The Swivel Knife and Fondant--The Cricut Aternative

(This was written during "The Great Cricut Craze of 2010." As we now know, there are much simpler alternatives for cutting gumpaste than the Cricut. This is one of them.)

The cake cricut has made its debut, and people either seem to love it or hate it. The complaint department at Home Shopping evidently went crazy after the first ones were shipped, because when people tried it they realized it wasn't as easy as it was made out to be. I'm still using my cricut mainly for making stencils, and cutting them out with my exacto, but I don't do much that requires a lot of repetition with patterns, so for me I don't really use it too much at all.

Someone online had said something about looking for a hand-held knife that had a rotating blade, since she thought that she'd seen one before. I started looking around, and realized that in the scrapbooking aisle at a couple of local craft stores there were several different types. Most of them have blades that will rotate depending on the direction they're going, like the cricut blade, and they come in a lot of different configurations.

The one that I tried out today is the Fiskars Swivel Knife. It fits on your finger and you use it like a pencil. I used a stencil that I made using the cricut and embossed the shape into a piece of fondant using a rolling pin. I then traced the shape with the knife, and applied it to the side of the cake by picking it up and sticking it right to the cake. The fondant was about 1/8" thick, and required no special treatment like the stuff that you put through the cricut.

It took me about three minutes to roll the fondant out, cut the shape and apply it to the cake, so the time wasn't too bad. If I had to do a bunch of these I might start thinking that I'd be better off doing it with the cricut itself, but then once I started rolling it out thin enough, letting it sit long enough, etc. etc. etc. the time plus the aggravation wouldn't save me anything over doing it by hand.

So if you were holding out on getting a cricut, or if you did get one but you're not using it as much as you thought you would, this might be a good technique for you. You can even take the stencils that you cut and emboss larger pieces of fondant with them, (see below) then use those for draping or wrapping a cake. No cutting of fondant required!

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