Strands Of Beads

Sugar Work By tx_cupcake Updated 3 Jun 2011 , 5:41pm by mena2002

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tx_cupcake Posted 4 Mar 2010 , 2:41pm
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I have been looking and looking all over the internet, and can't seem to find what I'm looking for. I'm hoping you ladies can help.

I want to make strands of beads out of isomalt. Not the kind that are connected to one another (like the fondant molds), but the kind that are held together with a string - like real strands of beads.

I can't seem to find a mold, let alone directions anywhere! Does anyone have any ideas, or a direction to point me in? I actually saw some at the Austin cake show this past weekend, along with pre-treated isomalt you could just melt in the microwave. Now I'm kicking myself for not buying them!

Thanks in advance! thumbs_up.gif

Edited to add that I'm looking to make beads similar to the ones on Marina Sousa's Sweet 16 cake for Miley Cyrus - if that helps.

14 replies
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tx_cupcake Posted 5 Mar 2010 , 2:37pm
post #2 of 15

Anybody? icon_cry.gif

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cake-angel Posted 6 Mar 2010 , 5:20am
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When I watched that episode, It looked to me like they were using a bead mold (similar to the first impression one) and putting a length of dental floss in the mold before pouring in the isomalt. It is very possible she made her own mold for this technique though.

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eatdessert1st Posted 14 Mar 2010 , 3:50pm
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Someone posted this reply by the creator of the isomalt beads on a string. I found the thread and am copying her answer here:

This reply was written by Marina Sousa, Just Cake, in March 2009, in a Q & A thread about the Miley Cyrus competition...

Q: How did you make the beads?
A: the beads were made from isolmalt (a sugar substitute that is less temperamental than sugar) The sugar was melted down and tinted with liquid airbrush food coloring.

Isolmalt- once cooked can be re-heated in the microwave to keep it in a liquid state, which is what is required to pour it into the molds. The best part of microwaving it (as opposed to re-heating it over the stove top) is that it does not caramelize- so there is no color change. If you have ever worked with sugar before you know what a plus that is!

Q: Where did you get the molds?
A: the molds were such an issue! Ultimately we ended up making our own molds but that was after several attempts by a mold making company that just didnt work quite right. We used Silicone Plastique from:
There are really good step-by-step instructions on the website.

I bought plastic beads from a craft store and used those to form the mold. We ended up using pretty basic ribbed round beads however, we tried several different shapes and sizes. We really liked some of the more typical chandelier shapes but consistency & weight was an issue.

Once the molds set we took a very sharp exacto blade and made a very shallow slice down the center to create a space for the string to sink into. Once secured the isolmalt was poured into the molds and removed once they were set.

It was definitely a trial and error process that Dawn spent a lot of time perfecting. Patience is key ☺

Q: What kind of string did you use for the beads?
A: we used beading string which I got in a craft store in the beading section. Any type of plastic or fishing line will melt when the sugar is poured into the mold. Any type of metal, wire thread etc. will kink up and wont hang straight.

Q: How were the strings attached?
A: the strings are individually attached to foamcore rings. Little slits were cut into the foamcore and the string was secured into the slits. Varying sized rings created the depth.

Q: Was this the same way you did the beads that we saw on Keegans wedding cake?
A: No. For Keegan & Lisas cake I made all of those beads by hand from fondant and pushed a pin through to create a hole in each bead. The beads were then individually strung on clear-stretchy beading string by knotting the string to secure each beads place.

This was a much more time consuming process that is why I really wanted to come up with an alternative way to do it for the competition. I think I spent 20+ hours making the beads and stringing them for the wedding cake- so clearly not the best competition technique!

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Auntie_RaRa Posted 14 Mar 2010 , 11:58pm
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Thanks for posting the information! I was playing around just today with doing a string of beads. I know I will be using silicone plastique, but for testing and learning phase, I bought the amazing mold putty at michaels along with different style of beads.

The amazing putty was very easy to work with, but you I realized I had to work pretty quickly once I mixed "part A" & "part b" because it will begin to harden. I made several molds of different bead style and size.

