I have only been decorating cakes since Oct. & need advice on the best way to store things & how long I can store them. For example how long can I keep buttercream? I have seen places that say can be kept weeks in the fridge, but have also seen some places that say it can be frozen. Ditto for the fondant that I make, should I just wrap it well & keep @ room temp or should I refrigerate or freeze it, & does it make a difference if it is colored already? I have not found any information on keeping gumpaste & wasted a lot because i'm not sure what to do w/ it. Finally, I would like to make flowers for future use but am not sure of the best way to store them & how long they can be kept. Any other tips & suggestions for things I missed would be greatly appreciated.
For buttercream, I guess it would depend on the type of buttercream you're using, but I keep mine refrigerated and it does fine for a couple of weeks at least. As long as it doesn't start tasting like other stuff in the fridge it should be fine. You can freeze it, but again it could start tasting funky if you leave it too long.
Fondant should be wrapped airtight and kept at room temp, but you can freeze that too. If you go to use it and it's dried out you can try to peel the dried part off of the surface, sometimes it feels hard outside but it's just the outer layer that's dried out. Gumpaste will dry out faster than fondant because it has the gum in it, so just wrap that airtight and try to use it as soon as you can. If you have a bunch of fondant that's colored and you can't use it for anything you can always use it to make the inner cone part for roses, they'll be covered up anyway so it doesn't matter what color those are. I make those and just let them dry, then they're ready when I need them.
You can make gumpaste flowers months ahead of time. Store them in boxes that are covered but not airtight, since they can soften up if any moisture in the box recirculates into the flowers. I use those plastic shoe boxes that you can get at the dollar store, the lids will stay snapped on, but they're not totally airtight, and they work fine.