Desperately Want To Improve On My Gumpaste Flowers

Decorating By dawnybird Updated 13 Aug 2012 , 8:36pm by dawnybird

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dawnybird Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 3:19am
post #1 of 18

So, I'm getting better at making gum paste figures and even some embellishments, but flowers, at least flowers that look halfway decent, have eluded me! I've watched every video I can find, study everyone's cake pictures, try to practice, etc. but my flowers always look awful! I have a very limited collection of cutters, embossers, etc. Can anyone suggest some good cutters, shapers, embossers, anything that will help me to create better looking flowers? Are there dvd's you recommend? I made some atrocious looking roses tonight and I'm feeling frustrated. Please help!

17 replies
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FromScratchSF Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 3:26am
post #2 of 18

Highly recommend getting Jacqueline Butler's Sugar Flower class on Craftsy. You'll learn the basics like what sugarpaste to use, what consistency it should be, how thin to roll your petals, how to wire them properly, how to dust and how to assemble. From there you can probably make any flower you can find a free tutorial online for and they will turn out awesome.

Good Luck!

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unctoothlady Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 1:14pm
post #3 of 18

I did the Wilton Course 4 ADVANCED GUMPASTE FLOWERS class recently and I really enjoyed it. What is interesting though, is now that I have learned the techniques in that class, I have been able to adapt what was learned to making other flowers by using templates I have found online.

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Goreti Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 1:25pm
post #4 of 18

I also started by taking the Wilton course 4 just to get the basics. Although I had lots of fun, I wasn't too thrilled with the flowers. I have since gotten library books, viewed videos & tutorials on line and learned a lot as a result. I have very few cutters myself but use templates that I have found online or makes templates from flowers in my own garden. It takes practice. For myself, I find that I can do a better job if I mix fondant & gumpaste since it gives me more time to work with it. Don't get discouraged.

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dawnybird Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 5:46pm
post #5 of 18

Thank you all for the advice and encouragement! I'll keep practicing. Also, I'd still like to know whether any of you have cutters, veiners that you really find indispensable; maybe good to use for several different flowers?

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FromScratchSF Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 6:39pm
post #6 of 18

Stuff I can't live without:

Simple round cutters in all sizes that I use to make a ton of different flowers. I have a set of biscuit cutters that are straight on one side, frilled on the other. I use them all the time.

I use 5 petal rose cutters a lot for a lot of different flowers.

My celboard.

KA pasta roller. Worth every penny and I use it every day - can't believe I ever rolled stuff by hand before. Madness!

Viva paper towels and corn husks (like for tamales) will save you hundreds in veiners.

Small, sharp pointy scissors.

Small wire cutters.

Small needle nose plyers.

Paper covered wire in 18, 24 and 26 gauge.

"Sugar glue" made with a pebble of gumpaste dissolved in water.

Floral tape in white, light and dark green, brown.

And then dusts. I prefer Crystal Colors and petal dust - luster dusts are unnatural.

You can spend so much money on veiners, cutters, molds etc!

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luckylibra Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 6:53pm
post #7 of 18

I was going to start a thread with a thank you but of course.. this helpful person had also had some great advice in an ongoing thread (this one)...anyway.... what I would like to say is

THANK YOU FromScratchSF!!!!!!!!!

You are always so helpful, willing to share and I made my first SMBC last night following your tutorial and am about halfway through a thread to figure out how to pipe with it..

Sorry to hijack the thread but figured it kind of fit right in... I would never have thought of the corn husks to vein with and was lamenting that I do not have a veiner.. well.. now I do

Thanks so much for all you share and do!!!!

Colleen icon_biggrin.gif

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Pearl645 Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 7:08pm
post #8 of 18

Thanks FromScratch. That was a great list. I took it down icon_smile.gif

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cakeyouverymuch Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 7:36pm
post #9 of 18

Also, buy metal cutters when you can. I find that the plastic cutters don't always make a clean cut which goes a long way to the quality of your end product.

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grandmomof1 Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 7:54pm
post #10 of 18

There are some great tutorials on I have found many of their tutorials to be helpful. Edna with Design Me a Cake has several great tutorials on youtube. Then....practice...practice...practice. I am still learning.

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dawnybird Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 11:00pm
post #11 of 18

Wow! Thank you all so much! From ScratchSF, thanks for taking the time to make a list! I'm loving the corn husk idea. I often look round my house for items to use other than their intended purpose!! Great tips, everyone. I may even start posting some of my cake pics once I feel they're good enough to share!

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FromScratchSF Posted 30 Jul 2012 , 11:18pm
post #12 of 18

You are welcome everyone!

Psst - yeah, the corn husk thing is AWESOME. I have very expensive silicone veiners that I have put aside in favor of corn husks.

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mhcl Posted 31 Jul 2012 , 2:03am
post #13 of 18

Cornhusks???....CORNHUSKS!! Genius!! Going out to my backyard now! thumbs_up.gif

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Apol Posted 13 Aug 2012 , 1:24pm
post #14 of 18
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

Stuff I can't live without:

corn husks (like for tamales) will save you hundreds in veiners.

wow! why have I never thought of this before? you are a genius! thanks for the tip!

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EvMarie Posted 13 Aug 2012 , 1:56pm
post #15 of 18

Good Lord....

CORN HUSKS! That is nutso brilliant!

Do they remain usable for long periods of time? Do you store them a particular way?

I was so dreading the purchase of 5 million tools for my cousins wedding cake in October. It's a Fall leaf theme. Corn husks will definitely save some money.

Thank you!

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CyberKat Posted 13 Aug 2012 , 2:49pm
post #16 of 18

Definetly recommend Jacqueline Butler´s online Craftsy class!
The class in itself is very complete (techniques, tools, GP and RI recipes, printable material, supply links, etc, etc) and you have the possibility to ask her questions ... she always answers right away with her fullest knowledge.
Totally worth it, in my opinion icon_smile.gif

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jhcakes Posted 13 Aug 2012 , 6:30pm
post #17 of 18

Hi Everyone,

I am new to the CC scene - just signed up today.
I am very happy to have found this thread as I love to make sugar paste flowers and hope to learn more about the techniques. I am also happy to share what I know.

In response to the question of basic tool set, I would like to add 3 items to the list:

1.) good quality sugar paste - I find that a well made sugar paste makes a great difference.
2.) metal ball tool - I never tried the plastic ones because I read a lot about their shortcomings.
3.) forming pad - I have started out with what I thought to be a fabulous purchase - The Wilton Kit. It came with 30 some odd pieces of plastic cutters, a wooden rolling pin and 2 forming pads, which proved to be difficult to work on and the results were uninspiring. I use the white PME pad but there are other brands, which are just as good. The pad just needs to be firm. The pink Wilton ones are too soft, I find.

I agree with all of you, though - practice, practice and practice some more.
Great to be here and good luck, dawnybird!

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dawnybird Posted 13 Aug 2012 , 8:36pm
post #18 of 18

Thanks, jhcakes!
Welcome to CC. Everyone on here is so willing to help bakers like me who are still learning the fine art of cake decorating! Thanks for adding to the list of "must-haves".

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