Other than a few little penguins, I've never made any kind of fondant figures. My daughter's end-of-year choir party is in a few weeks and I wanted to make a cake with figures of all the kids, the teacher, and the pianist at her piano, and a tiny gold trophy.
I will be using Duff black fondant and Wilton white. I will mix either tylose (if I can get it in time) or gum-tex into the fondant.
Here are the details of what I need to make.
- 24 girls & 2 boys
- Long, black skirts (pants for boys).
- Long-sleeved, white, button-down shirts. (I think I can use white non-pariells for the buttons)
- Arms at their side.
- I don't care if there are feet or not.
- I don't need it to be super detailed. Whimsical/cutesy is fine.
Here are my questions.
1. What is the smallest size I can reasonably make the figures? I need to make 26 kids and need them all to fit on the cake. I'm thinking I want to keep them around 2 inches tall.
2. I've looked at tons of tutorials and pics, but everything is for sitting figures. How do I make the figures standing?
3. I also saw some flat figures and thought those would be fine (they looked really easy to make), but then I could not figure out how to make them stand upright on the cake. The person who made them stuck them flat on the cake.
I like these little choir guys and want to do something similar, but we have the issue of the skirt & top being different colors. Any ideas about that.
I think that is the biggest issue I am having is that all of the pics I see of completed figures are sitting and have all one color body. Any tips, ideas, pictures, and tutorials you know about would be greatly appreciated.
These are the ones I have already seen.
fondant boy sitting
Figure Making Tutorials Mega Thread
Mostly Flowers Mega Thread
Misc Tutorials Mega Thread
THANK YOU for your help!!!
I've been trying to find tutorials on standing figures as well, and I haven't had much luck, but these threads may help (many posts on how to get the figures to stay standing):
I hope that helps!
I couldnt even get my sitting fiqure to not bust (the dowell from the pants to teh shirt endedup falling over, busting out the back of the pants. and the shirt no longer would stay up.
I would almost think that making a wire body just a frame, nothing intricate, might help, and putting the stuff around it.
The main tip I can give you is to make all the pieces seperate and let them dry before you put them together. And two inches is going to be really difficult. Also, I've made quite a few figurines and they take forever! If I were you I'd make 3 girls and a boy and call it good enough. A few well made figures is going to look better than a whole bunch of tiny little ones. Just my opinion.
I think its a cool idea to have them all standing! I have taken actual sculpture classes, I can suggest that maybe an internal wire structure would be best? if it were me, and I use pettinice fondant and wiltons gumpaste, I would make your figures and let them get stiff and dry on their backs, i would put very small dowels or those wooden skewers or even tooth pick into the feet, do a test with a newly formed one before it dries, this will help to identify the weak areas of the sculptures, I have a feeling it'll be the head, I have been known to make people that were very tooth-picked on the insides! I'm not sure if using sugar paste glue would work on fondant, I dissolve sugar paste into a very small amount of water and really work it into the water and it holds very well on gum paste. but i haven't tried it on fondant yet! I made the mistake as a newb on my mermaid cake (first ever sculpture w/fondant) by trying to attach the torso and hips with a paintbrush and water and constantly having a disappearing stomach 3 times. that was literally a 3rd times the charm mermaid...
are you against using gumpaste for the figures? I now having used gumpaste really love it, and I know you could "glue" on just about anything with gumpaste so long as it dries! and I know that if the colors fade after it dries you can easily paint on it with vodka and icing color or petal and luster dusts!
I havent used wire inside of fondant before, but for a solid peice that extends outward, maybe holding choir books? Id wire them with a heavy gauge wire inside. then use the skewers or toothpicks to stick them into the top of the cake, maybe even run one skewer through the top of the head straight down sticking far enough out of the bottom, cover the head with hair!
too bad you are probably far away, I wish houston had a cake club or something I would definitely go volunteer just for fun to help make them!
good luck and I hope I helped!
When I know I have a 3D standing figure to put on a cake, I start 5 days ahead of time. Depending on the amount of, for lack of a better word, "clothing" the figure has (I make Naughty cakes too) I might make the figure in sections, or in one piece. The trick for me has been to form the body with not too much detail out of fondant, and let it dry for 24 hours. Then, I go back to it and add more details/definition and let it dry more. I do this for several days until the level of detail is achieved and the fondant figure is totally set. I add fondant clothes or drapes or whatever the occasion calls for on the more-or-less hardened body. I do use skewers in their feet to help them stand upright but it is important to make sure that their feet are wide enough that they disperse the pressure on the top of the cake or else on a moist cake, they WILL lean over. GOOD LUCK!!
Oh, and by the way, my standing 3D figures are usually about 8 inches tall. My naughty cowboy is a frequent favorite!!
We finally finished the cake and took it to the party today. The kids all loved it and were very excited to see a sweet version of themselves. Here it is:
It turns out there were 34 kids to be made. I made them flat and inserted a plastic toothpick in them for stability and to stick them into the risers. The kids were just under 2.5 inches tall.
This was my first time making figure of people. I only have done penguins before. My daughter & I are looking forward to learning to make other kinds of figures. I think we'll be trying fish and blue claw crabs next.
I already posted a comment under your photo, but I just wanted to tell you here too....You did a great job. It turned out really cute!
Thank you so much!
Thanks for the posts and links, I found them really useful.
This was my attempt after ...
great job...really cute cake!