So I tried a zebra print for the first time the other evening, and it was positively disastrous. The cake was supposed to be pink with black zebra stripes, so I rolled out the pink about half way, then put on the stripes like I've seen in tutorials, and continued rolling, expecting it to transform into lovely zebra skin. Instead the black color started to smear onto the pink outside of the stripes, and the more I rolled the more the stripes started to break apart into tiny, crusty nubbins. And this was my second and more successful attempt! I put it on the cake anyway, and with the black all broken up it actually kind of looked bumpy like skin, but zebra stripes are solid, not speckled...! So I tried to fill them in with black paint, but with the smears it just looked like RUBBISH. I ended up pulling the fondant off the next morning and doing a completely different design. Any idea what when wrong or any tips to share for greater success next time???
Either paint the stripes on, or cut them out and apply them after the fondant is on the cake.
From what I have seen and read one does NOT put the stripe on and then roll out the fondant.
The base color is rolled and applied to the cake, then the stripes are added from fondant that has been rolled rather thin.
I've seen a video tutorial that rolls the base color out, then you place the stripes where you want them, then lay a mat on top of it, and roll again. maybe you rolled it too much. from what i remember she just kind of went over it to "smush" the stripes onto the base fondant. also, make sure your stripes are about the same thickness or just slightly thicker than your base fondant. again, don't do too much rolling once you've applied the stripes to the fondant.
I've seen people attach the stripes after the fact, but rolling them onto the fondant seems to give a smoother effect, hence my attempt at that technique. I don't have a mat, I was just rolling with my pin...maybe that's the problem; maybe the mat helps hold it all together.
If you roll out the base color to about 3/4th the thickness you want, smear it with vegetable shortening, add cut stripes (cut a bit thinner in both width & thickness than you want on the finished product), and then finishing rolling out to your final thickness, you should have a good piece to cover with.
This technique does work a bit better if you can do the final rolling under a piece of vinyl.