Size: 10.5 cm x 7.5 cm
- small rolling pin
- smoother x 2
- cocktail sticks x 3
- wooden skewer (bbq stick)
- florist wire (#18 and #24-26)
- pliers (to cut the sticks and wires)
- dresden tool
- ball tool/bone tool
- square cutters (14 mm and 20 mm; or use similar sizes)
- small heart cutter (14 mm; or use similar size - it needs to fit in the smaller square)
- round cutters (sizes I used: 9 mm, 14 mm and a 17 mm)
- mini palette knife (or use the back of the knife)
- wooden lollipop sticks x 4
- brushes (for glue and dusting)
- grey 50/50 FP/SP mix* - 120 g
- CMC powder (carboxymethyl cellulose)
- red flower paste - 2 g
- black flower paste - 1 g
- edible glue
- dust colours (silver, black, red)
- a drop of clear alcohol
FP = flower paste = gum paste
SP = sugarpaste = fondant
50/50 FP/SP mix = mix equal amounts of FP and SP f.ex. 50 g of FP and 50 g of SP. You don't need to weigh them - just mix similar size pieces.
---> Instead of the FP/SP mix you can use plain flower paste (gum paste) or modelling paste or sugarpaste with CMC (fondant with CMC).
If you decide to use sugarpaste, add quite a lot of CMC - the paste needs to be thick/firm.
---> I add the CMC to the paste shortly before forming the parts. I don't let the paste with the mixed in CMC to sit for a long time.
For the body you will need 25 g of the FP/SP mix*. Keep on adding the CMC until you feel that the paste gets thick (you need much more pressure to knead it). The paste needs to be thick/firm if you want the edges of the cut out parts to be sharp. If the paste is too soft, the knife will pull the paste down - the parts will lose their shape.
Roll a ball. Form a teardrop shape. Put it on the board and press it from the top with a smoother in order to flatten it (thickness: about 18 mm). Then press from the sides with two smoothers to straighten the sides. Repeat flattening from the top and sides a couple of times, until you are happy with the shape.
*As I mentioned in the 'Edibles' section, instead of the FP/SP mix you can use plain flower paste (gum paste) or modelling paste or sugarpaste with CMC (fondant with CMC). If you decide to use sugarpaste, add quite a lot of CMC - the paste needs to be thick/firm.
Use the knife to cut off the top and bottom as shown in the photo. Clean the blade of the knife after each cut with a damp towel. Dry it out thoroughly.
If the body is soft/squishy, not holding the shape and you don't get sharp edges when cutting, add more CMC to the paste and remake the body. The body needs to be firm so that it can hold the heavy head.
You can also leave the paste to dry for a few minutes before cutting.
Put the body aside to dry.
Add some CMC to 20-30 g of grey FP/SP mix (similar thickness/consistency as the paste for the body). Roll it out to about 11-12 mm thick (the legs need to be flatter than the body).
Press a wooden lollipop stick to the surface as shown in the photo.
Cut the legs out as shown in the photo. They should be a little shorter and narrower than the body.
Make all cuts at a straight angle. Clean the blade of the knife after each cut, so that it doesn't pull the paste down when cutting. Smooth the sides with your finger.
Position the legs so that they are standing and check if the legs are not leaning to the front of back (they need to stand straight or else the topper will be leaning to the front or back). The top of the legs needs to be flat too so that you can attach the body properly.
For the head you will need 55 g of grey paste with CMC (thickness/consistency of the paste similar as for the body).
Roll an oval ball. Flatten it to about 24-25 mm. Press it from the sides with two smoothers to get a more square shape. Repeat flattening from the top and the sides a couple of times, until you are happy with the shape.
Use a ball tool or bone tool to make eye indentations and the dresden tool to make the mouth indentation.
Use the mini palette knife (or the back of the knife) to indent a line as shown in the photo. Make small holes along that line with a cocktail stick.
Roll out some leftover grey paste with CMC to about 2-3 mm. You can use the lollipop sticks as spacers. Let the piece dry out for a few minutes from both sides. Use the square cutters to cut out a square frame. Stick it with a small amount of glue to the body.
Roll out the grey paste with CMC to about 6 mm. Cut out the arms. I used a round cutter to make the rounded end of the arm. Cut the opposite end of the arm with a scalpel at an angle (the arms will be attached to the body at an angle).
Roll out some grey paste with CMC to about 3 mm. I used lollipop sticks (two from each side). Let the piece dry from both sides for a few minutes.
Cut out circles (two 9 mm, two 17 mm and one 14 mm).
Stick the circles as shown in the photo.
All parts need to be firm before attaching them together. If they are still squishy, leave them to dry for a bit longer.
Check if all parts join properly - stand them on top of each other (before inserting the sticks and wires) and check if the topper is not leaning to the front or back.
Make adjustments if there's need (cut with a knife or scalpel).
I used cocktail sticks but if you are making the topper for a cake I suggest using a wooden skewer in one of the legs and trimming it to the depth of the cake once the topper is completely dry.
If you use two cocktail sticks in the legs, they might not hold the topper in the cake properly (they are too short and the topper to heavy).
Apply a small amount of glue on the sticks before inserting them. Insert them in a rotary motion.
Insert short pieces of #24 or #26 wire in the arms. I trimmed the ends of the arms slightly with a scalpel before inserting the wires, because I wasn't happy with how they were joining with the body.
Make tunnels using a spare cocktail stick or piece of wire, where the cocktail sticks/wires will go. That way you won't have to push the parts in (you won't damage them).
The legs and arms are attached in the middle.
Stick all parts together. Use a small amount of glue so that it doesn't ooze out.
Support the arms and legs with pieces of paper towel so that they are drying at a proper angle. If the legs don't dry out straight the topper will lean to the front or back.
Leave the topper to dry out completely (I left it to dry for a few hours).
Once the topper is completely dry, steam it (or place it over boiling water for 1-2 seconds - be careful not to burn yourself). The topper can't be wet, you just want the surface to become slightly sticky.
Use a soft brush and silver dust to dust the topper.
If the surface is too wet you will get marks on the surface, so it's better to work gradually (steam --> dust --> steam again --> dust again and so on).
I dusted the back first and then the front.
Insert a #18 wire in the top of the head (centre of the circle).
Remove the excess of the dust off with a soft, dry, clean brush.
Roll small black balls and stick them in the eye indentations. Stick some black paste in the mouth and push it in with the dresden tool.
Paint the wire with silver paint (silver dust dissolved in a small amount of alcohol).
Roll out the red flower paste to about 3 mm. Let the piece dry from both sides for a few minutes. Cut a heart out. Stick it to the body.
Roll a small ball and attach it to the antenna.
Dust the edges and the indented line with black dust.
Dust the red ball and the heart with red dust. Be careful not to spread the dust on the silver surface (take the excess of the dust off the brush by rubbing it on a piece of paper towel).
All done! :)
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial! :)
The topper needs to be completely dry before attaching it to the cake, or else it might start leaning to the sides. Trim the long skewer to the depth of the cake. I suggest inserting a plastic straw under each leg. Trim them to the depth of the cake. They will support the weight of the topper.