Graduation Tassel

Decorating By erinalicia Updated 3 Jun 2008 , 5:54pm by erinalicia

erinalicia Posted 25 May 2008 , 1:58pm
post #1 of 30

I'm doing a graduation cake for my cousin and am planning to do a mortar board with tassel to go on a larger cake (stacked or sheet, haven't decided yet.) Anyway, I'm going to use half of a sport ball pan and just cut a square of fondant for the flat part. I bought a clay gun just for this cake to make the tassel. Do I need to make the "strings" in advance and let them dry or do I make it and put on the completed cake without drying?


29 replies
grama_j Posted 25 May 2008 , 2:02pm
post #2 of 30

I"m thinking if you do it ahead they are going to dry and break.....

JodieF Posted 25 May 2008 , 2:07pm
post #3 of 30

Yep, they'll break. I did one in advance and when I picked it up to put it on the cake the tassels broke. I had to make another one and place it on the cake.

Launa Posted 25 May 2008 , 2:08pm
post #4 of 30

I have to make a tassle this first....and was wondering if you need a clay gun, or can you just pipe #1 or #2 with thicker buttercream? Guess I need to give it a try and see first, huh??!!

psurrette Posted 25 May 2008 , 2:08pm
post #5 of 30

I just made some for a graduation cake. I would put them on last so they hang right. If you let them dry before hand they might not fall the right way.
good luck

mgdqueen Posted 25 May 2008 , 2:10pm
post #6 of 30

I have done it both ways and either works. I prefer to do it ahead so there is less to do on assembly later and I usually paint mine with luster too. Remember if you are making the cord to come down from the mortar TO the tassle strings, it will have to be bent correctly when it dries so it will actually fit over the mortar board later. I made the mistake of drying one wrong once and had a horrible time getting it to look right later.

endymion Posted 25 May 2008 , 2:18pm
post #7 of 30

Sorry if this is changing the subject, but will the flat part dry hard enough if it is just made out of fondant? I'm thinking you might need to do it out of gumpaste. (?)

mgdqueen Posted 25 May 2008 , 2:43pm
post #8 of 30

I usually make mine from fondant with a little gumtex mixed in. If you give them a couple of days they dry very hard.

cb_one Posted 25 May 2008 , 4:37pm
post #9 of 30

I have a son thats Graduation in a couple of weeks and was going to do a cap stacked on some books, with a rolled up Diploma on the side.

For the top of the cap I was just going to roll out some Gumpaste. Do I need the Clay Gun for the Tassle?

endymion Posted 25 May 2008 , 9:00pm
post #10 of 30

I think you could do a tassle without a clay gun, but the clay gun sure makes it a lot faster and easier.

sistersorefeet Posted 25 May 2008 , 9:07pm
post #11 of 30

I would make and put onto the cake without letting it dry, this way it would fall properly. Also, depending on how long the tassle is to be, it could be done with a garlic press instead of a clay gun (they're much less expensive to buy!)
Sister S x

susgene Posted 25 May 2008 , 9:13pm
post #12 of 30

Yep - I learned the hard way... as usual! Make it and put it directly on the cake.

I've tried the buttercream and didn't work nearly as well as the fondant with the gun.

erinalicia Posted 27 May 2008 , 2:49am
post #13 of 30

Thanks for the input. Sorry I didn't respond, but I wasn't getting notices. I'm still thinking about what design I'm going to do. My cousin isn't exactly very studious and he's not planning to go to college yet. He's planning to work with his dad and learn the family business. He drives a truck that he loves, so I'm trying to think of a way to incorporate that into the cake. His only request was vanilla cake and lots of frosting. icon_smile.gif

sugarflour2 Posted 27 May 2008 , 3:38am
post #14 of 30

endymion, I covered a piece of black foam core with black fondant and it looked pretty good. You can buy foam core in many colors to go with you color choices. You can see the cake in my photos.

wgoat5 Posted 27 May 2008 , 12:59pm
post #15 of 30

I just made one last night!!!

I cut out a 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 square piece of gumpaste... dry dusted it with luster dust... letting it dry now (almost completely dry even with the little humidity) and then for the bottom of the "hat" I cut a strip of fondant that is about 2 3/4 inches wide and loosely wrapped it around a smallish cup... not tight.. just until it held it's shape... about 5 minutes after I wrapped I took the cup out.. now this morning it is almost dry itself... when time for assembly I will use gumglue (mine is tylose and water) to glue the pieces together (dries quickly) and make the tassel on the hat at that time..


pianocat Posted 27 May 2008 , 1:24pm
post #16 of 30

I made a graduation cake last weekend. I used fondant/gp over a piece of foam board 5" X 5" for top, and a strip of fondant wrapped into a circle. I then made the tassel with dmc thread. I even found a '2008' charm at Michaels and made it look official.

