Making gum paste decorations is an art in itself. The results are durable and can be saved as souvenirs long after the cake has been eaten. Following are some cake decorating tips to help you along the way as you explore experiment with gum paste:
- Purchase gum paste at a local arts and craft or cake decorating supply store – some enthusiasts make their own, but you may want to skip this step at first.
- Familiarize yourself with the many colors available. You can add color yourself with a gel or paste – or purchase colored gum paste.
- When coloring be very careful to not use too much color gel or paste. Knead in tiny amounts at a time. Application with a toothpick helps you to control the amount you use.
- Start with simple projects first and then progress to more complicated ones. A lily is one of the simpler flowers. Also try creating your own fantasy figures, such as a teddy bear or gnome.
- You don’t even have to make your own flowers – you can purchase them at a bakery or cake decorating supply center. Ready-made flowers are also useful as templates you can copy.
- Give yourself lots of time if you are planning to make your own decorations – especially if you are inexperienced. You can achieve wonderful, colorful results, but the work is very detailed and time consuming – involving cutting, molding, shaping, detailing, and assembling each creation.
- Keep the gum paste covered at all times and wrap it tightly when you put it away – just like other malleable substances, it is not workable when it dries out.
What Tools Do You Need?
You can purchase a tool kit or only tools that will suit your current project. Some of the tools that are handy for working with gum paste are:
- Dog bone shaping tool – helps to shape flower petals
- Shell tool for making lines on flower petals
- Umbrella, Ball, and Veining tools are other shaping tools specifically designed for flower making
- Foam surface to cut on
- Heavy gauge wire for spearing a piece while you work on it
- Small brushes.
Finding More Cake Decorating Tips
Unless you are a very artistic person or have experience making decorations with fondant, the most efficient route for acquiring skills will be from an experienced instructor or even an instructional video. This is probably the most practical gum paste cake decorating tip, that is: Attend a class or workshop to gain a solid foundation in the skills you need to work with gum paste. This foundation will be the springboard for your own personal style and creativity.