Tornado birthday decorations

Tornado birthday decorations DEFAULT

Tips on Storing, Handling and Applying your Edible Images

Images are printed on an actual layer of icing with edible inks. The icing is held together by a plastic backing sheet that you will remove before applying the image to your frosted treats. The frosting image only has 1 plastic backing sheet, once this backing sheet is removed, it is ready to be applied.

STORAGE:  Keep your frosting sheet sealed in the ziplock bag that it comes in until you are ready to use it. Store flat on a shelf, at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. Shelf life of frosting sheets is about 24 months if stored properly.

Do NOT put the image in the fridge or freezer as it may cause the image to bubble up and dry out which will cause the image to crack.

CUTTING IMAGE SHEETS:  If you ordered image sheets that are not cut or you need to trim an image you can easily cut them with a clean pair of scissors before you remove the plastic backing sheet.

WHEN TO APPLY:  If you are using butter cream or any other harder frosting, the image can be placed on at your convenience, but not more than 48 hours prior to the event. Depending on how wet your frosting is, the  image will begin to fade with too much moisture. If you are concerned about fading, place the image on the cake within an hour of the event.

HOW TO APPLY:  Do NOT let water come in contact with the edible image before or after on the cake. The sheet will melt and ruin the print. Make sure your hands are clean and dry before handling the image. Your frosting should be fresh. If your frosting becomes dry, spray a fine mist of water over the frosting NOT the image, before applying the image to your frosted treat. If your treats surface is moist, do NOT add any extra moisture. Using too much water may cause colors to run and melt your image.

Edible images can’t be moved once applied. Plan where you want the image to be placed. Remove your image from the plastic backing sheet by gently placing it on a table edge or counter top with the image facing up and roll the backing sheet firmly over the edge of the table to loosen your image. Never pull on the image itself as it can tear.

Lay the edible image sheet on your frosted treat by holding ends and gently applying from the middle first to the ends. Gently smooth out the edible image making sure the edges are touching frosting.  If the image bubbles after application GENTLY TAP (do NOT rub) the image. It will take 20-30 minutes for the image to melt into  the frosting (could take longer) depending on frosting, so allow time and be patient. If you touch it, you may leave a fingerprint just like frosting does. Add a piped border or edge decorations of your choice to finish.

You can store the finished treat in the refrigerator to keep image moist and free of cracks until serving. Avoid extensive exposure to ultraviolet lighting. As with any food coloring, the image may fade over time.


You can apply to any colored frosting but keep in mind that dark colors (chocolate, etc) may show through the image. In this case I would suggest putting the image on a thin piece of fondant then onto your frosted treat.

Butter-Cream Frosting - Apply image right after icing the cake. Butter-cream icings will form a thin crust after 15-30 minutes. If butter-cream has formed a crust, spray with a fine mist of sugar water or brush corn syrup on buttercream icing before applying the image.  

Whipped Toppings – Do NOT add extra moisture. Because of the high water content in whipped cream, you should apply the edible image as close to serving time as possible. Any type of frosting that has very high  moisture content will tend to cause bleeding. A thin coating of butter-cream can be added where the image is to   be placed to avoid bleeding/fading.

Ice Cream Cake - If applying the image to an ice cream cake iced with non-dairy whipped topping, Do NOT add any additional water. If you are applying the image directly to ice cream, it is best to allow the ice cream to "sweat" a little bit before applying the image, or mist the ice cream with milk before applying the image. If you  are working with soft-serve ice cream you will achieve better results by applying image while the ice cream is soft, then freeze. If the image bubbles after application or during freezing, GENTLY TAP (do NOT rub) the image. If the decorated cake is frozen thaw slowly, preferably in a refrigerator. As with any food coloring, the image may fade over time.

Sugar Paste or Fondant – Use a small brush to apply water only where image will be placed. Water outside image area may leave a mark on your fondant (though tend to dry back to normal color).

Royal Icing – Its best to apply your image immediately after icing your product, since it has not hardened completely. If not, add a generous mist of water over royal icing before applying the image.

Poured Chocolate or Ganache - Pour icing over product then apply image while icing is wet. Let image set before moving.

