How Do I Do Buttercream Swags Evenly?

Decorating By aprilcake Updated 23 Aug 2008 , 7:43pm by aprilcake

aprilcake Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 4:59pm
post #1 of 14

I am doing my first wedding cake with dotted swags on the side...in buttercream icing...i am afraid of free handing it because I want to make sure the swags are all the same size and begin and end just right on the cake....is there a tool or technique to use to help acheieve this? THanks for the help!

April :0)

13 replies
luv2cake Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 5:07pm
post #2 of 14

There is a tool that Wilton makes. It works pretty well and I used it on my first BC wedding cake. I will see if I can find a link or a picture of it.

cakelady15 Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 5:08pm
post #3 of 14

Wilton sells a tool called a garland marker that is made to mark even swags on cakes. I haven't used it yet so I'm not sure how well it works, but I would think it would at least be better than trying to freehand iticon_smile.gif At least I know it will for me because I'm terrible at freehanding anything. icon_lol.gif

luv2cake Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 5:16pm
post #4 of 14

Yea! That's it....the garland maker.

Here is a link to what it looks like. It's super cheap and I believe that your local Michael's should carry them.
http://www.craftsetc.com/store/item.aspx?dep=75&cat=60&subcat=25&IsOnSale=0&IsFeatured=0&IsNew=0&ItemId=48639

antonia74 Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 5:19pm
post #5 of 14

I had to do the same thing a few years back and didn't know any special tool existed. I simply used the mouth of a drinking glass to pre-make the semi-circular pattern on my cake sides! icon_lol.gif

All I did was I took a wide-mouthed glass, marked two black dots evenly on opposite sides of the glass. I then took my semi-chilled cake and pressed the mouth of the glass very lightly into my icing using the black dots as markers for where the top rim of the cake should stop. It made perfect semi-circle patterns all around the cake (the last one I actually overlapped because there wasn't enough space for one more swag. I liked the effect so much I used it as the "front" of that tier!).

Here's a pic of the final cake tier, 2nd from the bottom....
LL

cakedout Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 5:32pm
post #6 of 14

Another way is to mark the top edge of the iced cake into equal sections-think of the cake top as a clock face and make little indents in the icing at the edges (so they will be covered by the border) at 12 and 6, 3 and 9, and more depending on how big the tier is.

I know Wilton has a gadget for this as well, but why spend the money when this works just as well for free!? icon_wink.gif

Now I find a garland marker or the trusty glass or plastic lid that fits within those indents and mark the side of the cake. thumbs_up.gif

cakebaker1957 Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 5:33pm
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonia74

I had to do the same thing a few years back and didn't know any special tool existed. I simply used the mouth of a drinking glass to pre-make the semi-circular pattern on my cake sides! icon_lol.gif

All I did was I took a wide-mouthed glass, marked two black dots evenly on opposite sides of the glass. I then took my semi-chilled cake and pressed the mouth of the glass very lightly into my icing using the black dots as markers for where the top rim of the cake should stop. It made perfect semi-circle patterns all around the cake (the last one I actually overlapped because there wasn't enough space for one more swag. I liked the effect so much I used it as the "front" of that tier!).

Here's a pic of the final cake tier, 2nd from the bottom....




Your cake is absoultly beautiful, what was the top made from??

antonia74 Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 5:59pm
post #8 of 14

Why thank you! icon_smile.gif That was a gumpaste vase/bouquet topper hand-made by my awesome partner Ana. The interior was filled with sparkling sugar. Here's a close-up pic.

The order was heavily inspired by Colette Peter's cake the bride adored in a magazine. I didn't copy all the detailing, but left it a little simpler...
LL
LL

MissyTex Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 6:01pm
post #9 of 14

I make my own template and impress it on the BC to make a guide. Measure the circumference of your cake and determine how many swags you want and divide the measurement by that number. The result is the WIDTH of the swag. Use a piece of heavy paper, index card, acetate, even contact paper (with backing still on, of course), anything that will be sturdy and bendable. Cut it first to size, the WIDTH of the swag and the HEIGHT of your cake. You will end up with a rectangle or maybe a square. Then use a glass or other round object, protractor, whatever, to trace the desired arc and cut along that line to create the template. You now have an even template. Place it gently against the cake (on crusted BC) and run a toothpick along the edge to impress the arc. I run the toothpick on the template not on the BC, just at the edge so it gently presses the edge into the icing. Lift off and move to the edge of the arc and impress the next swag, etc. until you've made it all the way around the cake. Now your cake is ready for your piping magic!

Before I use it I usually do an eyeball test with it around the cake without impressing it to make sure it is measured correctly. You'd hate to have too big of a gap between the first and last swag.

Hoped that helped!

Here's my first cake using this method. Loved how it turned out!
LL

littlecake Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 6:14pm
post #10 of 14

antonia74...that's one of the prettiest cakes i've ever seen....you are amazing!

antonia74 Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 6:28pm
post #11 of 14

I hope you don't mean the 2nd pic on that post! icon_lol.gif Let me be clear that THAT one is the Colette Peters photo from the InStyle magazine my bride saw and wanted, not my version of the cake, lol.

If that's not what you meant...then thanks! icon_lol.gif

aprilcake Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 6:32pm
post #12 of 14

wow thanks so much for all the tips! I think I am going to try one of the techniques you all gave me instead of buying the wilton tool...we'll see! Thanks so much! I will try and remember to post a pic of it this weekend once I am done!

April :0)

maryj Posted 20 Aug 2008 , 8:30pm
post #13 of 14
aprilcake Posted 23 Aug 2008 , 7:43pm
post #14 of 14

hey all...i told you I would try and remember to post a pic of the cake I was asking the swag questions about... so follow this link below to see it ...

  http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_1257793.html

i didnt have time really to run upstairs and get on and look up again the techniques you told me to do so I just free handed it...i know it didnt turn out perfect but for my first time swagging free handed and doing the cornelli lace pattern, I am happy with it and hopefully will just get better each and every time I do it! Thanks for all the tips! I need to practice those so I can get my swags more even!

April :0)

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