Is there a tutorial somewhere & I just can't locate it? I've tried to make numbers & letter toppers a few times but they're either too heavy or too big. I know I need a certain gauge wire but I just need some guidance on this overall & would really appreciate some help.
Hi Ladybug09, Can suggest a couple of things that work for me.
Option #1. You can use a clay gun and make a long rope then shape it to the desired letters or numbers needed. Place a 20 gauge wire in the number or letter this way you can bend it once it's dry, paint as desired.
Option #2. You can print from your computer the desired numbers or letter and then cut out templates. Use these with gumpaste, or a mix of 50/50 gumpaste/fondant.
Sorry I cannot be of more help. Maybe someone else has better ideas.
When you insert the wire, do you glue it in some way?
Most of the time I use a tylose/water glue. And what do you use to cover the wire or do you just insert in the cake. I've seen many discussions about wire in a cake. I've heard that some do floral tape, others insert wire into straws or coffee stirrers.
I recently had to do number toppers and asked the same question. I got some good suggestions, but in the end I free-form made them rolling out the fondant/tylose mix (I had precoloured fondant and didn't want to dilute the colour with gumpaste) in a sausage and formed the numbers. I used bamboo skewers and stick them in and let them dry first lying down until they held their shape and then in styrofoam blocks. When I put them in the cake I put fondant balls on the bits of the wood that showed. If you look at my pictures, there are two birthday cake both with 50s on them done in this way.
it's better to use paper wrapped wires for the numbers or you can wrap them yourself with florist tape. This helps the wire stay in place with just a little water on the tip. Before inserting into the cake cut the wire down and attach a toothpick or skewer like arranging a spray of flowers with more floral tape and insert it into the cake. Just make sure the wire doesn't touch cake.
I forgot to add this comment, you can just use skewers or toothpicks to insert directly into your numbers or letters and that would save a step, but when they are dry you won't be able to bend the skewer or toothpick into the desired position. Also freehanding the fondnat into a sausage or long rope can be done if you have accuracy and control of the thickness throughout. I just prefer to do the clay gun or excruder for even thickness.
When I do number toppers I do this....I have the metal numbers cookie cutters about 3-4 inches high.I roll out fondant and cut the number.Then I let it dry for a few days.I then glue a wooden skewer(Cut down to size) on the back with Royal Icing.Let it dry a day or so also.Then I just poke it into the cake when I am decorating.