Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's Oktoberfest-Time

I know, it is still September, but right now the well-known annual beerfest in Munich is on again. In German it is called "Oktoberfest" - despite always happening in the month of September. Very unlike the usually pedantically correct Germans to misnome their festivals... (There is an explanation for that, of course - the first Oktoberfest occurred on the 12th October 1810 on the occasion of the wedding of King Ludwig I. of Bavaria to his wife Theresia. It became an annual event - which was eventually moved into September because the weather is nicer then. If you want more info on it, check this site:

Anyhow, no German fun fair without the traditional gingerbread hearts. They come in all sizes - depending on how much you love the person you intend to buy it for. And they usually have corny slogans written on them, such as "Darling" or "Kiss me" or "Beer God". You can eat them, too, but they are mass-produced, cheap gingerbread decorated with sickly sweet icing - I usually let them collect dust for a while put them on display,  and then discreetly dispose of them uneaten.

They are kind of sweet, though, and to make them last longer, here is a little crafty idea: With a little bit of felt and some puff paint, you can make them yourself. Nice decoration - and no calories *grins*. I started out by creating a heart template in Word. You can download it here in Scribd, if you want it.
Hearts Template                                                            

Having printed my template on a piece of card and then cut it out, I traced around it on my background material. The material is 3mm thick felt - nice and sturdy, just the right colour for gingerbread. I used a golden gel pen to trace onto the felt - it came out very faint, which makes it hard to cut around it later. White pencil works better, I found out later. You need a good, sturdy pair of scissors to cut through the thick material! (My index finger still feels numb after cutting out 20 hearts last night... *ouch*)

Now for the fun bit. I had ordered some puffy paint for this project. This is the first time I have used the paint - and it is not quite as easy as eating a gingerbread heart. Ok, the paints come in a nozzled bottle with which you directly paint or write on the surface. But the difficulty is that you have to squeeze the bottle while writing - resulting in rather squiggly lines. Ah well, first try.

Once you are happy with your design, you let the paint dry for at least six hours. After that you puff up the paint by placing the hearts in the oven at 150°C. The instructions say that the paint only needs 10 to 60 seconds to puff up, however, I found with my gas-oven, that it needed much longer than that. But well, that could be my temperamental oven... You can also use a hairdryer and fluff the paint with that.

I didn't take any pictures of the last step - hot glue a brooch needle onto the back of the heart, and off you go, celebrating Oktoberfest.

I'll be making many more of these in the next few days as I have been asked to supply some crafts for a stall at the local Oktoberfest. Hopefully I will master the art of squeezing the bottle and create a few sleeker hearts.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the "Herzen" look lovely and I will definitely attach them to my Jacket in the next few weeks to mark the Oktoberfest occasion.
Also, they ll come back out of the box in the pre-christmas season for their quaintness and continental Christmas feel! Love them!!! Andrea