Follow this detailed tutorial to learn the secret behind making your own gumpaste garden orchids (spathoglottis)!
Sometimes referred to as “Garden Orchids,” spathoglottis come in a rainbow of colors, and their demure yet complex blossoms are often featured in graceful and feminine cake designs. Though they are native to tropical climates, they can show up anywhere when replicated in gumpaste!
Floral wire, 22, 26, 28, 30 and 33 gauge
Floral tape, white, ¼ width
Floral tape, Nile Green, ½ width
International Sugar Art Collection Tap-It Mat
Sugar Facts Size Guide
Wilton shaping foam
TinkerTech Spathoglottis cutter
Squires Kitchen Great Impressions Christmas rose veiner
Holly Products Silk veining tool
JEM Jem veining tool
Small rolling pin
Metal ball tool
Small wire cutters
Blossom Sugar Art Aubergine petal dust
Blossom Sugar Art Plum petal dust
Blossom Sugar Art Iridescent Gold Shimmer
Blossom Sugar Art Daffodil Yellow petal dust
1 egg white
15 plastic straws
Stay fresh mat
1. Knead your gumpaste and prepare your mise en place.
2. Cut 33-gauge wire into quarters. You will need 15 orchids total (either a 3-sprig spray of 5 orchids, or a 5-sprig spray of 3 orchids), so you will need 15 anthers.
3. Knead and condition a #3 sized seamless ball of gumpaste.
4. Insert a piece of 33-gauge wire into the gumpaste ball.
5. Gently roll the paste down the wire to create a slender shape with a slightly wider tip. With your thumb and forefinger, work the paste into a point on the wire.
6. Curve the anther, hollow out the tip with a ball tool, and soften the edges.
7. Using your tweezers, pinch the back of the anther.
8. Roll a ½ mm (pencil tip-sized) ball of paste. Slice to the center using a craft knife. This is the anther cap.
9. Brush a little egg white on the back of the anther cap, and attach it to the hollow tip.
10. Place wire inside a straw and insert into floral foam to dry.
11. Repeat to create 15 anthers total.
12. Cut 30-gauge wire into quarters. You will need 15 wires for 15 throats.
13. Roll out kneaded gumpaste on a groove board until transparent.
14. Transfer gumpaste to Tap-It Mat and cut using the oddly shaped cutter.
15. Dip 30-gauge wire into the egg white, wipe off excess, and insert into the groove of the throat.
16. Place the throat on your foam pad and apply pressure using a metal ball tool (half on the throat and half on the pad) to soften the edges and make them slightly concave.
17. Use your silk veining tool to frill and add texture.
18. Use the ball tool on the legs to thin and curl.
19. Place wire inside a straw and insert into floral foam to dry.
20. Repeat to create 15 throats.
Lateral and Dorsal Petals: The lateral and dorsal petals are created following the same method. Lateral petals are wider and dorsal petals are narrower.
21. Knead and condition white gumpaste and roll onto a groove board.
22. Roll paste thinly until transparent.
23. Cut out two lateral petals and three dorsal petals per orchid. Tip: Create all the lateral petals first (30 total), 6 petals at a time, followed by all the dorsal petals (45 total), 5 at a time.
24. Transfer the grooved paste to your work mat and cut out 5 petals.
25. Place 4 petals under stay fresh mat and the fifth petal on your foam pad.
26. Dip a 30-gauge wire into egg white and insert into petal.
27. Apply pressure using a metal ball tool to soften the petal edges (half on the petal and half on the pad).
28. Create veins in the petal using the Christmas rose veiner.
29. Use your thumb and forefinger to work the paste to a point on the wire, and transfer it back onto the foam pad.
30. Use the silk veining tool to add more texture to petal tips.
31. Turn petal backside-up on shaping foam and use a ball tool to create a cup shape.
32. Place wire inside a straw and insert into floral foam to dry.
33. Repeat to create 30 lateral petals and 45 dorsal petals.
Buds: This tutorial yields 2 buds per Spathoglottis, or 30 buds total.
34. Cut 28-gauge wire into quarters.
35. Design a floral tape bud by wrapping ½- or ¼-width white floral tape about 5 times around a hooked, 28-gauge wire. Continue wrapping a single layer of tape about halfway down the wire.
36. Knead white gumpaste into a seamless ball and brush the taped wire with egg white.
37. Push the taped wire through the ball. Work the ball down the taped wire to a point at the bottom. Smooth into a cone shape using your fingers.
38. Create 3 sides with a JEM veining tool starting from the tip of the bud, and working down to the base. The veins should become lighter toward the center to the base.
39. Place wire inside a straw and insert into floral foam to dry.
40. Dust the bud with Iridescent Gold Shimmer from the base to the tip.
41. Mix 1 part aubergine to 3 parts plum dust.
42. Dust the bud, heavier at the tip and lighter toward the base.
43. Color the anther with Iridescent Gold Shimmer.
44. Color the throat, starting with the platform, with Daffodil Yellow petal dust from the sides to the center. Dust the entire throat with Iridescent Gold Shimmer.
45. Dust the bottom of the throat with plum/aubergine dust mixture. You will want to color this section the heaviest.
46. Dust the legs with the same mixture.
47. Dust petals front and back with Iridescent Gold Shimmer.
48. Dust about ⅛ of the petal, starting from the base, with plum/aubergine mixture.
49. Dust from the sides toward the center, about ⅛ of the way in, with plum/aubergine mixture.
50. Dust petal tips.
Assembly: Every orchid is assembled using the same method.
51. Tape the anther to the labellum/throat with ¼-width white floral tape. The anther should be closest to the legs.
52. Attach 1 lateral petal to one side of the throat (slightly closer to the anther). Keeping the tape taut, wrap once around.
53. Attach the second lateral petal to the other side, mirroring the first wrap.
54. Add the first dorsal petal behind the column, pull the tape taut, and wrap once around.
55. Attach the second dorsal petal slightly lower than the lateral petal. Wrap the taut tape around once.
56. Add the final petal to the other side, mirroring the preceding petal. Keeping the tape taut, tape all the wires together all the way down to the bottom, and cut the excess wire with cutters.
57. Tape 2 buds to a 22-gauge wire, pulling the tape taut.
58. Work down the wire with ½-width Nile green tape, attaching orchids periodically as you go. Each spray should have 3 to 5 orchids per sprig.