Regular/Store Bought Frosting – If using store bought frosting or using frosting that has been stored in the fridge, take it out and blend in a bowl until it is soft and creamy. You may have to mist the top of layered frosting with sugar water to get it more moist for your icing sheet.

Frozen Cakes – Thaw slightly before icing to avoid cracking, then apply the image. If decorated cake is frozen thaw slowly , preferably in a refrigerator, uncovered to avoid running of colors and sweating.

Cookies – There are several ways to adorn decals to cookies. Regular icing, frosting, royal icing, or corn syrup thinned with a little water will adhere the image to most cookies.

Oreo Cookies – Apply corn syrup thinned with a bit of water to the chocolate cookie and place the edible image on top.

Hard candy lollipops – Lightly coat the lollipop with corn syrup thinned with a little water, apply the image on top.

Chocolate – Corn syrup, thinned with a little water, applied to the bar works well or heat the chocolate with a hair dryer for about 20 seconds. Apply the edible image on top.


Removal of sheets that seem to stick to backing sheet: Pull backing sheet over the sharp edge of a tabletop a  couple of times. This technique will help to pop the image off the backing sheet.

If this doesn’t work, the humidity is too high. Exposure to high humidity may cause the frosting sheet to absorb moisture and stick to the baking, making them difficult to peel.

If you experience this do not try to peel the icing sheet away. It’s likely to cause tearing.

Try the Following:

Lay the sheet on a pan and place it in a warm dry oven at about 85F, for about 8-10 minutes after which the image will usually peel easily from the backing sheet. (This method really works best) or use a hair dryer on the front and reverse sides of the backing sheet. Dry it on high in circular motion for about 60 seconds each side. Do not dry it up close. Repeat if necessary until the sheet stiffens slightly. Then it’ll be easy to remove the backing.

Place the frosting sheet into a DRY freezer for about 30 seconds. In high humidity you may need to leave it in for longer, about 1-1.5 minutes. It should be removed immediately after taking it out from the freezer.


Tornado Birthday Party Ideas

springtime in kansas image by Jason Branz from

A tornado is a spinning column of air that causes destruction in its path. A tornado birthday party is a good choice for children who are fascinated by severe weather. Purchase weather posters at an educational supply store to set the scene, draw your own, or print images from the computer.

Tornado Decorations

Roll a gray poster board into a cone shape. Tape in place and cut off any excess at the top. Wrap in blue netting and stuff with blue-and-silver streamers and curling ribbon. Hang one from the center of the party room. Make several small tornadoes to place along the walls and door frame. Use gray and black, or silver and blue for the balloons, streamers and table decor.

Tornado Tubes

Save soda bottles before the party. You will need two bottles per tornado. Purchase a "Tornado Tube" for each party guest. These can be found in educational supply stores. Have each child fill one of their bottles with water. Attach the "Tornado Tubes" according to the manufacturer's instructions. Show the kids how to shake the bottles to make a tornado appear.

Tornado Cake

Create a special tornado cake for the birthday party. Start by making the birthday child's favorite flavor cake. Cover with green tinted frosting. Dye coconut with a little green food coloring and sprinkle on the cake. Make a tornado with different sizes of flat disks of baked meringue. Poke a hole in the middle of each disk with a skewer before baking. Stick the skewer into the cake. Slide the baked meringue disks on the skewer, starting with the smallest disk. Add small plastic toys such as cars, farm animals and trees in between the meringue disks and spread across the cake.

Tornado Party Activities

Play the game Twister. This traditional party game takes on new meaning when played at a tornado- themed birthday party. Rent a children's science video that focuses on severe weather, or tornados in particular. Set up a relay race: gather weather-related clothing such as raincoats, rubber boots, rain hats and umbrellas. Place the items in two piles. Divide the guests into two teams. The object is to have the first person on the team put on all the clothing and then open the umbrella. Then have her quickly take off the gear and close the umbrella. The next person does the same until everyone has had a turn. The first team to finish wins.



Photo Credits

springtime in kansas image by Jason Branz from

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After being displaced by February tornado, Spartanburg family grateful for 'guardian angels'

Latoya Carter gently places a tray of cupcakes on the dining room table.

