Wilton Or Other Instruction Method?

Decorating By Chefmomrd Updated 15 Nov 2010 , 6:35pm by Melvira

Chefmomrd Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 4:36pm
post #1 of 34

Hello all. I think this is my first post - woohoo! LOL
Anyway, I've noticed the difference in pricing of cake decorating classes ranging from $22 for a 4 session Wilton course to $80 for a one session local home based pastry school. Is there any reason to take the higher end classes as opposed to Wilton? Thanks.

33 replies
traci_doodle Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 4:47pm
post #2 of 34

I think if you're just starting out, the Wilton classes are the way to go. I wouldn't pay more until you know more what you're doing and are learning more than just basics.

Justforfun751 Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 4:51pm
post #3 of 34

I've never had the chance to take one of the higher-end classes, but have taken and taught the Wilton ones. Personally, I think the Wilton classes are a good inexpensive intro to give you some basic skills that you can build on (and will market every Wilton product to you - which does let you know how to use/how may different applications). One caution is that the Wilton class you take is only as good as the instructor - many are good, but some are, well... Most of these things you can also learn by reading books, if you are good at visualizing.
I'd love to take a couple of the higher end classes - I think that they would be able to give you more "hands on" learning geared to a specific skill you would like to learn.
HTH

luv_to_decorate Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 7:03pm
post #4 of 34

I think Wilton is a good starting point. It does cover the basics and if the class isn't too big you get more attention from the instructor. I had a great instuctor and am still friends with her. I also have taken the high end local classes from a great chef that has her own cake supply company. She makes the things you learn easy and fun. It is really not expensive when you realize the class is usually at least 4 hours and she gives you a discount on supplies. She offers different classes that specialize in a certain area like fondant, fondant flowers, topsy turvy cakes, shoe cake, etc.

TexasSugar Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 7:16pm
post #5 of 34

Something you have to consider is what is included in the cost?

Wilton's 4 week courses are actually $45, but they have a 40% or 50% promos every month. They only include the course books. So while they are rather inexpensive, you will be purchasing supplies and that does start to add up.

I know there are one and two day classes that cost several hundreds but they usually include supplies.

So comparing the two can be like comparing apples to oranges.

What all does the $80 class offer? Will it cover the same, more, different things than the Wilton classes? Which things are you more interested in learning?

Chefmomrd Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 8:45pm
post #6 of 34

Thanks everyone. I will be taking the Wilton class starting Monday and didn't think about the added cost of supplies. I'm sure I'll learn a lot and will use this as a starting point. Thanks again.

Kitagrl Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 8:55pm
post #7 of 34

I think the Wilton classes will give you enough skill to branch out on your own and try new things...so much of the art is self taught, once you know the basics.

Good luck!

Melvira Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 9:05pm
post #8 of 34

Wilton is a great place to start, just be advised (and I say this as a former Wilton instructor) the whole point of the Wilton classes is to SELL you the Wilton products. I don't mean it's a scam or anything, please no one take it that way. I highly suggest those courses as a good basic 'education'. I just mean that they will push you toward purchasing as much of their stuff as they can.

I also 'second' the opinion that the course is only as good as the instructor. Some are awesome, and some suck rocks. Just like any teaching situation. I hope you get a good one!

obsessed Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 9:53pm
post #9 of 34

They've recently updated the Wilton courses too. I took the "old" ones a few years ago and thought that they were a good start. I agree, though, that the course cost is low but the supplies cost is high (I bought my class kits with 50% off coupons from Michaels and some of the other essentials too) and that the course is only as good as your instructor. I had one instructor that was so-so and the other was fantastic...once I found her, I made sure to only sign up for her classes. Thankfully while she did her "duty" and told us all about the Wilton products, she also told us about some other options too! icon_smile.gif

tiggy2 Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 9:59pm
post #10 of 34

Wilton is a great place to start to get the basics. It's too bad their instructiors aren't trained professionally. The one I had for the fondant course knew less then I did (and that wasn't much).

