Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gum Paste Peony Tutorial: Part 1, And A Give Away!

You may have noticed that I did not say " The Perfect Gum Paste Peony Tutorial Part 1"? Why, because beauty and perfection is in the eye of the beholder as they say, and also because I am no expert at gum paste flower making, I'm just now getting into it and I find myself really enjoying it. Plus it's just too much pressure with yous depending on me to deliver the perfect flawless Peony tutorial, but I will do my best! One day I plan to sell my first born so that I can afford to take one of Ron Ben Israel or Nicholas Lodge's flower classes to learn more, but until then this will do.

So lets get to it, keep in mind that, I am using a combination of 3 tutorials, one from cake central, the other from a German blog , and what I got from Jennifer Dontz herself, and mixing in what works best for me, "The Cakerator" style. So this is what I came up with. A big thanks again to Jennifer Dontz for sharing her flower class guide! Her site carries all of the tools needed to make this flower and then some, and as mentioned before the shipping is really fast!

So here is what you will need

  • Cel Board
  • XXL Cel Pin
  • Thick and thin foam or Cel Pad (the one with the coating on one side cel pad)
  • Straight veining tool
  • Dresden tool (I used this calla lily veining mold instead of the dresden tool, it's what I had handy and it work pretty well)
  • Gum Paste
  • Peony cutter set ( I used 2 sets, one found on Jennifer Dontz site and the other from Sunflower Sugar Art USA) If you're going to use one set get the one from Jennifer it is a much bigger cutter set giving you a larger flower
  • 11/2" styrofoam ball for your base (any craft store like Michael's will carry it)
  • Apple molded pulp tray (you can ask your produce guy at the local grocery store for one)
  • Wires 26/24 wt 26/24/20 green
  • Lt. green ½ width tape
  • Silicon mat
  • Palette knife
  • Hot glue gun
  • Tylose glue (edible glue)
  • 9" Rolling pin 
  • Pasta roller machine, I either use a Kitchen Aid (KA) attachment or Atlas pasta machine
  • Moss green, pink, magenta or silk white dust 
  • A sheet protector, the one you get in Office Depot or Staples (to keep your gum paste pieces from drying) or you can use a wilton practice board to
  • A coffee mug ( to keep gum paste from drying out, and easy access)
If you can't get an apple molded pulp tray like the one in this picture, or flower former cups 
Jennifer Dontz advises you to use styrofoam balls for flower former covered with foil, four 1 ½”, and three 2” all cut in half so you can lay your petals on the half balls to dry.


Taking a 20 gauge wire. (white or green), make a ½” hook on the end. 

Place hot glue on the hook and push it into a 1 ½” Styrofoam ball. 

Take 2 extra 20 wires, push them into the ball and tape the three wires together.

In this picture the top row is the Sunflower Sugar Art Peony Petal Cutter Set (SFSA) and the set below are the Jennifer Dontz's (JD) Peony Petal Cutters Set, note how much bigger the JD cutter set is, thats why I love them! Her Cutter create a gorgeously big Peony flowers!
Note in this picture that each petal cutter in the SFSA set is different, that why I love that one so much, I used the SFSA cutters for the two of the inner layer of petals and I use the smallest, the medium and the largest JD cutter for the first, one of the inner layer and the last layer

Now, using the smallest size JD petal cutter, roll out your paste to # 4 on a Kitchen Aid (K.A.) pasta roller attachment. Place 4 of the 5 cut petals in sheet protector. 

On a mat or board, place the calla lily veiner mold on top of the petal and press down, 

Then use a rolling pin to roll over the mold left to right in a rocking motion

Turn petal over and repeat the process, so both sides have texture on them.

 Place the petal on the thin pad, turn over the petal, and using an erasing motion, thin the outer edges of the petal with a medium cel stick or ball tool. 

Turn petal back over on and on a thick foam or cel pad, using the ball tool cup from the top down using numerous strokes of the tool. Complete all 5 petals in the same manner. 

Then place them in flower former cups to hold the shape

Brush one petal with glue (cupped side glued) 

Place on Styrofoam ball in the center to meet at the top, add another petal to the other side of the ball and make them meet so you cannot see the end of the Styrofoam ball. 
Overlap slightly in the center. 

Take remaining 3, gluing on the cupped side placing them on in a spiral, slightly overlapping, but letting top (inner) petals show.

It should look like this

Take next 2 sizes up of the SFSA petal cutter (the next small and medium size) and cut 5 petals each rolling to # 5 on your K.A. 