Without hesitation, Alexis Tyus plucks one of the sweet treats and takes a bite, leaving a smeared streak of white frosting across her lips and cheeks.

In a kitchen adorned with Disney-themed birthday decorations, as cardboard versions of Elsa and Anna from “Frozen” watch nearby, Alexis bounces in her seat with excitement on this day of celebration. 

The family has a lot of reasons to celebrate.

While the focus on Nov. 12 was on the youngest daughter and her third birthday, the family of four — including 31-year-old Anthony Tyus and 7-year-old Jordan Carter — will never lose sight of how lucky they were on the morning of Feb. 6.

Latoya Carter, left, and Anthony Tyus and their two children, 7-year-old Jordan Carter and 3-year-old Alexis Tyus, prepare for Alexis birthday party.

They will never forget the tornado that ripped through their second-floor apartment and sent trees crashing through the roof.

Little Alexis was especially lucky that day. She was on the couch by the balcony moments before the storm swept in. By coincidence, or through guidance from "a guardian angel," she left the couch and went down the hall just in time. 

Read their story here:Torn apart, but still together

Had she stayed put, she’d been there when the window gave way and glass and other debris shot inside. 

She might not have had a third birthday at all.

“Today is beautiful,” Anthony Tyus said, with a smile as he stood inside an apartment at Georgetown Village, where they relocated after their former home was destroyed. 

Latoya Carter, left, and Anthony Tyus and their two children, 7-year-old Jordan Carter and 3-year-old Alexis Tyus, prepare for Alexis birthday party.

Changing apartments

Anthony Tyus and his girlfriend of five years, Latoya Carter, were living at Crown Pointe Apartments when the tornado churned 10 miles through the city.

It was one of the communities hit hardest by the storm. 

"We will never forget that day," Carter said. "It's hard to forget that."

More than 100 tenants at Crown Pointe had to vacate their units because of damage. Some moved in with family, others moved into the Bluffs Apartment Complex less than a mile away, owned by the same company.

Anthony Tyus holds 3-year-old Alexis Tyus, as mother  Latoya Carter and 7-year-old Jordan Carter prepare to leave the trampoline park in Spartanburg.  "We had a guardian angel guiding us through life," Tyus said about the events of the year.

Some apartment complexes offered discounts to displaced families.That’s how Tyus, his girlfriend and two children ended up at Georgetown Villas. 

The complex, at the time, had approximately 20 units available for rent. 

Management at Georgetown Villas allowed lessees from Crowne Point to pay a security deposit, but they wouldn’t have to pay any rent for February. In March, they were required to pay only half of the cost of rent.

Tyus and Carter moved in. But that didn’t solve all of their problems. 

'Guardian Angel'

Without renter’s insurance, a lot of their furniture and personal possessions took on water damage and was ruined. 

That’s where Jordan’s school, Jesse Bobo Elementary School in District 6, jumped in to help.

The school raised money and offered gift cards to families who were impacted by the storm. Tyus and Carter bought new furniture, blue couches and chairs in their living room. 

Carter’s place of employment, Ross Dress for Less, contributed monetary support.

The family also expressed gratitude toward Spartanburg City Councilwoman Meghan Smith, who invited them into her home for a meal.

Tyus and Carter don’t know where they would be today without all of that support.

“This was significant and pivotal for us to transition into a new life,” Tyus said. “It made us feel lucky and fortunate. We had a guardian angel guiding us through life. We are so appreciative, thankful and grateful.”

Alexis Tyus, 3, shows her mother Latoya Carter how high she can jump on the trampolines.

Grateful, despite such a tough year. This summer, the engine suddenly died on Latoya’s car. And like everyone in the country, the family has had to cope with the impacts of COVID-19.

“We had the tornado. We had COVID. We had the car issue. We had Kobe,” said Tyus, referring to the tragic death of former NBA player Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.

"It’s been an interesting year to say the least,” he added.

Nearby, his daughter Alexis, now 3, ate her cake in a dry chair, beneath a solid roof. 

“But it’s been inspiring too," Tyus said. 