disneynutbsv Posted 30 May 2008 , 11:12am
post #17 of 30

please explain what will the best way to make a tassell. I don't have a clay gun, so everything would either have to be with buttercream or I'd have to make it with fondant. These are needed for next Friday (actually put together Thursday because of limited amount of time).

sugarflour2 Posted 30 May 2008 , 1:19pm
post #18 of 30

Brenda, using fondant, you could roll out some fondant (however long you want your tassel) in the shate of a rectangle and cut tiny strips (like fringe) maybe about a 3/4 of the way up, then roll the fondant up very tightly like a tube, holding it at the end that wasn't cut, and then glue that end together with water or glue. Then wrap a strip(s) around the sections where the the cuts end. Make a thin snake to attache round the cap for the cord, then glue the tassle onto the cap where the cord ends, leaving some of the tassle to hand off the cap.

Or, I've heard people say they use a garlic press.

You could also try rolling a lot of tiny little cords and then putting them together.

Hope this makes sense.

SugarBakerz Posted 30 May 2008 , 1:28pm
post #19 of 30

I have a mini grad cap in my photos, I used double layer 4" pans. For the mortar board I used fondant cut to the size of a standard dinner napkin (let it dry for at least 3 days). I put fondant in my garlic press for the tassel, the trick to this is to keep adding a ball of fondant and not remove the tassel from the press until you have reached your desired length, HTH.

sweetcravings Posted 30 May 2008 , 1:33pm
post #20 of 30

Brenda...i've made strands much like a tassle with my son's playdoh press..You know the one that makes 'spagetti' playdoh, it has a bunch of holes in the desigh? You put the fondant in and press down. Out comes a bunch of strands of fondant. HTH

disneynutbsv Posted 30 May 2008 , 1:41pm
post #21 of 30

Thank you everyone! I might just go purchase a playdoh machine, lol!

LetThereBeCake07 Posted 30 May 2008 , 1:58pm
post #22 of 30

what great tips...and ihave a few cakes to do this weekend! thanks!!

aswartzw Posted 30 May 2008 , 2:07pm
post #23 of 30

Thanks you guys! I'm also making one for a cake next week and don't have the $$ to buy any expensive tools so I'd thought about using twizzler strings to make it. However, I'm completely sold on the garlic press. Out to the store!

endymion Posted 1 Jun 2008 , 6:18pm
post #24 of 30

I know I didn't start this thread, but I wanted to thank everyone for their advice anyway! It was very helpful for the cake I made yesterday.

A "quick" tip for those of you (like me) who never plan far enough ahead (or don't have enough time, far enough ahead) to make things and then let them dry for several days.....

I made the mortarboard out of candy melts. Nice and sturdy and very quick-drying. Covered it with a thin layer of fondant so it would match the bottom part of the hat. Mine was close to life-sized, so I molded the candy melts in an 8-inch square pan, lined with waxed paper. Worked beautifully!

SweetResults Posted 2 Jun 2008 , 10:18pm
post #25 of 30

Thanks to endymion for the chocolate trick!! I needed that BAD yesterday - I did not make my gumpaste mortarboard in time and it just was not drying. I did the white chocolate and placed the gumpaste on top of it, worked like a charm!!!

And I did use my sugar-craft gun for the tassels and put them on right from the gum so they would dry on the hat.

endymion Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 1:39pm
post #26 of 30

Glad that someone found the suggestion helpful; thanks!

One thing I forgot to mention: the candy melt/chocolate mortarboard is heavier, so it's a good idea to put supports underneath it so that it doesn't squish the hat part. (I'm sure you had already figured that one out on your own...)

Win Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 1:49pm
post #27 of 30

Last year, before I had my clay gun, I did a tassel for my son's cake (just the Wilton Cap Pan...) but I used butter cream, striped my parchment bag with the two colors of his school, and piped it out using the grass tip. Worked great!

Win Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 1:49pm
post #28 of 30

Last year, before I had my clay gun, I did a tassel for my son's cake (just the Wilton Cap Pan...) but I used butter cream, striped my parchment bag with the two colors of his school, and piped it out using the grass tip. Worked great!

cariage Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 2:21pm
post #29 of 30

I just did graduation cakes last weekend using gum paste for the mortar board and tassel. I made the tassels using clay gun and they came out perfectly. But be careful, because as my gumpaste dried it changed colors. So I made a mortar board on Thursday and saturday morning when I made the tassel it didn't match. I had to make the mortar board, let it harden a little then drape the tassel over the edge and let it dry together. that way they dried evenly and were the same color.

erinalicia Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 5:54pm
post #30 of 30

Thanks for all of the tips. My cake is for this weekend. I decided to just carve an '08 out of 2-9X13 cakes and use the tassel on it for decoration with a fbct of a bulldog in the center of the zero. I hope it looks okay. I figured that would be easiest thing to do since he really didn't specify anything.

I'll post a picture when I get it finished.

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