is the Frosting Kit Good For?
The frosting kit works well for textured icing effects if applied to miniature baking with a modelling knife or small flat blade. The icing material holds its shape well as it dries, and dries to a texture and finish that resembles soft whipped or butter icings. The included tips work well for creating fine lines and small piped dots for decorating cakes and cookies. If you wish, you can lay out lines of the material onto wax paper over a design, then transfer your elements to cakes when they are dry.
The 'frosting' material works well and the method of applying it from a syringe is very similar to working with cake icing from tubes or syringes.
You need very little of this material for frosting small projects. I suggest you start out with around 1/4 inch (.5cm) of the frosting material in your syringe, topping it up if necessary. Unused specially colored material can be stored for later use in air tight artist cups.
I'm enjoying experimenting with the syringes and tips, and testing out a range of acrylic mediums and tube acrylic paints to add different icing colors and finishes to my miniature baking projects.