Dragonfly Wings And Butterflies (Do Not Attempt)

Decorating By Taigen Updated 14 Nov 2013 , 5:01am by tlauzis

Taigen Posted 17 Feb 2006 , 11:57pm
post #1 of 12


Well my idea of how to make the dragonfly wings actually worked!!! I am thrilled I got these done but I would never do them again. The risk of serious injury and or burns is far to high!!!!

Here are a few pictures of them. Unfortunately the first set of photo's I took when they were on the cookie sheets got "trunkated" (what ever that means) on the disk and I couldn't download them so I took another pic. The original picture would have shown more how they were done. They are made of good old fashioned rock candy which some of you may know has to be heated to 300 degrees. My original thought of using my paint brush to paint layers of syrup didn't work well so I put the VERY HOT syrup into a disposable bottle with nozzle. The photo is self explanatory as to what happens. The risk of the bottle collasping and or exploding and the hot syrup spuing all over you is far too great to ever attempt this again in this manner.
I started by drawing out a bunch of wings on paper. Taped that to a cookie sheet and then covered with parchment sprayed with pam. In the photo of the badly warped bottle, look at the background and you will see what I mean. Sorry that is the only photo I have of them when they were first done. I used the bottle of the syrup and filled in the wing area and let dry. The nozzle did "gum" up and had to be cleaned out frequently and the syrup re-heated frequently. It hardens within seconds....not minutes. Most of the wings turned out pretty good, a few are a little odd looking. I was glad I had hubby here with me while I did these. They are all individually packed in little ziplock bags now and I am REALLY hoping that they will "keep" as I won't be doing this again!!!
Anyway, here are the pictures, obviously I still need to do the bodies. They will have to be made with candy clay, something I haven't learned yet, as the wings have grease (pam) on them and I read that you can't have grease around royal frosting. I am hoping the candy clay will work.
Also including a photo of the 5 butterflies I have painted (food colouring) so far. Not sure how many I will make. Enjoy the photo's but...........


11 replies
traci Posted 18 Feb 2006 , 1:03am
post #2 of 12


I see what you mean...but the end result is amazing!

Great job! thumbs_up.gif

sweetsuccess Posted 18 Feb 2006 , 1:12am
post #3 of 12

The butterflies look really life-like. Beautiful results! Glad you didnlt get hurt.

izzybee Posted 18 Feb 2006 , 1:21am
post #4 of 12

I hope you didn't get hurt! I can't wait to see them finished.

stephanie214 Posted 18 Feb 2006 , 6:10am
post #5 of 12

From looking at the bottle, I can't blame you; glad that you didn't get hurt!!

I brought my rice paper today and can't wait to try doing the butterflies.

The store owner told me that when she was doing cakes, she used the coloring pencils since they weren't going to be eaten.

SheilaF Posted 18 Feb 2006 , 6:35am
post #6 of 12

Well, give them to a bunch of kids, and they will eat them icon_smile.gif

(This is from recent experience-even my chiropractor ate one just to see how they tasted and how crunchy they were! LOL. He said they were chewy BTW).

frulund2600 Posted 18 Feb 2006 , 6:44am
post #7 of 12

I have seen a technique where you could use florist wire dipped in melted gelatine, dyed with food colour. I am not sure how it was done. Here is an article on the subject: http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2003/10/05/fea19.html. Perhaps you could do the body out of gumpaste and attatch wings of gelatine.
Take a look here to see samples of gelatine flowers: http://www.kagekompagniet.dk/group.asp?group=71⊂=7

KayDay Posted 18 Feb 2006 , 7:36am
post #8 of 12

Sorry it was such a pain..and I will take your advice and not try it..but they really are beautiful!

mary-ann Posted 18 Feb 2006 , 10:59am
post #9 of 12

Wow, those look beautiful. Don't give up. I'm sure someone here will come up with a safer method.

beany Posted 18 Feb 2006 , 11:21am
post #10 of 12

Here is a recipe for wings from my Lindy Smith book. It was used to make the wings in this picture of hers:

1 teaspoon powdered gelatine
half teaspoon icing sugar
1 tablespoon water

Make wing templates and place inside a plastic sleeve. In a small bowl, soak the gelatine and icing sugar in the water. Dissolve over a pan of simmering water or in a microwave. Working quickly, take a teaspoon of this liquid and pour it carfeully over the wing templates. Don't worry if it spreads too far, as it can be trimmed later. Allow wings to set completely before removing.

EDITED to add that these are UK measurements.

Taigen Posted 18 Feb 2006 , 1:47pm
post #11 of 12

Oh boy do I wish I had of had that recipe before I did these wings!!! LOL Anyway, they are done now but I will try that recipe to just see the difference. I knew I wanted clear wings and had planned on putting those little sprinkles in and let them melt to resemble the colours of a dragonfly wing but you had to work soooo quickly. The syrup was so hot, kind of like one of those things like "okay I started this it's in my hands I am not stopping till I have to!!" deals hahaha This stuff was so hot even wearing those blue silicone mitts your hands got sore!!
By the way, they are flavored peppermint and actually taste really good, they almost melt in your mouth. I broke one while putting them away so we all got to taste a little.
They are REALLY nice and clear now and I hope they will stay that way. I'm really not sure of how to store them and I'm hoping being placed in individual ziplocks will keep them clear. Here's a photo of one in the bag. The look like little jewels.
The groom is a huge sweet eater, loves anything sweet and that's a big reason for me attempting to make a fully edible cake. Having a hard time keeping people from wanting to eat the wings and the butterflies!!
Also, will the grease on these bother the candy clay??
I'm glad I didn't get hurt!!! It was pretty tense in my kitchen I'll tell ya! Being an artist if this had of burned my hands I would have been devastated!! Sometimes ignorance (I am not good in the kitchen) gives you what I call "stupid courage"
Thanks agin everyone, I will post a picture of them completed when I learn more about candy clay and tackle it.

tlauzis Posted 14 Nov 2013 , 5:01am
post #12 of 12

The finished product is absolutely beautiful. I am not an artist and could never attempt something so real looking. That being said, I am using a gelatin recipe like the one posted above to make dragon fly wings for my granddaughters "Princess Tiana" themed birthday cake. I was thinking about using a mixture of different colored pearl dust to give the wings their sparkle. (?) I am not sure about your question about whether the grease would bother the candy clay or not, but it is made with chocolate that has cocoa butter in it which in itself is a form of "grease" so I wouldn't think it would hurt, but please don't quote me on that. I had planned on using modeling chocolate to make the bodies for my dragonflys, but I am using the gelatin wings. Thanks for sharing and really thanks for sharing the Safety information. I am also glad that you were not hurt during the process.

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