How To Make Fondant Figures Stand

Decorating By mcmack Updated 20 Aug 2015 , 9:29am by Lisa82

mcmack Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 12:38pm
post #1 of 25

I am planning a cake for a family reunion that I would like to have my two uncles standing on the top....but any pictures I see only show people sitting, unless it is a bride and she is wearing a dress. Any ideas on how to get a figure of a man (in pants) standing?

24 replies
jodilee Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 12:52pm
post #2 of 25

I don't know how big or thick your figures are but, you could put a bamboo skewer stick up through the figure (up through foot/leg) and use the end to stick into the cake. Just a suggestion, I think I saw something like this on a cake show. I've never tried it but that's how I would do it.

chocolatestone Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 12:53pm
post #3 of 25

I haven't made any fondant figures but I'd imagine that if I had to make one I would insert a skewer into the figure from the bottom and leave it to dry. That should hold it up

susanscakecreations Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 12:59pm
post #4 of 25

I have used skewers, but you could use toothpicks, or even maybe small, teeny dowel rods? Just be sure to let folks know they are there!! icon_wink.gif

Jaimelt76 Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 1:05pm
post #5 of 25

I just made a couple of standing figures for a cake. I used spaghetti noodles for support and it worked great. I wanted them to be totally edible as my nephews are very small and I was afraid of them eating them.

Win Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 1:06pm
post #6 of 25

I make a lot of standing figures... The key to making them stand successfully (IMHO and works best for me) is to make them on a separate topper and then secure the topper to the cake itself. When making standing figures, work with the legs first. I craft the legs and then run a cocktail stick through each one so that the pointed tip comes out at the bottom of the foot and leaving some exposed stick jutting up through the thigh area (sounds painful.) I then pose my feet and legs how I want them and insert them into styrofoam to dry. Next, I work the torso and insert it into the exposed upper thigh sticks. Arms, neck, head come last with each being allowed to dry in between. The torso gets a central support system as well which is also how the neck is secured.

Here are some of my standing figures:

http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1374694

http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1344548

http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1225274

Hope that gives you some help!

edited to add to remember to make them from 50/50 gumpaste and fondant or you will have issues with sagging uncles! icon_lol.gif

mcmack Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 1:13pm
post #7 of 25

Thank you so much for your help!!....pics were great. I am so glad someone suggested I join this site.

jodilee Posted 13 Jul 2009 , 1:15pm
post #8 of 25

Win...your figures look great! Thanks for the info. on how you do this, I will have to try it sometime.

karicroop Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 7:47am
post #9 of 25

Win - I appreciate the step-by-step! Before I found your post, I was trying to make a standing figure on my own and pretty much had the right idea, but I was having trouble with my legs sliding down the bamboo skewer, particularly when I pushed them into the torso or put the slightest bit of downward pressure on them.

Do you have any handy tips that would help? For example, do you also use a little water between the joints to hold the figure together and help the surfaces stick? I tried this, but it didn't really do the trick ...

In the end, it wasn't a complete disaster; I just had my figure sit instead of stand. icon_smile.gif But I'd love to know what I'm doing wrong!

Thanks!

Win Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 2:19pm
post #10 of 25

[quote="karicroop"]Win - I appreciate the step-by-step! Before I found your post, I was trying to make a standing figure on my own and pretty much had the right idea, but I was having trouble with my legs sliding down the bamboo skewer, particularly when I pushed them into the torso or put the slightest bit of downward pressure on them.

Do you have any handy tips that would help? For example, do you also use a little water between the joints to hold the figure together and help the surfaces stick? I tried this, but it didn't really do the trick ...

In the end, it wasn't a complete disaster; I just had my figure sit instead of stand. icon_smile.gif But I'd love to know what I'm doing wrong!

Thanks![/quote

First, Welcome to cc, karicroop! Second, please know, this is just my method and not necessarily the way the "pros" would teach one to execute a standing figure. This is just what has worked for me.

I noted that you mentioned a "bamboo skewer." That sounds a little wide for legs. I use a cocktail stick which is longer than a toothpick, but just as thin. I find them in the section of the grocery store that has aluminum baking tins and a section of misc. items such as measuring cups, etc. I find them to be the perfect element for what I need. I will use spaghetti on occasion, but it is not always the perfect strength for legs --great for arms, etc, but truly can be (excuse the pun) "spaghetti legs" and want to cause them to droop.

Yes, I use a bit of moisture to keep things adhered. However, it is not straight water. I make a glue of water and gumpaste. I put gumpaste into warm water and allow it to dissolve into a glue-like consistency which makes things stick together much better.

When I am making legs, I dip my brush into the glue, wipe some off and lightly coat the portion of the stick that will be sliding upward so that when I insert it into the gumpaste it takes the glue with it and actually runs it up the entire length of the stick.

Let it set for about 24 hours. This will help you when you go to assemble the other pieces. The legs have had time to firm up and take the weight of the rest of the body.

I hope that provides a little more insight for you. Just keep at it, you will eventually get the hang of it as it sounds like you were much on the right track to begin with. thumbs_up.gif

Blessings,
Win

karicroop Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 6:08pm
post #11 of 25

This is fantastic information. Thank you! icon_smile.gif

wendalynn11 Posted 10 Oct 2009 , 6:16pm
post #12 of 25

Wow, Win, that is great info! I love doing figures but always do them sitting because I didn't know how to make them stand. Thanks so much for the instructions!!

sugarMomma Posted 11 Oct 2009 , 6:21am
post #13 of 25

I definitely must save this thread. I have not made standing figures yet. Thanks Win!

