Sugar flowers: What do I really need to start making them?

Sugar flowers: What do I really need to start making them?


Hello this is Christina Wallis. this is
going to be a very very short intro I just really to put a face to a voice and
I hope you enjoy my comprehensive introduction to flower making tools and
equipment. There was too much to photograph here for the equipment
picture, so the full list is in the description below and these are my latest flowers a tutorial on how to make them next week stay tuned and let’s get
started! You must excuse me I have a bit of a
cold, so I’m sounding a bit ‘croaky’. If you are serious about making flowers out
of gum paste get yourself a green board. I find that
the little green board is much more comfortable because it’s more mobile and easier to get around with and your leaves can only get your large, so this is the thing
I used to grease the board before starting to roll out my petals. You
just use margarine, or something… It needs to be vegetable base, though. The next thing you would need, is rolling pins.
The one on the right is just a general rolling pin and the one on the
left is a cell pin. I think, it’s the large size. And these are my two preferences.
I pretty much got away without buying anymore for as long as I’ve been making flowers to date. The next thing you would need is
something to dust your paste with. I use self-made paste and then
leave it ‘on a ‘sticky’ side’, because I think it works better and lasts longer.
This is my cornflower and it’s in there like a thick stocking. It looks really ugly,
so for that reason I resisted doing it, putting in the stocking for ages, but actually it
does work better. It disperses your dusting more evenly and leaves less
patches on a more colourful paste. Basically, DO try both options before saying ‘Oh no, I
don’t like the way it looks!’ 🙂 Some people prefer to use I fish instead of
corn flour, it kind of does the same thing I just prefer the texture of
cornflour If you plan to wire your petals, which
kind of produces the most beautiful sugar flowers ( one could argue 🙂 You might want to use
one of those veining boards. For larger petals you use larger grooves
and for smaller ones you use smaller ones! Talking about necessary tools, there’s also a method of
wiring your petals etc without using this board, but I’m not going to go into it in much
detail in this video. This is the little example of how to make a sugar leaf, using groove board The next one in our ‘show’ is
the foam pad. Before you even get as far as wiring
you might want to thin your petals to make them look really nice, and this foam
pads come in different makes and I’ve tried to use them and I really didn’t
get on with some of them, as in… couldn’t do it! So if you don’t get on with yours
then try different make it might work better for you. This one is kind of
soft and quite padded, very common, I think it’s Wilton I don’t remember, I had it for years anyway… The next tool is this little set of Ball Tools. They all come in different
sizes they used to be very expensive but now they very very cheap, fortunately.
You have to dust it before using it. And this large ball tool is to
straighten and thin down your petals and the little ones are better for kind
of curving and curling your petals up, just like this… And, actually, you’d think that because they’re metal so they would be invincible but they are not! …Because one of them is actually scratched and it makes my life really
really difficult a times! I don’t know how it got scratched, because it’s metal like I said, but anyway I need to
replace it so yeah look after your equipment!
Ball tools, they are a ‘must’! And here’s a little tip on using a large ball tool… If you only
have one cutter but need leaves or petals of different sizes you might find
that you want to roll your paste thicker and then stretch the item you are making, to wider or longer with a Ball Tool and will leave the other ones original size
or slightly smaller so I hope that makes sense. The next one is a tremendously important
tool in Sugarcraft. It is called Dresden Tool and these two are by different companies
in fact the other one might not be actually called Dresden tool but and is
subtly more different from the black one and I find it more useful just in the
little things that it could do in its shape and I find it more useful, either way, just trust me on this one, yellow or a black one, or preferably both, you NEED to have them, if
you’re serious about sugarcraft. A couple more words about cell pin. As I said, this is the large one, and this is how you may, possibly, use this pointy end, for making holes in your nearly ready flower or
indentations to insert the wire and make it look realistic. This is another
version of it, just to give your indentation a slightly different shape, so as
you can see, the tools, they could be quite interchangeable and then it just
comes to your preference, so while some of the tools are really really cheap so
you might just have them as spares, in case you lose your main tool. See? You
could use this cell pin as a Ball Tool, in effect. So, yeah , it’s
nice to have doubles of tools but you also have to be mindful and realise that
some are interchangeable and you don’t want to go and waste your money before you
actually get into this flower making and realize what’s needed for your flower choices and what isn’t. Another handy little tool is this little wheel. It looks a bit flimsy but it’s
actually quite brilliant. The reason why so good is, that sometimes you might want
to do an unusual flower or one you don’t do often So you will be better off cutting out a cardboard template for your sugar flower, and then you can just trace it and nippy little tool and
cut out your unusual shape because sometimes it really isn’t worth it, buying
a cutter for something that you would only possibly make once, or you just come up with your own fantasy flower design who knows, and that also applies beyond flowers, as well… And thing is fairly obvious, basically it’s
flower cutters and veiners, and there is an immense number of their makes on the market.
This particular one for Orchid. It is by Kitchen Squires and I find them very good.
I find that picking and choosing between different companies is a good
idea because, in my experience, not one single company got it right with both, flower classes
and veiners on every single occasion. Another question that often crops up is
whether to use plastic or metal cutters the simple answer here would be if you
just work with fondant, then plastic if you work with gum paste then mostly
metal. However sometimes you find the decision is taken out of your hands.
