When I was just starting out in my cake business and I was a brand new cake maker, I thought that I needed every single piece of equipment to help me make beautiful sugar flowers. I could see all the amazing products available and thought I needed them all! Can you relate! ?
If you’ve been making sugar flowers a while you know how tempting it is to buy ALL the new sugar flower equipment! I fell into the trap of thinking that if I had all the new products that it would help me to make beautiful sugar flowers. If you’ve been there, you’ll know that gut wrenching feeling when you’ve spent hours on a sugar flower cake but you haven’t made any, or very little, money because you spent so much money on equipment that you didn’t really need.
So, I started concentrating on the sugar flower ESSENTIALS and then seeing how I could use the equipment I already had in multiple ways, instead of buying ALL the new equipment for every single new flower I made. This helped me to start making more money on my sugar flower cakes, and if you’re anything like me, making cakes with lots of beautiful sugar flowers and actually making some money from doing it, is the dream!
But, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out exactly what the essentials are. So I’ve put together a list of sugar flower making essentials. So you’ll know exactly what you’ll need to be able to create beautiful sugar flowers for your cake projects without breaking the bank.
So, let’s have a look at what to include in your sugar flower essentials starter kit.
1. FLORIST WIRE AND TAPE
Florist wires come in a variety of different thicknesses, known as the gauges. The two basic colours are green and white and are usually paper covered.18g is the thickest wire graduating down to 30g which is the finest.
Florist tape is used to tape wires together and cover the stem of rose. It sticks to itself but little else and comes in a range of colours. Hamilworth is my brand of choice for florist tape and florist wires and I use green and white wires for sugar flowers most often.
A firm foam mat is used for thinning and cupping petals and for ruffling edges. CelPads are my brand of choice for foam pads. I definitely recommend purchasing one solid foam pad and then one foam pad with holes so that you can create ‘mexican hat’ petals, using the holes.
A Celboard is a hard board that has grooves in it. This board is used to create a central vein in petals and leaves in which florist wire can be inserted. It can also be turned over and used as a surface to roll out flower paste and cut out petals and leaves with cutters.
4. MODELlING TOOLS
For making sugar flowers you will need a a celpin or rolling pin (for rolling out flower paste and thinning the edges of petals), a ball tool (for thinning petal edges and creating ruffles), and a dresden tool (for adding texture and separating petals). You can use the larger end of a cell-pin in the same way as a ball tool.
5: POLY BUDS AND CENTRES:
It is important when you are making sugar flower for cakes, to make sure that your flowers aren’t too heavy for your cake. Otherwise when you add them to the cake they will pull on the icing on the cake and may leave gaping holes. To help eliminate any excess weight when making sugar flowers, I recommend using poly-bud centres for your roses and polystyrene balls of different sizes for the centres of any larger/heavier sugar flowers.
6. VEINERS AND CUTTERS
Cutters are used to cut out petal and leaf shapes and veiners are used to give flower petals and leaves realistic texture. My preferred veiners are by Sugar Art Studio, but there are lots of lovely petal and leaf veiners on the market. You can also buy multi-purpose cutters and veiners which are useful when you’re just starting out. You can then start to add specific flower cutter and veiners to your collection once you know which are the flowers you like to make the most.
Many flowers need stamen to create a realistic look. There are a wide variety of pre-made stamen for sugar flowers available to buy.
8: FLOWER FORMERS:
Flower formers are used to shape and dry leaves and petals. For rose petals I recommend using desert spoons and for leaves I use bumpy foam. You can also use apple trays for shaping many types of larger petals, such as peony petals.
9. EDIBLE ITEMS:
You will need flower paste to make your sugar flowers. I highly recommend using Arati Mirji flower paste for your sugar flowers. Arati Mirji flower paste will hold its shape but remain flexible once dry. You want a paste that rolls out to be really thin and is smooth and easy to work with. Flower paste will need to be kneaded before using for optimal results. You will also need cornflour to dust your surface before rolling out your paste and an edible sugar glue.
10. PETAL DUSTS + FOOD COLOURING GELS
Petal dusts are used to add detailed colouring to your finished flowers and come in a wide range of colours. Food colouring gel pastes are used to colour flower paste. You can find my tutorial for how to organise your petal dusts here.
I recommend 3 main types of brushes for sugar flowers. A flat shader for highlighting veined areas, adding washes of colour and some finer details. A liner brush for getting in-between tight inner petals of sugar roses and a fluffy brush for removing excess dust and blending colours. You may also need some finer brushes for smaller sugar flowers.
12: MISCELLANEOUS TOOLS:
You will need wire cutters to cut your florist wires as well as some small scissors for adding details to your calyx and leaves. Small needle nose pliers can be used to bend wires as well as to help you when inserting and adjusting sugar flower arrangements on your cake
So, that’s all of the sugar flower essentials you will need to get started in making beautiful sugar flowers.
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