Chefmomrd Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 10:40pm
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

Wilton is a great place to start, just be advised (and I say this as a former Wilton instructor) the whole point of the Wilton classes is to SELL you the Wilton products. I don't mean it's a scam or anything, please no one take it that way. I highly suggest those courses as a good basic 'education'. I just mean that they will push you toward purchasing as much of their stuff as they can.

I also 'second' the opinion that the course is only as good as the instructor. Some are awesome, and some suck rocks. Just like any teaching situation. I hope you get a good one!




Mannnn, if I get a teacher that sucks rocks they'll hear all about it on yelp.com - LOL

Melvira Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 10:50pm
post #12 of 34

Hahahaha. Personally, I don't know what's so bad about sucking rocks... unless you accidentally swallowed one! icon_lol.gif Sorry. Long day. icon_rolleyes.gif

Apti Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 10:55pm
post #13 of 34

chefmomRD, Welcome to the forum!
I was retired and bored and had never had a hobby until this past March. On a whim I signed up for the 1st Wilton class at Michaels just to make cute birthday cakes for my great niece and nephews. Whew! I had zero clue that this would turn into an addictive, consuming hobby!

As a recent beginner who has moved on past the Wilton classes, I absolutely, positively, recommend that anyone interested in cake decorating take the Wilton classes first! These classes are an excellent basic introduction into the the tools, techniques, and terminology involved in cake decorating. I agree with all the comments above, you may get a teacher that is world-class, or you may get someone who knows only a tiny bit more than you, but either way, TAKE THE CLASSES! They are fun, and you will enjoy them along with learning a new skill. Take the more expensive classes AFTER you take all 3 Wilton courses if you need to.

The cost of supplies and tools average up to about $200 per course. This $200 average is of course, highly variable, so don't be put off by that dollar figure. Here's a link to a July 2010 Wilton thread "How much did it run everyone to take the class on average?" This thread will give you some excellent information.
http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=13&threadid=139521&FTVAR_MSGDBTABLE=

Chefmomrd Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 12:06am
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti


The cost of supplies and tools average up to about $200 per course. This $200 average is of course, highly variable, so don't be put off by that dollar figure. Here's a link to a July 2010 Wilton thread "How much did it run everyone to take the class on average?" This thread will give you some excellent information.
http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=13&threadid=139521&FTVAR_MSGDBTABLE=




Thanks for that link. $200?? What??? Oh boy. Well, another question - I actually purchased a class one kit only to find out the kit has slightly changed. Do you think I can get away with the old kit? Is there a way to find out what's different? Does anyone know about this change? Thanks.

Apti Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 4:59am
post #15 of 34

chefmomRD, here are some links to Wilton class/supplies/student kits information.

1st link: Decorating Basics Student Supplies (you can compare to your kit)
http://www.wilton.com/classes/wmstudents/decorating-basics-student-supplies.cfm

2nd link: Decorating Basics Student Resource Center
http://www.wilton.com/classes/wmstudents/decorating-basics.cfm

3rd link: Decorating Basics Hints and Advice
http://www.wilton.com/classes/wmstudents/decorating-basics-hints-and-advice.cfm

4th link: Wilton Method Class Resource Center (info like above for the other 2 courses)
http://www.wilton.com/classes/wmstudents/

jenscreativity Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 5:13am
post #16 of 34

Wilton classes are the place to start..great starting point.

Chefmomrd Posted 1 Nov 2010 , 4:10pm
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti

chefmomRD, here are some links to Wilton class/supplies/student kits information.