For example a Daisy cutter is used for a variety of beautiful flowers and yet you
will be hard pushed, trying to find one in different sizes, in metal, cheaply at that, so yeah bland and uncomfortable you still have to use that set of three!
This is another plastic one, and it’s brilliant and it’s good for flowers like
Scabious. Other than that , with some exceptions, metal is a good one
to use for really neat, precise lines and shapes so yeah, I do prefer it. You
need to make sure that you don’t misshapen it or rust it through mis- handling.
And this is another plastic one that actually quite like. This make is good
it’s because it cuts really really thin. So some plastic is better than other, as well.
Ok, so before me move on to the next one I want to say one more thing about metal
cutters. Some of them, generally more expensive
ones, have a tie around one side but that makes it more sturdy and seemingly
better quality. However, this also means, that you can ‘t flip your cutter over and
just cut a mirror image of the first thing that you’ve cat and that flipping it like this could work really nicely for peony petals and for for some foliage so yeah, it is more steady but it also disallows you some flexibility… so bear that in mind when you buy a metal cutters that the two sided ones could be more flexible than
one-sided sturdy flower cutters. Another thing is, you might need to find quite
useful if you make Sugar / Cold Porcelain flowers is a pair of scissors. You get them with a bendy
blades and straight blades. Do watch out for this difference. If you go for a
straight petal look, like I did in my beginner
Dahlia tutorial, you see I am using a straight blade to cut little petal for
the middle but for something like use in my Orchid tutorial, you
really need the bendy ones and not the straight ones! The next piece of equipment
here, is the petal dryer. it’s nice and useful and best when I found on the market ( well, been advised to buy), by Wilton, but actually it’s not essential in my opinion, because
the thing is, you could cut out a few petals but if you have to go and get
those sharp and do something else for two hours elsewhere and then come back
take them out they, would have dried that little bit, to make it quite tricky to
impossible to actually shape them or fray them or whatever else, so yes, it is good but
it has its own limitations and it can be actually replaced by a document folder of sorts.
Some things to do with making sugar flowers are less obvious,
and yet very important, for example, if you buy a veiners and cutters, it’s
important to measure them, it really is because if your veiner is smaller than your
cutter then you’ve pretty much wasted your money ( there’s a work around it, but it’s not reliable) So yeah, measuring, it’s a must! Another one is a palette knife. Yes, you
can use a normal knife but it really wouldn’t get you the best results.
Palette knives are great because sometimes you don’t want to overdo on
your dusting and yet you want to pick your petals up. It really
is another ‘must’ for nice flowers. Another gadget that many flower
makers like, is this little veining stick. It’s good to use for a variety of
flowers, in particular for veining flowers with a non- individual petals, for
example, you can just go around or small filler flowers. I don’t really get on
with it so I pretty much run out of things to say about it now. If you get very particular with
your flowers, tweezers is another good gadget. You can just have one good pair
with fine tip I have loads because I keep losing them and they’re good for
things like twiddling with Anemones, statements and centers of flowers,
delicate things like that… For best results in making flowers out of
gum paste, you would, I’m afraid, need to use wire very soon after starting.
Wires come in different makes, but I haven’t explored the difference between the makes. I’m sure
there is one, but I don’t know much about it. I tend to just buy from the same
place and get the best deal I can. The sizes range from Gauge 16 that being THICK to gauge ( UPDATE)35 ( not 32!)
which is the THINnest wire. There may have been 34
as well I’m not sure. So, anyway, the inverse order, really, the smallest number is the thickest and the
biggest number is the thinnest, …why not do it the other way? Also in an ideal world, you would have the selection of
all colours in all sizes, but I find that the sizes that I use the most of all, are
sizes 20 or 22 for the stem on which the flower head seats and then sizes
26 and 28/30 for all the petals. See that’s the thickest one. I often use 32, it largely depends on what flowers you like to make
as well, for example filler flowers which is just small ones and loads of them
will take a very thin wire like 28-30 or even 32 whereas Peonies and things
like that would take probably 26 especially the outer petals larger
petals so, so yeah it really depends. But if you are a beginner I would probably
suggest you buy size 20 a size 26 and size 28 to start you off all in white,
because you could always colour your wire to the color that you want and also for
a neater look, you probably will cover it with with tape
anyway Now this brings us to the next piece of
equipment which is flower tape. Flower tape comes in two different widths.
The thin one is better for delicate work and working with individual petals, and
the thick one you use to kind of finish off the whole thing. The thick one you could
tear apart and, kind of, make it as two thin strips so bear this in
mind when you purchase. It also comes in all different colours,
mostly greens, white, and brown and the greens come in two different
shades and, bear it in mind, that you could actually buy white tape and
then colour it in, to go with your own colours. it’s more work, but it actually
going to give you a better shade. To activate this
tape, you’ll need to pull it apart and when you pull it, it activates the glue,
because unless you pull it, it won’t stick Once you pulled it, the glue is been activated and
you can get wrapping. The brown tape can certainly be useful for Cherry blossom branches
and things, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much! Okay, so next is pliers. For your flower work, you need something to cut your
wires with and something to make little hoops at the end of the wires.
This red one to the left of me and this one here there are two cheap ones and one
for each job: one for cutting and the other on the right is for hooking. However,
if I was you I would just buy one of these, which does both jobs. This one is actually bu PME, a special purpose one, and they probably do
something like this, that’s cheaper and not PME, and yet not really like
