bob-johnson-pearl-couture-tutorial-002 Inspired by the fashion book The Golden Age of Couture, Bob Johnson has created a sugar masterpiece that is indistinguishable from real couture jewelry. Bob was originally drawn to the irregularity of large baroque pearls, and he developed a sugar flower design inspired by glittering snowflakes in a New York City shop window. Needless to say, Bob’s gumpaste sugar flowers are nothing short of magnificent, especially under the lights. The following tutorial details how you can replicate Bob’s innovative design to create your own unique gumpaste jewelry or a three-dimensional ornament for any cake.





  • Pallet knife
  • Cel Cakes Size Guide
  • Paintbrush
  • Paper hole punch
  • 12 inches x 12 inches sheet of styrofoam
  • Corsage pins
  • Needle tool
  • Ball tool
  • Petal formers
  • Leaf formers
  • Set of circle cutters (¼-1 ½ inches in diameter)
  • Cel Pad
  • Rolling pin
  • GSA Hydrangea Leaf Cutter Set
  • First Impression Beaded Borders Mold
  • Exacto Knife
  • Piping bag
  • Piping tips
  • Cotton gloves
  • Large sewing needle


  • 2 pounds gumpaste
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Pearl dust or pearl sheen
  • Gold highlighter
  • Sheet gelatin
  • Clear alcohol
  • Gum glue
  • Royal icing
  • White unwaxed dental floss


1. Roll pearls out of gumpaste. They should be Size 12 on the Cel Cakes size guide.
2. Pierce through entire pearl with corsage pin, and pin to foam board to dry. The pinhole will be the guide for stringing the pearls. Dry 2 to 3 hours or until firm.
3. Remove dry pearl from pin and thread onto needle tool to make larger hole. Place pearl back onto pin.
4. Paint with pearl sheen using a mixture of clear alcohol and pearl dust. Return to foam board to dry.



6. Roll a snake out of gumpaste. Press into bead mold, remove excess, and unmold. You may use any textured bead mold of your choice.
7. Using a knife, cut individual beads. Allow 10 minutes to dry.
8. Thread beads onto corsage pin, and let dry. Paint beads with gold highlighter.



9. Using a paper hole punch, punch circles out of gelatin sheets into shallow dish.



10. Roll out gumpaste ⅛ inch thick. Cut several large and medium hydrangea leaves.
11. Use ball tool to soften edges of leaves. Place a dot of gum glue on stem end of leaf and pinch to a pleat. Lay to dry over leaf formers to give realistic shape.
12. Paint leaves with pearl dust. Apply gold highlighter to edge of leaves.

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13. Roll out gumpaste ⅛ inch thick. Cut circles using ¼ inch, 1 inch, and 1 ½ inch circle cutters.
14. Place circles on CelPad and ruffle the edges with ball tool.
15. Place a dot of gum glue on one end of petal and pinch to a pleat. Place on petal former to dry.
16. Once petals are dry, paint with gum glue.
17. Dip petal, glue side down, into bowl of sequins.
18. Smooth protruding sequins on edge of petal.
19. Form a small ball out of gumpaste and flatten into disk. Attach to a medallion.
20. Adhere the leaves to the disk using royal icing. Then adhere 4 petals over disk.  Apply small pearl in center.



21. Thread extra long piece of dental floss through sewing needle and tie loose end onto skewer.
22. Wearing cotton gloves, thread pearls and beads in desired pattern, repeating until chosen length is reached. Tie loose end to starting end to form a complete loop. Create as many strands as desired.
23. Drape pearl strand(s) on cake. Attach floral medallions using royal icing as desired.

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 TIP: Using the same medallion mold, you can add embellishments to your cake board


Photos Courtesy of Hunstville, AL

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson of Couture Cakes is an award-winning sugar artist serving the Huntsville, Alabama area. His cake has been featured on the cover of Cake Central Magazine Volume 2 Issue 1. Bob doesn’t have a website, has only one receptionist and does most of the work at night. If you are interested in hiring Couture Cakes for your event please call 256-534-6718


Farke Says... 13 Feb 2013 , 2:21am

This is a wonderful tutorial. Thank you very much. Am so happy

Annabakescakes Says... 13 Feb 2013 , 3:01am

I do most of my work at night too! Bob, please get a website, I would love to see more of your work, it is lovely. Are you on Cake Central?

macdacruz Says... 13 Feb 2013 , 3:30am

Fantastic! I'm speechless with the smoothness of the "model" holding the necklace. How did you cover this with Fondant or whatever icing you used is really a wonder. That is something I always look in a cake. Congratulations!

Genny3722 Says... 13 Feb 2013 , 5:44am

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful tutorial.

Ruth52 Says... 13 Feb 2013 , 7:36am

Thank you so much for sharing your talents! Beautiful work!

kayuya Says... 13 Feb 2013 , 8:07am

Estoy maravillada con su talento y buen hacer. muchas gracias por compartir este estupendo trabajo. Dios bendiga sus manos

Moovaughan Says... 13 Feb 2013 , 8:40am

These are beautiful and I am waiting with baited breath for an order where I can utilize this tutorial!

torte di dony Says... 13 Feb 2013 , 8:54am

this is so amazing! Thanks for sharing!

Rosie2 Says... 13 Feb 2013 , 9:18am

Wow, this is amazing!! thank youuuuuu and yeah, I also do most of my work at night.

vicka Says... 13 Feb 2013 , 9:51am

Gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing!

carmijok Says... 13 Feb 2013 , 10:18am

Such elegance and detail. Thank you so much for sharing!

superstar Says... 13 Feb 2013 , 3:15pm

Thank you Bob! I think we are very fortunate to have artists like you sharing some of your magic with us & thanks to CC as well without the CC team we would not have tutorials like this free of any charge.

Summerr Says... 13 Feb 2013 , 6:53pm

Thank you for your generous sharing Bob. I will enjoy making this.

kblickster Says... 14 Feb 2013 , 5:44am

Wow - Such a great tutorial. Your work is awesome.

pastelesymas_isa Says... 14 Feb 2013 , 1:14pm


vgcea Says... 18 Feb 2013 , 8:22pm

Ah-Mazing! Thank you for sharing your awesome work!

kisamarie Says... 19 Feb 2013 , 7:00pm

Wow! Makes me want to run out and buy more molds!!! Gorgeous :)

Zboni Says... 3 Mar 2013 , 8:16am

Freakin' AWESOME!

auntclaudette Says... 5 Mar 2013 , 6:54am

Awesome work

neeta99 Says... 8 Mar 2013 , 1:34pm

Thankyou so much

mag09 Says... 11 Feb 2014 , 2:45pm

Thank you BOB for sharing your master piece with us an awesome tutorial. You have inspire me to try it out. Also Thank to the tearm at cake central for having a forum like this were we can all share and learn from each other.

macdonaldb Says... 7 Jul 2015 , 5:48pm

Wow, absolutely gorgeous,flawless stunning. !! Thank you so much for such a detailed tutorial.  Look forward to trying the pearls.

Thank you again 

superstar Says... 8 Jul 2015 , 12:13am


Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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