Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Gumpaste Rose Caketopper

gumpaste rose wedding cake topper
The Cake topper
I was asked to make a cake topper for a wedding this last week.  So I started with a package of prepared gumpaste. You can make your own but in this case I just didn't have time.  I was expecting to have over 20 people come in for this wedding and most of them were staying for Christmas.  So I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off. What with getting 2 houses ready for guests and getting all of my soaping  stuff out of my house I had a ton of stuff to get done.

I had to get the topper done by Friday so I started working on Wednesday night after my kids left for church.  I needed a good stretch of time without kids around to jostle or bump.  For those of you who have never worked with gumpaste, it is extremely fragile once it has dried.  And it dries very quickly.

I started with a plastic rose base.  I inserted a short piece of 20 gauge wire into the base of the rose base.  This is the base for the rose which I then set aside for a while.  Before going any further I made my gumpaste glue from a pinch of dried up gumpaste and water.

Next I took a piece of gumpaste and added some red food coloring to it, kneading it into the mass.  Normally I tried to avoid overuse of food coloring.  However, in this case, since the decorations are not going to be eaten, I am not worried about the food coloring.  I rolled out the gumpaste, folding and rolling until the color was basically even throughout.  You cannot get red from gumpaste without massive amounts of food coloring.  But, by kneading in some color, it is easier to get a better color when you paint it with food coloring.  

Once the gumpaste was colored, I rolled out the gumpaste using corn starch to keep it from sticking, before cutting out a flower with a gumpaste cutter set.  For the center of the roses, I cut the five petals apart.  From there I took the ball tool and rolled the edges of the petal to ruffle them.  After ruffling, the petals I took the glue and adhered one to each center sideways.  This makes the center of the rose and gives the rest of the petals something to adhere to and build your rose.  For storing pieces between cutting and using I pulled out the every useful gallon Ziploc bag.  I kept my cut pieces in this bag with a small bowl of water in the corner to keep everything from drying out before I had a chance to work with it.  
gumpaste rose detail wedding cake topper

From here it gets a little easier.  For the next layer, cut 1 five petal piece from your rolled out gumpaste.  Roll the edges of each petal with your ball tool to ruffle the edges.  After all of your petals are ruffled take your glue and lightly coat the center and the lower part of each of the petals.  Insert the wire into the center of the 5 petal piece and slide it up the wire until it reaches the center.  Align the petals to be off set from the center petal.  Lift and mold one petal at a time in the following order: 1, 3, 2, 4, 5.  This will ensure that your petals fall in a natural fashion.

For the final set of petals, follow the directions in the previous paragraph up to adhering the petals.  Once you have your second set of petals on the wire, place so that petal 1 is positioned in-between the two closest petals.  Wrap the rest of the petals in the same order as before.

After you flowers are put together and have had time to dry, paint them with gel food coloring with just a touch of water added.  You only want just enough water to thin the food coloring to an acrylic paint thickness, and only add water if using a gel food coloring.  I wait until I have all of my large flowers placed before I paint them, but I paint the small flowers and leaves and allow them to dry before placing them in the arrangement.  Be prepared to give them a couple of hours to dry after painting and be aware that they may stay tacky for up to 2 days depending on your humidity levels in your work space.  If you are having trouble getting your flowers to dry you can always place them in a container with some silica gel packets like they put in medications.

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