Place unprocessed petals in the sheet protector to keep it from drying out

Process the SFSA petals using the same procedure as before. Brush glue on the cupped side about ¾ up the petal from the bottom. Overlap petals by about 1/3 width of the petal. 

The 5th petal will tuck under the first to form a spiral. 

 Start where the last two petals meet from the previous row, in a gap – forming a slight spiral. Squeeze and refine. Hang the bud from the wire for about 20 min.
Now use the remaining 5 SFSA medium size petals under your sheet protector. Process using the same procedure as before. Brush glue ½ way up the cupped side of the petal, the point of the petal will meet the wire. The 5th petal will tuck under the first to form a spiral. Place the bud in the Apple molded pulp tray so that the petals relax and open a little

Next roll paste over the ridges on a hard cel board. Roll just until you can start to see the ridge shadow thru the paste. 

Now cut 5 JD medium size cutters place 4 petals in sheet protector.

Using the veiner roller over the gum paste before you move from the cell board

Insert 26 wt. wire dip in cmc glue, aprox. 1/2” into petal. Continue with the same veining procedure as before starting on the cel ridge side of the petal with the veining mold for the other side and and ball tool to thin the edge.

On the thick sponge cup the petal with the medium size cell pin

***I just want to make a correction here, this petal is actual backwards, the seam that you see in the picture below is suppose to be in the back and not in the front, see how I'm showing you what not to do, I so planned to do that, I knew what I was doing the whole time! That's my story and I'm sticking to it... 
OK Back to you regularly scheduled program

Lay them in the apple tray, ridge side up –  Make sure you have a little at the point of the petal that lays flat. Let dry.

Using the largest size JD cutter and 24 wire, make 6 petals . Use the exact same veining/thinning procedure as before, sticking the wire in about ½”. Let petals dry on apple trays. Be VERY careful to have the wire end laying flat, you might have problems assembling if you don’t have a little flat end (wire end). Just as above, the petal should relax and make a cup in the apple tray.

note the difference between the petal on the left to the petal on the right, the one on the right was the first bud I made, the one that my hubby said was to perfect that it looked fake, the one on the left is the second bud I made and the look we are going for.

Ok that was part 1 of this tutorial, not that hard aye. Part 2 will be posted later this week September 7th.
But wait there's more!
OK last time I did this none of you responded, I felt a little rejected even, and so I'm guessing candy molds are not that exciting, so what about a set of  Peony Flower Cutters from Jennifer Dontz's online store! I am giving away a set of these cutters and the tutorial that Jen's gave me to the lucky winner! So who wants a free set and tutorial! 

For a chance to win, you must be located in the USA and a public follower of this blog, if you are not already a follower it's not too late to follow now, or you can subscribe to this blog. Then you must go to Jen's online store and browse through and leave a comment here letting me know what other tool(s) you would like to purchase from there with a link to it. I’ll choose the winner randomly, and I will announce the winner on Part 2 of this tutorial on which will be posted on September 7th. The last day to comment is Monday September 6th.

Ok I will start, I have been into bling and shiny things lately so I want this brooch and this diamond sugar mold. What looks good to you?!
OK folks stay tune and GOOD LUCK!


  1. Oh, man, I can't believe I missed a giveaway! Oh well! Let's see... in USA - check! Public Follower - check! Check out Jen's site and find a really cool tool - check!

    I would love to have this baby head mold - it is SO cute!

  2. I love giveaways, but I am behind on my dashboard so I probably missed the other giveaway.

    I would like either http://www.jenniferdontz.com/viewproduct.php?itemid or http://www.jenniferdontz.com/viewproduct.php?itemid.

  3. Not that i didn't want to response to your earlier giveaway but i couldnt' response since i dont live in the US. :( Great tutorial! I have yet to attempt peony and has always been in my to do list.. and your tutorial definitely helps! :D

  4. Sadly I'm not from the US, but from germany. :-(
    Anyway, love your blog and the tutorial!
    Can't wait for the second part!

  5. first let me say it again...I LOVE your Peony!!
    as for tools..well considering I'm new to all of this I pretty much need/want EVERYTHING! But I would definitely like the Hydrangea Cutter http://www.jenniferdontz.com/viewproduct.php?itemid=set001 and http://www.jenniferdontz.com/viewproduct.php?itemid=pre021

  6. OMG ........ Excellent tutorial !!!

    Thank u so much for sharing

  7. Hello! First of all I congratulate you for work and tell you thank you very much for your tutorial is beautiful and very understandable! do not know how it will help me, I live in Mexico and here is very hard to find all the tools, but as soon as I have to make that beautiful flower that I love it!. I'll keep an eye on the 2nd. part. Congratulations!. Greetings from Mexico.