horrible pound shop cheap jobs because they don’t seem to work as well.
And so now I’m going to talk about how to dry your flowers or parts of flowers.
Basically , your form could be anything and everything. You have loads of designated ones sold, which are very expensive or you could just use spoons which is very very
cheap and these, plastic ones, come in all kind of sizes! Tiny sizes is also something you would sometimes use, especially if you a bit of a perfectionist.
So, you adapt cheap things before you go and buy a lot of expensive
things. I would say that soup spoons are very good. I use them all the time.
This, on the other hand, is Wilton joby, it’s not my favorite because although it
looks really really nice our final sizing really kind of
inflexible we have this very teeny size which I don’t personally do all that
much of, or the huge size which also don’t do all that much of either. But I
do like this foamy one, I use it over and over and over again. It’s slightly smaller and
yet, it’s is my favourite size. You can adapt it and you make copies of it in foil another thing. And you do a lot out of foil,
repeating the shapes of your veiners, for example. So yeah
soup spoons, foil, a couple of your favourite foamers, and you know, you kind of , good
to go. See, this is one of my roses and all you do, when it’s not quite
ready yet, you just put it through and job’s a gooden!
So, while we are on the subject of foamy things, this is little balls. You could get them from
Hobby Craft, Ebay, all kinds of places. sometimes you already have holes in them
ready to go and you make centres for flowers out of them.
Look at this huge one! You see, this would make a really good center for a big
Ranunculus, but if you made it out of the gumpaste, it would be really really heavy and
sometimes it’s a consideration, when you kind of, attach it to a cake. And this is
another thing … it’s a fake tear sometimes you use it if your bride and
groom want a huge… This Deco flower really strange but beautiful in its
own way, I might do a YouTube on it sometime! Anyway, this fake tier is where I
put my flowers in, sometimes the stems are hard to stick in, so I make a hole , but yes, very very good to place your flowers on while you’re working.
Now, to quickly finish, we talked about bits which you actually use to dry your flowers on. This one, you can get a cheaply on Ebay. Not going to open, it’s too fiddly and it is useless to me I have a big oven and often just use its doors to dry my stuff on. And this one is perfect. It’s also a cheap on eBay. I use
it all the time, sometimes I adapt it, to make it taller or shorter or whatever!
The only thing with this you can’t have your flower wire too long so you might have
to bend it sometimes to dry a flower but yes brilliant. Just don’t leave it where
your kids could get it Once you cut, dried shaped, wired your flowers it’s time to add colour.
Before, actually, any of that, I tint the paste with ProGEl and Sugarflair,
two of my favorites, and then I use all kinds of different dusts
to dust my flowers. Sunflower sugar art is one
of my favorites , though it is on a pricey side! When you tint your paste, you want to do it
really slow, bit by bit… Don’t over-do on it,
because you can end up with loads of useless drying sugarpaste. Another tool that is free and brilliant is Toothpick to pick up tiny bits of colour. If you use dust mixed with oil and infuse your toothpaste then you could get
really particular with shades and flowers and the smoothness of it all… Few times, I used Americolor for tinting my paste
because it comes in some lovely bright colours, but unfortunately I find, that it just fades so quickly and obviously if you do to
order, it really isn’t going to work, and is really disappointing too! I have a
long interesting discussion on my Instagram page about that different
sugar florists. This video seemed to be going on a bit , so I am just going to
talk about dusts, that are not fully edible. ‘EdAble Art’ is a good example.
They do these amazing dusts, that are not fully edible, but are non-toxic decorative, and they are
very very cheap. The truth is that your client was probably not eat the flowers and
would probably try to keep them for memories for as long as… so sometimes cake decorators get ‘wont eat’ written consent and go ahead, using super colours anyway. I certainly have done so! After all, we glaze our sugar art , we stick wires in them…the list goes on! So, yeah, another peculiarity and ‘controversy’ in edible flower making world. You can use your corn flour to to mix
with bright colours to pale them down. Although, if you want to dust directly
with white, you would need to buy the manufacturers’ white dust With brushes, the
main thing is not to over by and not to buy expensive, thinking they would be
better. The white synthetic ones brilliant for example, not least because
you could see the colour very clearly, so if some residue left, you would be
well-advised to try and clear it off, They are so easily washable
they’re just lovely Obviously, they might not work for some
things like a very very thin details, especially if you wanted paint.
The little very very thin brushes are good for that, otherwise medium like this
one is a good job, to start with, and this one is probably one of the main brushes,
if you’re trying to accentuate the veins on the flower, on the certain flowers
like this Orchid. They are particularly good for that kind of thing so a watch
my Orchid tutorial coming out in a couple of weeks, and my Anemone tutorial is coming up next week, for more pointers on how to do these things. Other than that start with a few use your
common sense , get a feel for them and have a little play around! I’m afraid
there are no hard and fast rules about brushes that I know of… Another thing you
might find useful for post-production, is a glaze spray , ignore the gold, I don’t
know why I included it, and a glaze spray, you need to kind of put your stuff in a
box, and nicely spray it. You can have it in liquid form and for that you would
need to dilute it, if you want it not very ‘grazy’ but this one you have to, kind of,
spray it, dry it, see what’s happens, spray it again if you want to shinier,
and so on…These here are stamens, shop-bought stamens, and if you make
quite a lot of flowers, they could get quite pricey, plus they could look a little bit
the same-y, so there’s loads of talks about what’s
better these or self-made I’m going to run a tutorial on self-made
made statements at some point, so if you’re interested, look out for it! Use cut to size sponge to put between
your petals so that your flower dries in the shape that you like….

