How To Make My Own Impression Mat

Decorating By kattyann Updated 1 Jul 2010 , 11:11pm by kattyann

kattyann Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 6:47pm
post #1 of 35

I am making my son's wedding cake in August. It has intricate designs on the sides and tops similar to swirls but more detailed. Since time will be an issue, I am trying to figure out how to make a mat that I can push into the icing that will leave an impression so I don't have to free-hand all of it. I know that some decorators might use wax paper, but that is pretty time consuming considering the amount I have to cover. I'm wondering if I could pipe the design with royal icing on something that would not come off when I press it in the buttercream icing. Any suggestions?

34 replies
sherrycanary62 Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 8:50pm
post #2 of 35

take some acetate sheets, place them over the piping pattern and pipe with royal icing, let harden for a few days...the acetate is flexible and will curve and contour to the shape of the cake...when royal is hardened impress on to the icing.

kaseyrconnect Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 9:10pm
post #3 of 35

sherrycanary, that is a great idea. I, too, am doing a small wedding cake next month and it they want scroll work on the side. I am going to give this a try, that way all the scroll work will be the same and less chance for me making a mistake on the cake. Thanks, katyann for posting the question and sherrycanary for the helpful response.

MissLisa Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 9:29pm
post #4 of 35

You might want to try piping with silicone caulk onto the acetate (transparancy) sheets. When the silicone is dry you should be able to work the sheet around the cake, especially if it's a round cake, without the royal icing cracking and breaking.

Try a couple of different methods to see which works best before the wedding!

kattyann Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 9:43pm
post #5 of 35 what is an acetate sheet and where is it available? When the royal icing is dry it's not going to peel off of the sheet when I make the impression is it? Also I've been looking for some designs already made up in any medium and can't find any just to copy. Thanks for your info.

Bakingangel Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 10:20pm
post #6 of 35

You could use the pin-prick method on adding machine paper tape so it would be easy to wrap around the cake and gently press the pattern onto the cake to pipe over.

all4cake Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 10:53pm
post #7 of 35

Nothing has to be flexible...not even for a round. The acetate is beneficial in that you would be able to see where the impression is going. They sell clear, non-flexible stamp blocks that will work too. If the royal happens to come off, just pick it out. Piping gel can be used in the same manner....once it has dried that is (takes longer than royal for sure. a positive about using the silicone, is there's a better chance of being able to use the impression again and again.

Another idea would be to see if those clear stamps would help you any, or a stencil...if you can't find one you like, maybe between now and the time you need it, you can make one.

kattyann Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:06pm
post #8 of 35

Thanks for all of your replys. I'm begining to stress...we need a place for a rehearsal dinner still and my son and fiance are stressing! Just found out the cake is twice the size they will need...and I will have another wedding cake to do the next week! no worries! Anyway...I wondered if there might be a way to use a bendable sturdy plastic and etch the design on one side with a dull tool so that it's impression comes through on the other? I think I'm going out of the cake business...too much stress!!

all4cake Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:11pm
post #9 of 35

you know, you could probably even draw the pattern on the plastic with edible marker then transfer it to the side of the'll be covering the markings with piping anyway, right?

VentureSister Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:15pm
post #10 of 35

Have you thought about making your own stencils? You could gently impress them onto the cake and use them as your guide.

KathysCC Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:23pm
post #11 of 35

I don't get how royal icing on an acetate sheet would work. icon_confused.gif The royal would just peel right off the acetate wouldn't it? Can you explain?

all4cake Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:31pm
post #12 of 35

It hangs on there. Never had to 'pop' royal off anything? I do quite often, then wet it down to get the rest of it off.

It'll stick to cardboard with no problem too...matter of fact, it sticks to pretty much anything without coming off easily...well...'cept, parchment, waxed paper and freezer paper and anything greasy.

BTW...make sure the acetate or whatever you apply it to is squeaky clean.

kattyann Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:34pm
post #13 of 35

Yeah, I thought the same thing about the acetate. As far as the stencils go, I was thinking the same thing. I know that the icing will crack if I press too hard and I would spend more time trying to fill those in. The markers...I don't know. I would be afraid they would bleed and the design is done with a tip that is smaller than the tip of a pin so I couldn't cover that up very well. Eventually I'll get this figured out. Keep posting!

all4cake Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:46pm
post #14 of 35

smaller than the tip of a pin? dang...then, an impression mat with royal may be to fragile to work. yeah, and the marker thing wouldn't work either and who the heck would want to jack with making a stencil with that precise cuts?

