Nifty DIYs are not as simple as they look September 10, 2018 — by Shreya Katkere and Jayne Zhou Reporters try to make various things following Nifty's DIY videos. We’ve recently seen a lot of Nifty DIY videos online, so we took up the challenge to recreate one because they seemed fairly easy and inexpensive. After searching the Nifty website, we decided on our first project of “making a regular store-bought cake look professional.” Since our goal was to take an average cake and make it look as professionally decorated as possible, we bought a plain vanilla cake with vanilla frosting from Safeway. Following the video’s instructions, we wiped off all the icing and put it in a separate bowl. Then we redistributed the icing on the cake, making sure to cover the top of the cake evenly. After we were finished with the icing, we proceeded to make the chocolate sauce, which consisted of eight Dove dark chocolate squares and half a cup of heavy whipping cream. We heated the mixture for a minute and stirred until all the chocolate squares dissolved fully. One problem we ran into was that the chocolate squares took over 15 minutes to dissolve fully. And once they finally did, the consistency of the mixture was too watery because we had melted the chocolate too much, so we had to add more chocolate to even it out. After making the chocolate sauce, we drizzled it down one side of our cake and added strawberries to make it more colorful. We wanted to top our cake off with macarons because the cake we were trying to copy from the Nifty DIY included macarons as a topping. Unfortunately, we did not have any macarons; however, we came up with the great idea of using thin mints and icing to create our own version. In the end, we got a decent looking cake, but it was pretty basic for the amount of work we had to put into it. The cake lacked the professionalism we were looking for, but it tasted pretty good, since our DIY decorating didn’t affect the original store-bought taste. The second DIY involved making soap into the shape of gems. This was a lot more time consuming than we had anticipated — though the entire video was about 30 seconds, the actual project took an entire hour. Originally, we thought that all we had to do was melt the soap base, color it and cut it into shapes. However, we forgot the most important part of the process: letting the soap set. This took a lot of patience. Our soaps turned out a little disappointing compared to the ones in video because they lacked the gradient color scheme that the soaps had in the video. We also didn’t splurge on a scent, so they smelled like plain soap base. Though our soaps were still usable, they did not look very pleasant. The processes of making both the soaps and cake were far more difficult and took way more time than we anticipated. The DIYs seemed so easy in the videos, but we found that the videos are not an accurate representation of the amount of effort it actually takes. Instead of wasting two hours decorating a cake and shaping soap into gems, we could’ve been studying for AP U.S. History or AP Biology. Sadly, we didn’t learn much from either of the projects. Nor would we recommend anyone to waste their time on these DIYs unless that person has a real passion for arts and crafts and is willing to put in the time and effort (unlike us).