1st link: Decorating Basics Student Supplies (you can compare to your kit)
http://www.wilton.com/classes/wmstudents/decorating-basics-student-supplies.cfm

2nd link: Decorating Basics Student Resource Center
http://www.wilton.com/classes/wmstudents/decorating-basics.cfm

3rd link: Decorating Basics Hints and Advice
http://www.wilton.com/classes/wmstudents/decorating-basics-hints-and-advice.cfm

4th link: Wilton Method Class Resource Center (info like above for the other 2 courses)
http://www.wilton.com/classes/wmstudents/




Thanks, going to look at these links right now.

sccandwbfan Posted 1 Nov 2010 , 5:32pm
post #18 of 34

I was wondering if any of y'all have been to the Wilton School in IL?

I would like to go even though I have been through all of the Wilton classes. I'm unemployed right now and would love to be able to go, but the cost is too massive for me right now.

I would love to hear if anyone has gone and if it's worth it.

Thanks. icon_biggrin.gif

Chefmomrd Posted 1 Nov 2010 , 7:05pm
post #19 of 34

Thanks everyone for your responses. And thanks Apti for the links about the Wilton supplies and basic class - turns out I have everything except 2 tips, which I can pick up today. Hoping the instructor doesn't suck or swallow rocks. LOL! Thanks again!

Apti Posted 1 Nov 2010 , 9:45pm
post #20 of 34

You are welcome chefmomRD. You will have a great time in your classes and your instructor will be just fine. Attach some pics of your first cakes in this forum so we can all take a look and be proud of you!

Chefmomrd Posted 1 Nov 2010 , 11:30pm
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apti

You are welcome chefmomRD. You will have a great time in your classes and your instructor will be just fine. Attach some pics of your first cakes in this forum so we can all take a look and be proud of you!




Aww, that is so sweet. I feel like family already.

mommynana Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 12:09am
post #22 of 34

i just finished th wilton 3-4 wk classes and the instructor was awsome, there was a lady there that had left the wilton class from another store and came to this one cuz she did`t like the instructor, and thats an important part of the class cuz she made it to be so much fun, we hated when the last class was finished,but im sure you will love it, good luck

Chefmomrd Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 4:12am
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommynana

i just finished th wilton 3-4 wk classes and the instructor was awsome, there was a lady there that had left the wilton class from another store and came to this one cuz she did`t like the instructor




Oh wow, I didn't know you could change instructors. Iust had my first class tonight. The instructor did not introduce herself. I had to ask her name as well as her background, which consisted of her completing classes at Michaels and then getting certified. I have been baking for years and just started using bags and tips a few months ago. Why did I feel like I was not far behind her?? Class was done about 30 minutes early. The instructor then began to chat about random stuff while we practiced a couple of star tips. Then we all left about 10 minutes before class was scheduled to end. I wonder if I should get a more advanced instructor?? I don't know. I heard the other instructor is a veteran baker and decorator with maybe 20 years experience but that class doesn't start for a few weeks. I don't know if it's the class or the instructor that I don't fit with.

retaunton Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 4:49am
post #24 of 34

Chefmomrd, trust your instincts...........call Wilton or ask at the place where you are taking the course and ask how you can change to the other instructor. You are after all paying for the class and should be getting your monies worth. Plus, Wilton and the store needs to know that their instructor is not up to par.

Apti Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 7:28am
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by retaunton

Chefmomrd, trust your instincts...........call Wilton or ask at the place where you are taking the course and ask how you can change to the other instructor. You are after all paying for the class and should be getting your monies worth. Plus, Wilton and the store needs to know that their instructor is not up to par.




DITTO! (sorry your instructor didn't work out. I was really hoping you'd get a good one....)

Chefmomrd Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 12:51pm
post #26 of 34

I'll call Wilton today. Unfortunately the two instructors are at different craft stores - one at Michaels and the other at JoAnns. Not sure if I can switch but I will at the very least let them know how I feel.

Melvira Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 1:25pm
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefmomrd

I'll call Wilton today. Unfortunately the two instructors are at different craft stores - one at Michaels and the other at JoAnns. Not sure if I can switch but I will at the very least let them know how I feel.




