Is Chalk A Substitute For Petal Dust?

Decorating By Foxicakes Updated 14 Jul 2010 , 2:08pm by JanetBme

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Foxicakes Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 2:56am
post #1 of 11

I was watching a YouTube video produced by Wilton Co. and in this video, the "expert", Nancy, showed where she ground up regular artistic chalk and used it the same way one would use petal dust, brushing it on flowers and then putting those on top of a cake. question is, to all of you experts out there, what exactly is the main ingredient in petal dust? Is it the same as chalk? And, if not, CAN chalk be used like petal dust for gumpaste flowers? I just think that petal dust is SO expensive and IF this is an acceptable alternative, what do you guys think. Has anyone else tried it?

I know that when I have practiced my flowers, since I am just beginning and am tight on money, I have used high pigment eyeshadows and they have worked well for the most part.

Anyway, I am just interested in hearing everyone's opinions and I am anxious to hear if anyone else has a cheaper alternative to using petal dust. Further, if there is an inexpensive alternative to luster dust, I would appreciate that also.

Thank you for your help!! I value everyone's opinion.

10 replies
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Jaimelt76 Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 3:00am
post #2 of 11

I have used non toxic chalk on my flowers. Up until yesterday (Michigan cottage law) I have only made cakes for friends and family and tell them do not eat the flowers.

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thatslifeca Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 3:05am
post #3 of 11

From my understand, yes they are the same thing. But do tell folks that they can't eat the decorations if you plan on using them. Just in case I would check it out with health regulations and stuff, I live in Canada and my understanding is that here we can't use it. So check first, better safe then sorry.

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cakeflake80 Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 3:05am
post #4 of 11

I have the book that comes with the Wilton gumpaste flower kit, and it mentions using either petal dust or non-toxic chalk. I bought some crayola chalk at Michael's and it says 'non-toxic' right on the front. I haven't tried it yet, but I keep it around in case I ever need a color that I don't have in petal dust.

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icer101 Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 3:13am
post #5 of 11

Scott Clark Woolley uses it in his dvd's .I have taught classes using it. Earlene Moore uses it. My wilton teacher taught me that way. Yes, we use petal dust, etc. also. I buy the pastel chalk in the art aisle at michaels.
who is gonna eat those hard g/p flowrers. They might bite into it once, but I don,t believe they will again. lol Alot of cake decorating supply co. sells it on their site. Yes, you grind it up really fine. It it GREAT.

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dsilvest Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 3:14am
post #6 of 11

Non toxic chalk pastel works much better that just chalk. The colours are much more intense. They can be toned down with a bit of cornstarch mixed in. Inform your customers not to eat the flowers etc even though the pastels are non toxic.

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cake-angel Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 3:15am
post #7 of 11

The artists soft chalk pastels are often used on gumpaste flowers. Although gumpaste is considered edible it generally isn't eaten. If it does happen that a portion of it is eaten, it is such a teeny amount of chalk and the fact that it is non toxic substance means it won't hurt anyone. I do discourage people from eating gumpaste - it isn't really appetizing to begin with. Just like many of my flowers are done on wires which also are not edible and another reason to discourage people from eating the decorations. Honestly in my opinion - I don't worry about using it. There is one brand of petal dust (crystal colors) which is FDA approved but the others are mainly sold for use as decorative color enhancement and most likely chalk based.

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Foxicakes Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 3:27am
post #8 of 11

Thank you everyone!! That makes me AND my pocketbook feel so much better!! I would be interested in knowing what I could "add" to the chalk to make it more like luster dust. Any suggestions?

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BlakesCakes Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 3:51am
post #9 of 11

You can add cornstarch to the chalk pastels to tone them down, but as far as making them sparkly, there really isn't anything I can suggest, other than to buy some white pearl luster dust in bulk and mix it in with the chalk dusts.


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TexasSugar Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:47pm
post #10 of 11

Most petal dusts out there are non toxic, which means while they shouldn't hurt you they aren't really meant for eating. My guess is that non toxic chalks would be along the same line.

If you are looking for an FDA approved edible dust check out Crystal Colors.

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JanetBme Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 2:08pm
post #11 of 11

I believe that a few years ago (before everything was on the internet), here in the states,you couldn't readily get petal dust- because everyone used buttercream flowers, few stores stocked it. Gumpaste flowers were more European, and the few elite that did gumpaste work used chalk or got dust imported. Now, even if you live in a little town, you can get petal dust on line.

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