Shading Fondant Pieces & Buttercream...bamboo, Tiki Head

Decorating By EvMarie Updated 16 Jun 2014 , 3:04pm by Rockabillysugar

EvMarie Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 6:46am
post #1 of 18

Hi Everyone -
I'm going to make a luau themed cake. One tier will have veritcle bamboo pieces all the way around it. I may or may not carve a tiki head for the very top tier.

BAMBOO - I'm assuming I will be fine shaping bamboo pieces from marshmellow fondant. Feels like I should start with flesh or tan color fondant...THEN shade each piece for depth with a darker brown color. But how? Powdered color & a paint brush? Watered down gel color? I have an airbrush that I could experiment with the flow and precision of the spray...what do you all use?

TIKI head - I MAY carve a tiki head. Same thing here..I probably would start with a caramel brown as buttercream color. Maybe add some fondant pieces for depth (like the nose & trims...perhaps mouth & eye sockets). But, then I'll need to shade black and/or dark brown into the recessed areas. Since it's buttercream I'll need to use my airbrush, right?

Is this just a matter of messing around with my airbrush? Any tips would be appreciated.

17 replies
Bluehue Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 2:37pm
post #2 of 18

I found this CC link for you....

Scroll down the page and you will a member going into detail for you...
Hope this helps...
Also - check out Youtube... just type in *making fondant Bamboo*...


EvMarie Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 3:41pm
post #3 of 18

Thanks Bluehue...I would LOVE a mold idea talked about in that thread...but I think shaping them will be easy enough, just gotta take my time.

Thanks again!

Bluehue Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 3:51pm
post #4 of 18

I found this for you...
There is a part 1 - but the sound isn't very good...
This is part 11 - and the light isn't the best - but it is a good video to watch as she shows you how to make the banboo - and then tells and shows you what colours she uses to paint it....

Hope this helps you out a bit more.


EvMarie Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 4:17pm
post #5 of 18

THAT video was awesome! Thanks so much. I was thinking to paint the grooves last...but, this process seems super simple.

I'll do an experiment to see how long to let the grooves dry before you "blend out". After I know that...I'll feel 100% better.

You rock! I was looking for things on youtube last night about carving a tiki head & using an airbrush. I didn't get to the bamboo topic. So, you were VERY helpful! I appreciate it!

Bluehue Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 4:22pm
post #6 of 18

Oh thats ok - glad i could help...
Her bamboo looks good...
You could always use varying shades of green if you want it to look more tropical i guess..

Will look forward to seeing your pictures.... semd me a pm so as i get to see the final creation... thumbs_up.gif


EvMarie Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 10:36pm
post #7 of 18

will do!

DianeLM Posted 15 Jun 2012 , 10:02pm
post #8 of 18

If you like the bamboo on this cake, I can tell you how I did it. It actually looked much cooler in real life. My camera stinks. icon_sad.gif

EvMarie Posted 16 Jun 2012 , 4:02am
post #9 of 18

Hi DianeLM - Yes...your bamboo looks very cool. I like that it has different heights. I like that it sorta looks like a fence.

I'd love to start ahead with the bamboo. I have a tiki head to tackle & I've NEVER done anything like that. So, having some flowers done & the bamboo would be great.

If you have a moment, that would be awesome to get a basic explanation...I'm particularly interested in how & what you use for coloring.


DianeLM Posted 16 Jun 2012 , 5:24pm
post #10 of 18

EvMarie, I didn't make my bamboo in advance. I had to press the pieces together while they were still fresh in order to avoid gaps. So, I'm going to give you the instructions the way I did it. You can adapt to your specific project.

These are the tools I used:
Gold fondant (tinted with Americolor gold gel color)
Ivory gel mixed with alcohol
Wilton brown blob in water
Clay gun
Bone tool
Chisel brush

Extrude fondant through half-moon disc.
Cut to size.
Pinch joints.
smooth out top.
Roll wheel across and back through joint.
Smooth out sides.
Indent top with bone tool.