Then, the fun part...pouring isomalt into the molds. I used the prepared isomalt I purchased from Kathy Scott at Chicago ICES convention last year. Since I hadn't seen this post, I used dental floss. It didn't melt and it held the beads on the string. What I didn't like and I don't know if I'm being to picky is the dental floss was white. All the years, I've used dental flossed, I couldn't remember if they made it clear.

I figured out that I would have to cut a slit in one of the mold samples so the beads appear to have space between them. It's been awhile since I saw that episode on FN but I couldn't remember if the beads were "whole" or flat back. I would prefer to have the beads whole as they are in the real world. I didn't like the fact that the beads weren't going in the same again I could be picky. It could be my dental floss got twisted or something.

Finally, the mold itself was ok for practice. The isomalt wasn't cloudy. I've used isomalt with the silicone plastique molds before and they were very clear. I knew my gems had different results on different type of mold surfaces, but didn't understand the principles of types of mold surfaces until I read Dominic's explanation on CC.

Trying to get all this figured out for a bridal show I'm doing in June. I'll post when I have some more results.

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eatdessert1st Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 1:43pm
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Dominic gives a detailed explanation on melting isomalt in his forum.... if I remember correctly he says to use distilled water. I plan on doing that for my martini glass and will post pics when I get a chance to do the mold. I hope the distilled water makes a clearer sugar than what I've gotten w/ tap water in the past. Whenever this kitchen remodeling is done and I have a sink and oven again I plan on diving into that project. I'm just itching to play again....

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Auntie_RaRa Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 2:14pm
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I wanted to clarify the technique I was using with this project. I wasn't using the isomalt and adding water. Kathy from Sweet Expressions (and maybe some other vendors) sell the isomalt already prepared and is in blocks. You cut what you need, and then microwave it and pour into molds. There is also something called venuance pearls which you put into microwave and once melted pour in the molds. Gotta take baby

THe isomalt I used in silicon plastique molds did so much better than the other stuff I got a Michaels.

I do plan and play with the isomalt and the candy thermomter option as well. I have the book "Cooked Sugar Art" by Vi Whittington to help me understand all the terms and just what this whole world of sugar art is all about.

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sweettoothmom1 Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 2:32pm
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kathy scott sells the gem molds already made in various shapes. we used them in orlando ICES mini in january. they were good. we just cut the slit with exacto to run the thread/looked like fishing line to make a bracelet of gems.

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Auntie_RaRa Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 2:38pm
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I've been patiently waiting for her to put on her ebay storefront. She told me had some but her schedule was hectic and all. Kathy was all excited about them so I'm glad you saw them and liked how they work. I just saw some really cool shapes that were on clearance and couldn't pass up the temptation of trying to learn how to this stuff.

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Jazz2U Posted 19 Sep 2010 , 7:48pm
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Maybe better late than never but a friend got me the Marina Sousa Mold at the convention and it says to use nylon beading thread. It's white & shows through clear. I used red venuance pearls for the Sousa Mold because that's all I had & I am waiting until it's good & dry to take it apart. I have a feeling it wasn't thin enough to pour thru as it should. I'll keep you posted.

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Jazz2U Posted 19 Sep 2010 , 8:27pm
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The Venuance pearls didn't work in the mold. It seemed thicker & didn't pour through the holes & a lot was left on top. Next I'll try the regular sugar unless I can get my hands on some Isomalt. Seeing my friend this week & I know she has it so maybe we'll try it out.

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Divaflirt Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 2:01am
post #12 of 15

Here is the link for getting the "crystal chandelier beads" mold for use with isomalt, like you have seen and is discussed in this thread.

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ladij153 Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 2:56am
post #13 of 15

I found this website a while back when looking for exactly the same thing as the has the isomalt sticks .... HTH

I also have the make your own molds site saved

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dchockeyguy Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 4:33pm
post #14 of 15

The molds work great. I bought one last year, and the only problem I had is with the beading string I used. I think it's too much plastic and it dissolves in the hot sugar. Using cloth now, which should hopefully hold up better.

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mena2002 Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 5:41pm
post #15 of 15

Love all the information on here thumbs_up.gif

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