Guest Post By Fancy Flours Employee Lindsey K.
Welcome to our first post in a series detailing all the wonderful things you can do with a Springerle mold! We’ll be jumping a little ahead in time by making Christmas ornaments, but you can use any design to decorate gifts or simply your home year round.
But what the heck is a Springerle mold? We’ll start with a brief history.
The most common form of pronunciation is spring-er-lee, however, the traditional form is shpring-er-luh. The molds were originally carved out of clay beginning as early as the 14th century in Germany, Bavaria, Switzerland and the Alsace area of France. Their biblical pictures were transferred to cookies and breads to educate those who couldn’t read or write. The molds soon changed to wood and metal mediums and the pictures came to represent everyday life – weddings, animals, holidays, etc. While generally used to mold dense, cake-like cookies, the molds have a number of uses in the crafting world.
You can see how modern carvers like Dukasi make their molds here.
And now to the fun stuff! We’ll be casting our ornaments in Paperclay and Delight. Why these mediums instead of regular clay? They’re non-toxic! So you can feel safe using your mold for baking as well as crafting. This could even be a family project!
- Paperclay or Delight (Paperclay is clay-like and ivory while Delight is a foam-like texture and pure white)
- A Springerle Mold (we have tons from House on the Hill!)
- Flat Workspace
- Rolling Pin
- Small Dish (a ramekin works great) to hold your cornstarch
- Pastry Brush
- Lollipop Stick or Straw
- Small Spatula
- Cooling Rack
- Silicone Pastry Mat (optional)
- Acrylic Paint (optional)
- Dough Scraper (optional for easy cutting, transferring casts and cleaning your workspace)
1. Knead your molding medium into a solid mass (we used Paperclay for this tutorial). Make sure there are no layers or your cast won’t come out cleanly. It helps to roll the dough rather than fold it. If your Paperclay seems dry, you can add a Tablespoon or less of water until it reaches the consistency you desire.
Tip: If you want your dough all one color, knead in a couple drops of acrylic paint to your desired shade.
2. Dust your work surface and rolling pin with cornstarch. We laid down our Tovolo Pastry Prep Mat before dusting. This makes for easier cleanup and your molding medium won’t stick to the table. Roll out the Paperclay as you would cookie dough.
Tip: Consider the depth of your design. Don’t roll your Paperclay thinner than the deepest part or you will lose the top details!
3. Use a pastry brush (or large new paint brush) to dust cornstarch into the mold. In a pinch, you can drop the cornstarch into the mold with your fingers alone, but the brush makes for even dusting and keeps your hands clean. Be sure to dust the mold with cornstarch before every pressing!
Featured mold is Sleigh with Covered Bridge.
4. Lay the mold onto the Paperclay and use even pressure to push all sides and the center into it. Again, consider your mold’s depth and press accordingly. This can take some practice, but if you don’t like the imprint simply ball the dough and begin again.
Tip: Only want a piece of the design? Lay your mold face up and press the dough into the part that you wish to use. You can cut any excess with an exacto knife, spatula or dough cutter.
Tip: Only do one press at a time. If you do more than one, your dough will squish together and warp your design.
6. Press your lollipop stick or straw where you would like to tie the ribbon. Coffee stirrers create nice small, neat holes and can be found at office supply stores. You can cut away excess Paperclay before or after this step.
7. Use a spatula to remove your imprint and place on a mesh cooling rack to dry 12-24 hours.
Tip: After drying, you can smooth edges by sanding with a nail file or oval foam cushioned sanding pad.
8. If you’d like to paint your designs, now is the time! Acrylics work great. We chose to paint the Pine Cone design.
Tip: For an extra smooth finish, paint a thin layer of white and let dry before applying other colors.
9. Pull your ribbon through the designated hole, tie it and you’re done!