Ah Ha!

Follow me on this one 'cause I don't know the technical terms. Take a piece of cardstock (or something equally easy to score. Draw your scroll design on it in reverse (or draw it out then print it out in reverse)(may want to check for layout and cut the piece so that when placed on the cake, it comes out equally). Lay it on a piece of thin foam (fun foam or the like...the thinnest one). Then, using a needle, score it (trace firmly but not so fimly that it penetrates the paper). What you should have on the underside, is the raise design.

ILE Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:47pm
post #15 of 35

what i did once was a got a blank stencil sheet,got a hot glue gum trace the patern let it try. go over again and it work for me ......but i don't know if is save to do that on food i did it on my own cake for me to try it... check for food safety first.

all4cake Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:49pm
post #16 of 35
Originally Posted by ILE

what i did once was a got a blank stencil sheet,got a hot glue gum trace the patern let it try. go over again and it work for me ......but i don't know if is save to do that on food i did it on my own cake for me to try it... check for food safety first.

Could it be done smaller than the tip of a pin?

all4cake Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:51pm
post #17 of 35

OP, do you have an example? I can't imagine scroll piping done with something smaller than the tip of a pin.

ILE Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:51pm
post #18 of 35

sorry that i don't know have to try it one of this days

MadMillie Posted 27 Jun 2010 , 11:58pm
post #19 of 35

I have read on CC of using the acetate and fish aquarium glue to make an impression mat. The aquarium glue should be safe. I will see if I saved it my favorites and post it later.

kattyann Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 12:03am
post #21 of 35 the tip isn't exactly that small! I don't have the number on hand but it is so small that if there is any lump bigger than a piece of salt it clogs!! I like the idea of the card with the foam beneath it. I was trying to figure that out but didn't know how to do it without breaking through the card. I thought about using some heavier plastic. The foam might do the trick. I'll experiment and let you know!

all4cake Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 12:13am
post #22 of 35

if you use a T pin and run it at an doesn't penetrate as easily as holding it straight and the foam beneath allows it to become raised much better than doing it while the paper is on a hard, flat surface. It does work with cardstock. Spraying the finished cardstock with pan spray and allowing it to set aside for a while, even overnight, prolongs the template( I don't know the science behind it...just know that it does)

I couldn't think of a pliable plastic that would allow the scoring but not be too flimsy that you're fighting to keep it upright on the side of the cake.

or pipe your design in sections, freeze, then apply to side of cake ...fbct...

HamSquad Posted 28 Jun 2010 , 2:01am
post #23 of 35

Hey, I have a question, last week I saw either here on CC or maybe surfing the web, where someone used nontoxic fabric paint to create the design on the acetate strip. How safe is the nontoxic fabric paint? Has anyone else seen this website? I wished I had saved this to favorites, had problems with downloading the instructions. TIA icon_confused.gif

msnrozier Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 6:07pm
post #24 of 35

good one

malene541 Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 6:31pm
post #25 of 35

Maybe a lot of practice and doing it free hand would be easier after all??

TexasSugar Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 8:23pm
post #26 of 35

On my black and pink cake I took the glass out of some small picture frames and piped royal icing on it and let it harden then pressed that into the icing to leave an imprint behind. icon_smile.gif

HamSquad Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 8:46pm
post #27 of 35

Wow TexasSugar, you always have some great ideals. Beautiful cake. I will be trying this in the future with the glass and the royal icing. I'm not comfortable totally with freehand piping scrolls and such. Thanks so much!

TexasSugar Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 8:56pm
post #28 of 35

Thank you HamSquad. I'm not a freehander myself, so I totally understand. All the details on that cake were done with the glass and royal impression first.

You can use plexiglass for it, I just used the glass because that is what I had. And if you use glass you can put some tape around it so you don't have to worry about cutting yourself with it.

SMHoff Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 9:02pm
post #29 of 35

How about a stencil roller from a Home Improvement (paint dept) or Craft store? Just an idea.

ycknits Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 9:05pm
post #30 of 35

Whomever mentioned tracing the design with a needle got me thinking. How about tracing or printing the design onto a sheet of heavy acetate or blue stencil blank. Then use a needle to punch dots along the lines of the design. This will create a sharp bump on the backside of the film. Then wrap the cake with the film and gently press into the fondant or buttercream using a smoother and NOT your hand to transfer the pattern.

I'd try the punching part to see if you get the desired bump. My guess is that you could use a pretty fine needle to do this.

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