7 thoughts on “Sugar flowers: What do I really need to start making them?

  1. Great tipps! I love to make sugar flowers (and video tutorials about them, by the way). You can cover your Gumpaste Storage Board with a damp towel. With that, your petals stay soft for a few hours or maybe even over night. Where do you buy the polymer clay? I tried the clay by Italian Sugar Art, but I'm interested in alternatives.

  2. What a kind and generous soul you are for taking the time to come up with such a comprehensive video. It's certainly very beneficial to any novice (like myself) or anyone who are with the same interest in sugar flower making. Am using a homemade edible gumpaste paste, instead of NL recipe with raw egg white and find it isn't stretchy enough. I might want to use some pasteurized egg white in the future instead of meringue powder in hope to have a better product. All in all, I am an ardent fan of your work, you're truly amazing and so talented. May the new year bring you to a greater height of success.

  3. The size numbers of all wires, (including electrical, etc) depend on how many of the wires can be bundled together to fit through a hole (I'm not sure what diameter hole.) Since fewer thick wires can fit in the hole than thin wires, thick wires have lower size numbers than thin wires do.

  4. Thank you so much. Your videos are always so helpful!

    Do you remember where you bought the leaf cutter in your first part?

    Thank you again! Love love love your videos!

  5. Have you tried using the bean paste gumpaste that stays flexible?
    I would love to know what you think of it

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