- knife (straight blade)
- wheel tool
- small rolling pin
- metal ruler
- strip cutters (I used JEM strip cutters no. 1 and no. 2)
- 3 mm spacers (I used wooden lollipop sticks)
- square cutter (3 x 3 cm)
- heart cutter (1.2 cm)
- textured bottom of a plastic plate (or a texturing mat)
- brushes for glue
- dusting brushes
- flower paste* / sugarpaste** mix + CMC (book cover)
- sugarpaste + CMC (book block)
- flower paste (details)
- edible glue
*flower paste = gum paste
**sugarpaste = fondant
Cut the styrofoam to the size you want the book to be. The size of the styrofoam I used: 4 x 5 x 1.2 inch. Use a sandpaper piece (wrapped around a smoother) to smooth the styrofoam. Hold the smoother straight and make sure that all sides are level (if the styrofoam is domed it will be visible later).
Use the smoother (with the sandpaper wrapped around it) to round one long side (spine).
Now wrap the sandpaper around a rolling pin and shape the opposed side (text block).
This is how the text block side looks like after shaping.
Knead some CMC into a piece of ivory paste (keep on adding the CMC gradually; the paste doesn't need to be very thick; you want it to become just a little bit more thicker, so that it's not too soft when when you texture it later). Roll it out to about 2-3 mm thick (the piece needs to be long enough to wrap it around as shown in the photo). Apply some glue on the styrofoam (the text block sides; make sure there are no dry gaps) and stick the strip on.
Smooth the sides gently with your fingers, to make sure the paste sticks well.
Use the scalpel to cut off the excess of the paste off.
As you can see I filled holes in the styrofoam with some paste. If you don't fill them they might be visible from underneath the paste - go to step 15 to see what happens if the styrofoam is not smoothed properly or if the holes are not filled.
Before proceeding to the next step I pinched the corners of the text block to make the pages look more square (in the photo above they are still round).
Use the knife (blade) to texture the paste as shown in the photo. Don't press the knife too hard.
The texturing causes the paste to move to the sides that is why you need to cut the excess of the paste off again ;)
Do the same with the other sides.
To make the cover I used a mix of flower paste and sugarpaste (1/3 flower paste + 2/3 sugarpaste). Knead some CMC powder into the mix. Keep on adding it gradually until you feel that the paste gets thick. It needs to be quite thick because you want the cover to hold its shape - see step 16. Roll it to about 3 mm (I used wooden lollipop stick as spacers). The piece needs to be long and wide enough to wrap it around the book (book cover).
Lift the paste from the board (without stretching it). Flip it over to the over side (the bottom side up) - place it on a piece of greaseproof paper.
Apply a thin coat of glue on the styrofoam sides of the dummy. Don't apply too much glue because it might soften the paste too much. Make sure there are no dry gaps. Place the styrofoam on the rolled out paste as shown in the photo. Press down gently. Make cuts as shown in the photo (press don't pull; the cuts need to reach a bit further than just to the edge of the spine, so that the paste doesn't rip when flipping the book to the other side - see step 15).
I left a 4 mm margin.
Flip the book to the other side as shown in the photo. As you can see the under side of the book is not perfect ;) - I didn't worry about the book being smooth at the bottom because i knew it won't be visible once I place it on the cake - save time where you can ;)
Make cuts the same way as in step 14.
Don't smooth the cover with the smoother - by pressing the paste to the styrofoam with a smoother you might make any bumps and holes in he styrofoam more visible.
If the cover doesn't look smooth after flipping it around that might mean the paste was too soft (you didn't add enough CMC or applied too much glue which softened the paste).
Use the metal ruler to emboss line on both sides of the book.
Curve the corners (the top side of the book) slightly upwards so that they are not completely flat (they will look more natural).
Let the book dry before dusting (I left it to dry overnight, but I might me able to dust it earlier - it all depends on the amount of CMC you added and on the weather - keep on checking the firmness of the paste).
Dust the book (from the edges inwards).
Dust the text block with a flat side of the brush to bring out the texture.
Roll out some flower paste to about 1 mm thick.
I used a cut out bottom of a plastic plate to texture the paste.
Apply some corn flour on both sides of the paste. If the paste is very soft and sticky you can leave it for a moment to dry from both sides. Place the paste on the plastic. Roll with a rolling pin. Try to use the same pressure throughout the whole piece. Don't roll many times back and forth. Roll just one time from one side to the other.
Peel the paste gently from the plastic being careful not to stretch it.
If the paste is still soft, leave it for a few minutes to dry. The longer the flower paste dries, the less the cut-outs will lose their shape. Of course it can't dry out completely because it will be impossible to cut the shapes out ;)
Cut out a square and strips. Rub the underside of the cutters to ensure a clean cut.
Apply a small amount of glue where the strips and the square will go. Stick them on making sure they are positioned straight.
Use a scalpel to trim the strips.
Roll out a small piece of flower paste very thin. Let the piece dry from both sides for a few minutes. Cut out 4 hearts. Use a wheel tool to trim two of those hearts to get two teardrop shapes. Stick the hearts and the teardrops as shown in the photo. Roll three thin sausages and stick them on as shown in the photo.
Dust the details.
All done! :)