Press stems together, side by side, to close gaps.

Attach stems to side of cake with gum glue. (I made sections of 6 stems at a time)

Paint on ivory with chisel brush.

Dip chisel brush into brown blob. Paint top indentation. Paint joints.

Clean brush in water.

Brush over joints with ivory paint.

EvMarie Posted 17 Jun 2012 , 5:50am
post #11 of 18

Thanks Diane! The process seems simple enough, I could do it as I go to get that seemless look. Maybe just one or two practice pieces a couple days before will be fine...mainly for the coloring.

I appreciate you taking the time to post. I will for sure post a picture. Cake is due on the 24th. icon_wink.gif

Fingers crossed!

EvMarie Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 3:55am
post #12 of 18

Okay, since I FORGOT my camera this is the link to the best version of my luau cake. Hopefully it's to my public FB cake adventure pic album.

The pic is already not great & on top of that I'm unable to increase the size so CC can upload.

From this cake I've learned -
(1) I've GOT TO learn how to make flowers from gumpaste.
(2) I've GOT TO find these straws everyone is suggesting for construction/support.
(3) I've GOT TO get my cakes flush the cake boards for better "seamless-ness" from tier to tier.
(4) AND, I nailed down a vision of proportion with that bottom tier - wish it was more substantial..another 1/2 batch of cake batter maybe.

Thanks everyone for your posts!

cheatize Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 4:35am
post #13 of 18

I know you don't want a mold, but in case you change your mind, there is a metal one in the clay section at Michaels. It's by Lisa whatshername and there are 3 or 4 molds in one rectangle of metal.

EvMarie Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 4:51am
post #14 of 18

A mold for flowers? I am SO okay with molds - it's normally a cost issue. I only do cakes for family...but investing is always a good idea.

I always forget the clay section. I will check it out for sure. My flowers are more whimsical. I guess that's okay - I would hope to move on technique wise to delicate & more realistic...the mold will help.

I'm also using marshmellow fondant. I'm thinking gumpaste will help with a more solidly made flower & with the "delicate" thing.

Thanks for the clay section tip!

Bluehue Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 11:27am
post #15 of 18

thumbs_up.gif Well done - i tried to leave a *well done* omn your face book page - but couldn't.
Glad you came back and posted a picture for us.

Again - well done - the co,our of the bamboo looks great....


EvMarie Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 4:08pm
post #16 of 18

Thanks Bluehue! That facebook thing is "okay"...I guess I still don't have settings quite right. I would have loved a "well done" on FB! However...I do appreciate it here for sure!

The bamboo was just a tiny bit of brown wilton gel to make it cream, painted "dents" with full strength brown and brush...after about 10 were applied and painted, I feathered out from the "dents" with a damp brush. Worked great.

My family was amazed! You would have thought I was a genius or something! Too funny. Some people aren't really sure about what it takes to produce a flawless & beautiful cake.

Until I can do that...I'll stick with a whimsical theme. I'm getting better with each cake. Finding my personal preferences and style.

LOVE the help here on CC. Thanks for your research - much appreciated!

EvMarie Posted 25 Jun 2012 , 4:14pm
post #17 of 18

I forgot to say - DianeLM - I did NOT do the bamboo ahead of time. I did apply and press together as I went...

It actually helped make each one more authentic - with little dents and presses in it. I guess no piece of bamboo is perfectly smooth. PLUS - I had just enough mmf to finish going, the pressing to avoid gaps was key.

Thanks for the instructions. I didn't incorporate any gold...because this was a family project I didn't want to spend the money I guess. But I did have silver sheen for my airbrush & gave everything a "hit of sparkle" before I finished.

I actually had fun on this one. The stress is becoming less and less as I get more comfortable with the cake basics of buttercream smoothing and stacking.

Thanks for your input!

Rockabillysugar Posted 16 Jun 2014 , 3:04pm
post #18 of 18

AHow did you make your Tiki head?

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