I made these gumpaste butterflies as part of a butterfly wedding cake decorations. I made lots of them, in three different sizes, dusted them in violet food dust and combined them with gumpaste hydrangea flowersto decorate a 3 tier wedding cake.
I must say, though it looks like a lot of work, once I got the hang of it, it was pretty fast and the end ,off course was lovely!
Butterfly wedding cake decorations - Here is how I made the gumpaste butterflies
These were the main supplies I used to make the gumpaste butterflies:
Gumpaste - I used Satin Ice gumpaste in white. I love using Satin Ice gumpaste as it can be rolled thin and dries well, making it easy to work with.
Butterfly cutters - For this particular cake decorating project, I wanted to have lots of butterflies of the cake, and since it was a 3 tier cake, I decided to make the butterflies in 3 different sizes. The largest ones for the largest and bottom tier, the medium ones for the second tier and the smallest butterflies for the top tier. I have a number of butterflies cutters, and these were the ones I used for this project:
Cardboard - I am listing this as one of the supplies for making gumpaste butterflies because indeed it is a crucial one. I used the cardboard to hold the butterflies' wings in a natural folded position until they are dried.
Food color dust - This dust is used to color the butterflies. I used Squires Kitchen Violet dust to color the butterflies, so that it matches the hydrangea flowers that were also used as part of the butterfly wedding cake decorations and the theme color - dark purple.
And here is how I made the butterflies:
First of all, I prepared the card boards for drying the butterflies. To do this, I took a piece of rectangle cardboard and folded it into a "W" shape. I folded the cardboard down the center and then fold both ends of the sides in the opposite direction to form the "W".
Once the card boards were ready, I started on the butterflies. I rolled the gumpaste thin. As in all my other project, when working with gumpaste, I do it in batches to avoid the gumpaste from drying out while working on it.
I then dusted a little cornflour on the gumpaste and placed my butterfly cutter on the rolled gumpaste, pressed it and then without lifting it, rubbed it across my work table to make sure the butterfly is completely detached from the rest of the rolled gumpaste.
At this point, the cut out butterfly would detach automatically from the cutter (since I have dusted it with cornflour earlier). However, should that not happen like the case below, I use my needle tool to gentle remove the butterfly from the cutter. To do this, I normally poke the side of the cut out and pull it out gently until a small corner of the butterfly wing is detached from the cutter.
I then slide the needle tool as shown and gently remove the rest of the butterfly from the cutter.
Once the butterfly was completely detached, I gently lifted the butterfly and positioned it on the folded cardboard. In doing this, I made sure the butterfly body is positioned right in the center of the fold. I left the butterfly aside (overnight) for it to dry completely.
Once the butterflies are all set and dried, I removed them from the cardboard for dusting.
I used a medium sized brush and violet food dust.
Since I wanted the color to be prominent in the middle and fade off as it moves towards the end of the wings, I dipped the brush into the dust and started by dusting the butterflies' bodies. I then gradually moved towards the end of the wings.
This was how it looked like with the center dusted.
Next was the butterflies' outline. To do this. I used the same brush, dipped it in the dust very lightly and then gently applied the dust on the sides of the butterflies, as shown.
And this was how one of the butterflies looked like upon completion of the dusting process.
And here are a few close up views of one of the larger butterflies:
Here is how the large and medium butterflies looked like after dusting:
Since the butterflies were not wired, I attached them to the cake with some fondant glue. You can also use shortening but I prefer fondant glue as I wanted to butterflies to be totally secured to the cake.
And you if are interested to read how I used these butterfly wedding cake decorations to make a butterflies wedding cake, you can read all about it here ( or click on the poster below for more details):
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