  8. Great tut on the peony. I would like to see the little cowboy boots definatly and maybe the tshaped sandel molds used. thanks

  9. Hey Maria, Thank you soooooo much for putting up this tutorial and turning me on to it by responding to my question at Cake Central. The ideas here are GREAT and I can't wait to get started! Since I'm new to flowermaking, but really, really loving it, I would love to have: http://www.jenniferdontz.com/viewproduct.php?itemid=tol003. I do live in the U.S., but I'm new to blogging also, so hopefully I was successful in trying to follow this blog :0

  10. This tutorial is so well done, and I can see how 'other' types of flowers could be done using the same information, but with the appropriate cutters of course! Thanks!


  12. Absolutely gorgeous!! I want it all!!! Looks like I need to get me a cel board now though.

  13. Such a great teacher! Thanks for this. I learned so much already! I'm pretty new to this too so I need it all but definitely want to make some hydrangeas. I have always loved those flowers. So I'll need these.
    And since Christmas is coming, I think I need the Poinsettia veiner.

  14. I'm pleased that my tutorial was a good help for you. Your peony is gorgeous :-)

  15. OK Maria,
    Love the peony. I must say that I want a lot from Jen Dontz site, but there are a few things that caught my eye. Of course the peony cutter set. I recenly purchased a dvd on the peony for Nick Lodge's site. I also want the gardenia cutter set and daisy cutter set. I also love the onsie cutter. I have a baby shower cake the end of the month and the onsiewould be adorable. I pretty much want everything I see thats cake related. I've been on cake overload lately, wanting to try and learn new things. Here are the links to my wihttp://www.jenniferdontz.com/viewproduct.php?itemid=cut024

  16. Hi Maria,
    Love the peony! I wanna be just a good as you when I grow up. OK, I visited the site. OMG! Too much I want, but here are a few things that caught my eye
    http://www.jenniferdontz.com/viewproduct.php?itemid=cut006, http://www.jenniferdontz.com/viewproduct.php?itemid=cut135,http://www.jenniferdontz.com/viewproduct.php?itemid=cut024. I just purchased some dvd's on from Nick Lodge on doing peony, gardenia, sunflower and hydrangeas. I've been on cake overload lately wanting to try new things and learn as much as I can. So you bet I want those peony cutters!!!

  17. Hi Maria,

    Your Peony turned out great, as I knew it would! The tutorial looks easy enough, however I know it will be a challange. You give a 100% and your creations are always amazing! As you know I am very new to gum paste flowers and fondant, so for me picking one or two tools I would like is really hard, however I think I will be doing many more roses, so I would like to have the rose petal veiner. http://www.jenniferdontz.com/viewproduct.php?itemid=vei015

    I look forward to the 2nd tutorial!

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!


  18. Ok..this is FABULOUS so first - thank you so much for offering the great tutorial and giveaway opportunity. I've been to jennifers site and choosing what to buy is HARD! But I would go with the carnations: http://www.jenniferdontz.com/viewproduct.php?itemid=cut105 and the hydrangea/veiner set:http://www.jenniferdontz.com/viewproduct.php?itemid=set001. thanks again and I await (drooling..) for your next installment. Diane

  19. Great tutorial, thank you for sharing it.

  20. wonderful tutorial! I have been wanting to try this.
    thnks ♥

  21. I have been looking for a tutorial like this everywhere! Thank you sooo much--they're beautiful!!

  22. glad i stumbled apon your site. love the tutorial. my brother is getting married in the seattle temple next year, and ill be topping his cake with these.

  23. Excellent tutorial. I'm really new at this (less than 6 months) so I need all he help I can get :) Thank you

  24. I have this tutorial marked. It is the best tutorial on peonies out there. Thank you.
    Another giveaway I missed. I could kick myself. I love Jen and really could use her wonderful peony cutters. BooHoo

  25. I loved your tutorial ,I have leaned a lot..I can't wait to see the 2tutorial..
    Iam in Australia and I can't have your peony cutter..
    Luciene Masironi


  26. thank´s for tutorial, than´ssssssssss kisses it´s great. besos.

  27. What a great site and thank you for the peony tutorial - I am on my second one. Practice makes perfect, right? Question: I have the plastic baller - should I purchase a metal one or are they both the same in terms of outcome? I can hardly wait for another tutorial...keep them coming.

  28. just wanted to say while searching the net i found your tutorial, it is very informative, thank you so much for taking the time. I will be checking in for any new ones you may add in the future.


  29. Nice tutorial.

    I have still to try this flower. Don't have the cuter yet though. I like your simple way of explanation. Thanks



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