Bob Johnson's Gumpaste Couture Pearl Necklace Tutorial


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

Comments (26)


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?


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!


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


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.


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.


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

Thank you again 


Thank you for sharing you amazing tutorial Bob. Your work is exquisitite and we are all richer as a result of learning from your techniques. x


The pearls are just  beautiful, I have been trying to find that border mold with no luck. Please tell me where I can get it.