Oh NO!! Did she have a big 'ol bag of rocks in her lunch pail? icon_cry.gif That is absolutely the biggest component of the class. The problem is that it takes literally NOTHING to become an instructor. And I mean NO disrespect about that, there are plenty of amazing people teaching it. I took the classes after I'd been decorating a while to see if there was something I could get from it. I got a few little hints and helpers, but then I decided to become a teacher and that's all I had to do... take the class, then make a phone call that said, "I want to teach it." I was in. Now, in my defense, I think I was a great teacher, but that's not the point. icon_lol.gif

You should certainly tell Wilton you expect them to send you a voucher for retaking this class for free at JoAnns with the better teacher. And certainly don't sign up for any more where you are. (Unless you think it was nerves and she gets better next week!!)

Best of luck, and I hope it works out for you. DO definitely post your cakes. I love seeing the fresh interpretations on the class stuff. It's fun!

Melvira Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 1:28pm
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by sccandwbfan

I was wondering if any of y'all have been to the Wilton School in IL?

I would like to go even though I have been through all of the Wilton classes. I'm unemployed right now and would love to be able to go, but the cost is too massive for me right now.

I would love to hear if anyone has gone and if it's worth it.

Thanks. icon_biggrin.gif




I'd like to hear some opinions on that, too. Personally, I think I'm just going to go all "Misery" on Aine2 and make her live in my basement and teach me. Hehehe. Sorry... continue with regular conversation now.

Chefmomrd Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 1:56pm
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira


You should certainly tell Wilton you expect them to send you a voucher for retaking this class for free at JoAnns with the better teacher. And certainly don't sign up for any more where you are. (Unless you think it was nerves and she gets better next week!!)




No it wasn't nerves. She was quite relaxed. lol. And yes, she had a big bag of rocks. I just want to make sure I am not expecting too much before I start complaining to them. I mean if it's a 2 hour class I don't know why we finished so early. I'm going to talk to my friend who just took the class from the other instructor and compare our first day experiences. Also, you really think they will let me switch to another store? I could see if it was from one Michael's to another, but it's a Michael's and a JoAnn's. Should I cry when I call? Will that help? LOL

Melvira Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 2:46pm
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefmomrd

No it wasn't nerves. She was quite relaxed. lol. And yes, she had a big bag of rocks. I just want to make sure I am not expecting too much before I start complaining to them. I mean if it's a 2 hour class I don't know why we finished so early. I'm going to talk to my friend who just took the class from the other instructor and compare our first day experiences. Also, you really think they will let me switch to another store? I could see if it was from one Michael's to another, but it's a Michael's and a JoAnn's. Should I cry when I call? Will that help? LOL




Hahaha, maybe save the tears until they are the only recourse! Haha. I know you are going from one store chain to another, but the course fee goes to Wilton, so either way, that's all they're missing out on. They should give you just a voucher to take the first course free at another store. I wouldn't stop until I got that at least. Unless you talk to others and find out there aren't necessarily better courses at Jo-Anns in your area.

How far is the next-closest Michaels? I used to teach at 2 of them. Each was 45 miles away from me, in complete opposite directions! One directly north, one directly south. So I always taught on different nights in the different stores. I did like to keep both groups on the same week so I didn't mess them (OR ME!!!) up on anything. And I had printed materials that I had personal put together, an entire bound pamphlet with recipes, tips and tricks, hints, etc. It also had names and sites for finding products Wilton doesn't sell. I was pretty prepared. But most of all, I tried to make it fun. I think no matter how much you learn, if you're miserable while you do it, it's not going to retain like it does when it's fun.

Anyhoo... let us know how it goes. Now we're all. investd in this and want to make sure you get a good respresentation!! icon_lol.gif Honestly, the Wilton courses are such a good 'backbone' for your cake skills. It's what launches most people into this obsession, and then sometimes, a career!

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