Adevag Posted 11 Oct 2009 , 8:55pm
post #14 of 25

I have only made one standing figure but not a person and I used a wire and a bamboo skewer through one leg for support. But then, the legs were thicker because I made the kung fu panda. I also let the legs dry before I added too much weight on the figure. The reason I tried with the skewer is because I saw the decorators at Charmcity Cake (on the Food Networks Ace of Cake) put a toothpick-like stick through one leg (that also gets inserted in the cake later on).

superstar Posted 11 Oct 2009 , 9:43pm
post #15 of 25

I use 1/16th metal rods from the hardware department. By using the rods I can bend them if I wish & yet they are very strong. I always leave legs to dry before attaching them to the body, I leave a bit of rod sticking out at the top to insert into the body part, also leave a bit sticking out at the bottom to attach a shoe or foot. I always dip the rod in vodka before inserting it. I am not very good at explaining how I do things but I hope this helps.

nancysmom Posted 14 Oct 2009 , 1:11am
post #16 of 25

win, thanks for all the info. I was asked to make an Elvis Presley figure and my question is when do you put the clothes on the figures? Is it hard to make pants?

Win Posted 14 Oct 2009 , 2:10pm
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by superstar

I use 1/16th metal rods from the hardware department. By using the rods I can bend them if I wish & yet they are very strong. I always leave legs to dry before attaching them to the body, I leave a bit of rod sticking out at the top to insert into the body part, also leave a bit sticking out at the bottom to attach a shoe or foot. I always dip the rod in vodka before inserting it. I am not very good at explaining how I do things but I hope this helps.




This is a sure-fire method of stability, but I try to stay away from metal if at all possible... it's the same rules for sticking wire into cake --you run the risk of allowing lead to contaminate the edible materials. I have yet to see someone NOT eat part of a figure. It never fails, someone (and it's usually a child) wants to bite the head off. For that reason, I stay away from metal products in figures if at all possible.

Quote:
Quote:


win, thanks for all the info. I was asked to make an Elvis Presley figure and my question is when do you put the clothes on the figures? Is it hard to make pants?




nancysmom, I don't put pants on a person in the traditional sense. The legs are the pants. Here is a recent example:

http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1479913⊂=1479916

When I started this figure, the "pants" (legs) were what I started first. Once I craft the pants, I hollow out a bit at the bottom with a ball tool. This is when I insert the cocktail stick and allow it to stick out at the bottom about 3/4". I then craft a tiny ankle and foot/shoe to insert into the hollowed out area. I arrange the foot as to how I want the figure to stand, then I place the leg down over it into the styrofoam. This secures the leg in an upright position to dry as well as sets up the stability for display later as the cocktail stick has protruded into the styrofoam about 1/2".

HTH!

Mike_Elder Posted 14 Oct 2009 , 5:54pm
post #18 of 25

I make figures all the time that stand up, every one of them has a soft wire armature inside. I know I know "thats not edible" but people wire flowers all the time. and anyway... Is anyone going to go king kong on your uncles and chew into them with no regard?? I doubt it! After making something like that you'd probably prefer to keep em anyway??
My armatures look like stick figures with one long leg (to stick into the cake)
Hope that helps
MIKE

Win Posted 15 Oct 2009 , 2:13am
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Elder

I make figures all the time that stand up, every one of them has a soft wire armature inside. I know I know "thats not edible" but people wire flowers all the time. and anyway... Is anyone going to go king kong on your uncles and chew into them with no regard?? I doubt it! After making something like that you'd probably prefer to keep em anyway??
My armatures look like stick figures with one long leg (to stick into the cake)
Hope that helps
MIKE




Wire flowers, yes, but it is a big NO NO to stick the wires into cake/edible portions. Researching the forums here will come up with multiple discussions as to alternatives. Yes, I have had many uncles "king konged" and chewed on with no regard. It seems to be the nature of the beast, one wants to immediately bite the head off of a figure. I cracked up on the "Lost" episode of Charm City Cakes when multiple actors wanted to bite their likeness in half.

Edited to add: Welcome to CC, Mike. Your work is beautiful.

wildwolves Posted 15 Oct 2009 , 2:27am
post #20 of 25

thanks for the information ladies.. I usually use a tooth pick or Spaghetti noodle for animals etc.. have not attempted a person as yet so this will be a great help. Thanks icon_biggrin.gif

chrissycorrado Posted 22 Oct 2009 , 7:22pm
post #21 of 25

Hi Win,

Thank you for your helpful information! How do you attach the arms when the figurine is wearing a short sleeve shirt? Thanks!

Nanacholito Posted 28 Jul 2012 , 12:54pm
post #22 of 25

Just wanted to say thanks for this thread! I'm about to attempt a figure and really found this so helpful in the structure

Rosie2 Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 11:43pm
post #23 of 25

Awesome thread, thank you!!!!

Alfiesmom Posted 15 Aug 2014 , 1:10am
post #24 of 25

I have 2 figures to make for an October wedding: a chili pepper and a hammer.  I've watched a couple youtube videos where they use lollipop sticks and some tylose added to the fondant to strengthen it and quicken the drying time. For me, and what I have to make, any other medium that I'm more used to, like modeling chocolate would have been too heavy.  so I'm going with the fondant.  regarding the poster who said to make the figure in a platform type thing to rest on the cake, that sounds ideal (especially for saving figurines) but how thick would the base be?  I'm planning on 2+ inches of lollipop stick exposed to insert in cake.  is that the wrong approach?

Lisa82 Posted 20 Aug 2015 , 9:29am
post #25 of 25

I need help. 

Im doing a cake to do with minecraft and frozen, I've made some minecraft figures for the first time and I want them to stand up on the board. What can I use to make them stand up and my other bit of trouble is, is that the fondant haven't hardened. I haven't put anything in the fondant and it's not modelling fondant, it's just normal.

please can someone help. 

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