Monday, July 14, 2014

How to Make a Ballet Cake Topper

I must confess...  I *LOVE* sharing how to make cake things with you:).  I believe the more we can learn from each other the better cake-making world we will be!  There is a reason there aren't a huge amount of cake makers out there... it's a TON of work.  Behind the glamour of the beautiful cakes and the photo shoots are many hours of baking, dishes, and decorating.  I believe the more *secrets* we can learn from each other the better:).  A big THANK YOU to all of you cakers out there who share your work, because I have learned a ton from you:).

So now for the ballet shoes... let's get started!




Materials

Gumpaste in desired color (Pink for ballet shoes)
Sugar Glue
Small sharp knife
Ballet Shoe Template (see below)
Pearl Luster Dust (a must w/ pink)
One bag of Cotton Balls
Straight Edge (for shoe ribbons)
Rotary Cutter
Foam piece shaped narrower than the cut out
KitchenAid pasta roller (attachment to your blender)


Step 1.  Cut out your pattern.  I took the template that is online and modified it to incorporate a more natural looking shoe (narrower heel, longer toe box, and added a 'seam' allowance at the edge allowing for an 'overlap' on the edge of the shoe).

***You can draw this out yourself or purchase the original pattern I made on our Etsy shop here.  This downloaded file is the exact size pattern I used for these ballet shoes (drawn on a 8.5"x11" sheet).***

Step 2.  Roll out your gumpaste (with your small roller then pasta roller setting first 1 then roll with 2)

Step 3.  Cut out your ballet shoe pattern on your gumpaste with a small sharp knife.  Flip for other side shoe.

NOTE:  Pink gumpaste/fondant fades with natural and artificial light (I know it stinks especially for color matching!) so always put it away asap or keep it under a towel to keep it from fading.  Also store any project work in a cabinet or anywhere completely dark (see pix below).

Step 4.  Lay your gumpaste sole piece on top of your narrower foam piece.  Dab sugar glue with a brush along the back edge of the entire sole.  Starting from the back and sides gently place the Upper shoe portion edges on top of the glue line on the sole (you are working at the back of the shoe at this point).  This pix shows this overlap at the back of the shoes (sorry I didn't get more working pix!!  I always do all the work and forget to take pix!! Not to mention you have to work fast since you gum is drying!  aahhh).  Finally bring over the toe part and lay it up 'straight-ish'.  This gives you a more natural looking ballet point toe.  At this point your shoe is still soft and just drying out a touch.  Turn it over and cup it in your hands to shape it, bringing in the sides like a natural looking shoe.  Add glue to the back to close the back seam.  Bend it back in your hands to give it an arched look.

Step 5.  Now how to get it to dry to a natural arch?  This was the most stressful part because I wasn't sure and I was holding it wet and drying in my hand (LOL)!  Use a bag of cotton balls to get the right shape. Manipulate the cotton balls accordingly.  Let dry in a dark place (pink fades fast when exposed to light!  I know this is hard because all I wanted to do was look at the topper and I had to stow it away!). 

Step 6.  Cut out a 4" gumpaste circle to hold shoes.  I love this idea also because it makes this piece a keepsake:).

Step 7.  Once dry make sure to brush on luster dust to help prevent fading (dusting is a must for pinks).  Roll small pieces of gumpaste or use an extruder to create shoe bows.  Position shoes on their toe in a flattering position a top your 4# circle.  Add pieces of fondant as supports for the shoes to 'lean' on using your sugar glue.  See pix. Use a support for shoes to lean on and allow to dry until firm.

 Step 8.  Once firm cut your ribbons using your straight edge and rotary cutter.  I rolled these out using my Kitchen Aid down to setting 3.  Position ribbons in a way that add support and structure (AND looks beautiful!) to the shoes and attach at all contact points using sugar glue.  This part is tricky and can take time all the while your ribbons are drying out and probably not wanting to stick to well to the contact points!!  Have patience here and work as long the gumpaste lets you.  If you get small tears it is ok they are not very visible especially if you try closing them and let it dry firm without a gap.  Let dry in a dark place.


Step 9.  Carefully handle your dry 'sculpture':).  Dust luster dust on the ribbons.

Step 10.  Place on your cake and save your topper forever:)!

Happy Cake Making!
Christie











3 comments:

  1. Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing

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  2. I appreciate you sharing your technique on how to dry shoes to get shape. Beautiful work!! Thanks

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