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Five years ago today, I became a mom.  Five years ago today, our firstborn and Bennett's brother, Oliver, came into the world.  So, today, we celebrated.

"Say 'Five!'"  Oliver is crazy about tornadoes...and has been for almost two years now.  We own about every tornado toy or tornado book that exists.  And Oliver is adamant that he wants to be a stormchaser and move to Oklahoma when he grows up (he believes tornadoes are constantly roaming the state of Oklahoma).  So, it just makes sense that Oliver would choose a tornado theme for his fifth birthday.

The invitation.  I found this image on the internet.  Believe me, there are no tornado invitations out there.  Ok, there is one.  But I thought this was cuter. :)

The table.  We hung white pom-poms from the chandelier with little blue rain drops hanging from them.

On the window, we hung different blue-shaded rain drops coming down like rain, with tiny lightening rods sprinkled throughout.

It was hard to come up with different types of tornado-related foods.  But we found a few...

The cake, tornado and destruction, a gift from a friend. 

Isn't this just the cutest tornado cake!?  It was made by our friend Joy, who has made many of the boys birthday cakes over the last few years (see hereand here).

I love how Joy took the side of the house off and covered it with dirt and debris. Super creative.  I wish I had a picture of Oliver with the tornado.  I do but it's backlit and washed out.  But he LOVED his birthday cake.  It was so exciting to him.  When it was cake-time, he was insistent that he wanted to eat the tornado, not the house.

Oliver's favorite part was his name rotated on top of the tornado.

Getting ready to sing 'Happy Birthday'...

We gave the kids "rain water" (blue kool-aid) to drink.  What better than to drink out of tornado glasses (plastic martini glasses)?

The great thing is Bugels they make awesome "baby tornadoes".

Chocolate "baby tornadoes" are delicious!!   And don't look for Bugels at your local supermarket.  I could find them only at the gas station, interesting, eh?

Cotton candy "storm clouds." 

All of the guests to this year's party were four and five year olds.  So, our activities were age appropriate.  The first we did was the activity was making a tornado out of 2 liter bottles and a plastic tube properly called a "tornado tube."  I was too busy with litte hands who needed help to get pictures of our finished products but here is what one looks like when you're done.  Each child was given a tornado tube as a party favor (I found a great bulk price here).  The other activity that we did was we played a game of "tornado tag" (aka a version of "tag" where everyone must rotate while playing) and "tornado races" (aka a version of "baseball bat spin race" without the baseball bat)

No tornado party could be complete without a large tornado decoration.  So, I figured out a way to make a tornado hang from our fan using black paper and black streamers.  The coolest thing was it turned out that it actually rotated when we turned the fan on.  Oliver LOVED it!  He kept telling me, "mom, you did a really good job," which made my heart melt.

The best thing is so did the other kids.  All of the children sat in awe as we turned the fan from low, to medium to high and pretended it was moving from an F-1 to an F-5 tornado.

Here is a video of the tornado after the party was over and before we tore it down.

 A family picture with our new 5-year-old.

Aunt Brooklyn stayed in town to join us for Oliver's birthday.  She was SO helpful during the party and with decorating.  We love our Aunt Brook and could not have had a successful birthday without her!

Aunt Brooklyn gave Oliver a special tornado shirt for his birthday.  He was so very proud.  Let's be honest, tornado shirts are hard to come by.  But, thankfully, this website had a cute one here.

Oliver had a fabulous time with his friends at the party.  Oliver received several science kits, a weather station and a solar system model thing that lights up and rotates its planets.  It was fun to see Oliver's little inquisitive personality come out, even in the gifts he received at this five year birthday party.

Along with the tornado tube, our little guests were provided chocolate lollipops in the shape of lightening rods (I couldn't locate anybody who made chocolate lollipops in the shapes of tornadoes).

The tags we placed on the chocolate lollipop party favors stated, "Thanks for weathering this storm with me!"

Unbelievable.  Five.  Truly a little boy.  And I have no doubt this guy may very well become a storm chaser or meteorologist when he grows up.  But, whatever he becomes, I hope he doesn't get there too fast!!  These last five years have just flown by.  We love you, Ollie-bear!


Birthday decorations tornado


Fire tornado in science centre


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