I'm new to cake decorating. Anyone have any advice for a newbie? I've never done this so I'm nervous and have no idea where to start. I take that back...I've obviously started in the right place....I'm here with you very talented ladies. : )
I have gone to Hobby Lobby and purchased the Wilton student kit and book and am reading up on it while awwwwwing over all the beatiful cakes here.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Read, research, take notes. This site is a wealth of information; read as much as you can stand, take a break, and then read some more! There are two kinds of research: researching for knowledge, how-to's and so forth, and then researching for ideas. Both can also be done on this site. Get yourself a binder and some lined paper and take notes on what you're reading/researching. Or even copy and paste ideas and information into a Microsoft Word document and print them off to put in a folder or binder. I've got a binder set up with sections for recipes, border techniques, gumpaste tutorials, pan and serving size guidelines, etc.
Next I would say to work on collecting your tools, pans and supplies. I've got containers and cabinets filled with all sorts of gadgets. And don't limit yourself to "cake decorating tools" ... there are lots of gadgets and gizmos you can find at Walmart, hardware stores, dollar stores, etc that can also be used for cake decorating. My most recent favorite purchase is a basic 18" stainless steel ruler that I got in the art department at Michaels. I also got an inexpensive set of plastic artist's palette knives to use to spread piping gel or pick up small gumpaste/fondant decos so that I don't rip them with my fingers. I also use the "snack size" zipper bags for my colored bits of fondant and gumpaste, so as not to waste the larger sandwich size if I've only got a small amount. You're going to want several of each of your basic icing tips, esp the round and star tips. Spatulas in all sizes. An exacto knife, you'd be surprised how much you use it. A box cutter for cutting boards, foam board, etc. Get your cake boards at a cake decorating supply store if you can, much cheaper than getting them at a craft store.
I've taken a few of the Wilton classes, and I found that they were a good starting point. You said you got the class book, so just follow along with the lessons that are in it. Make yourself a cake (or cupcakes) and just practice. There is NEVER enough practice. I'm far from a pro, but I've been decorating cakes for about 4 years now and I'm still learning something new almost every day! Classes can get pricey so most of what I do is self-taught from doing all that reading, researching and note taking I mentioned in the beginning of my post.
Ok, I've rambled on long enough! Like I said, I'm not a pro but feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I'll try to think of other gadgets I have or things that I've come across.
Best of luck to you! And you've found a great community to help you out with any questions that may pop up.
OH! Another idea I forgot to mention:
YOUTUBE!! The amount of informational how-to videos is unbelievable. Look up Edna de la Cruz, she's phenomenal and her videos are awesome (various gumpaste flowers, frosting/stacking a cake, among others). I've gotten a lot of great information off of youtube videos.
I definitely learned so much from reading posts here on how to's and what not's. And I agree with looking through some videos on youtube. They're more visual and you get to see how things are done step-by-step. Hope you'll enjoy your stay here as I have.
welcome to CC!! Everyone is right, this is the BEST place to learn stuff. I'd been making cakes for 25 years when I first found CC .... thought I pretty much had it down. Man oh man it is still amazing to me how much I've learned on here in such a short time! More than I ever learned in 25 years of actually doing it!
Read read read. Get a big glass of iced tea, kick back and just start in one forum and read pretty much every thread in there, then move to the next forum.
Never be shy about asking questions. There is so much talent on here and everyone is very willing to share and help.
Looking forward to hearing more from you!