Gum Paste Rose Tutorial

Want to learn how to make a gum paste rose? Here is my step by step tutorial for making basic gum paste roses with calyx and leaves.

Gum Paste Rose TutorialGum Paste Rose Tutorial

You can use my technique here to not only create a full bloom rose, but also to make half bloomed ones as well as the buds. The tutorial presented on this page is for a full bloom rose, but I do mention along the way, on the steps you need to take to create half bloom roses and the rose buds. 

How to Make  Large Gum Paste Rose - Step by Step Tutorial

These are the main supplies you need to make these pretty sugar flowers:

  • Gum paste - I used Satin Ice gum paste in white and tinted it pink for the roses and green for the leaves and calyx.
  • Food color - I used Wilton pink gel food color for the rose and Wilton moss green for the leaves and calyx.
  • Floral Wire - I used green 18 gauge wire floral wire for the rose and 24 gauge wire for the leaves. It is important to make sure not to use wire with a thin gauge for the roses as it will not be able to support the weight of the rose as you add on the petals to make a full bloom flower. Since the rose leaves are not too heavy, attaching them to gauge 24 wire is good enough.
  • Rose petal cutters - I used FMM rose petal cutters that come in a set of 5. For this tutorial, I used the largest cutters.
  • Thin sponge - I purchased this from a local craft shop. It is basically a thin piece of sponge measuring about 3 mm in thickness. I used this sponge to help hold my rose petals in place as the gum paste sets.
  • Fondant glue - This is to stick the petals together as well as to secure the floral wires used onto gum paste. 

And this is how you assemble the gum paste rose:

  • The first step is to tint your gum paste. The gum paste rose in this tutorial is in 2 different shades of pink. The petals on the inner side of the rose are of a darker shade of pink while the outer ones are of a lighter shade. I started by tinting my gum paste to the darker shade of pink. And as I move towards the outer petals of the flower, I added white gum paste to the pink paste to make it lighter. As for the leaves and calyx, I green I used is of the same shade for both.
  • Next is preparing the floral wire. Depending on how long you want the wire on each flower to be ( I normally cut mine into 3 and use it for three flowers, but you can also cut it into 2 if you want longer wire on each flower), cut the 18 gauge floral wire and form a tiny loop on one end of each piece with your pliers.
  • Once the wire is ready, you can start with the flowers. Take a small ball of pink gum paste, form it into a cone and insert the looped end of your wire into it. Before inserting the wire, dip it into fondant glue so that the wire is secured firmly to the gum paste cone. Pinch the bottom neatly. 
Steps for making gum paste rose budForming the rose bud

  • Next is the petals. I used the largest cutter in the FMM rose petal cutters set. If you don't have the FMM cutters, you can use any other rose petal cutter you have in hand. The first row of petals is essentially just 1 petal wrapped completely around the cone.

Here is how you do it:

  • Roll your gum paste as thin as possible and cut out one petal. Use your ball tool to thin the edges of the petal. 
  • And then, apply glue all around the edges of the petal and slowly wrap it around your cone base. In wrapping the cone, make you get a neat, tightly wrapped pointed tip. See below:
First petal to the rose bud
Wrapping the first petal to the rose bud
Finish wrapping the first petal

  • The next layer of petals consists of 2 petals. These are supposed to be tightly wrapped around the cone as well but no as tightly as the first layer, especially at the top. 
  • To do this, cut out 2 petals from your gum paste and thin the edges as you did in the first step above. And then apply glue on the edges, but this time, limit to just the edges on the lower half of each petal.

Gluing the second layer of rose petals

  • Next, place the bud on the first petal as shown below.
Add the first of the 2 petals on

  • And then place the second petal on the opposite side of the first petal and wrap the right side in.
Second petal on the other side of the petal
Wrapping the gum paste rose petals

  • Next, wrap both sides of the first petal in as shown below:
Wrapping the second petal

  • And finally wrap the second petal around the bud.
Wrap the second petal in.

  • This is how the bud should look like from the top. This is the rose bud stage, and if you intend to use rose buds on your cake, you can stop adding petals and proceed to attach the calyx (the steps to attach calyx is similar to that of a full bloom and you can see it later in this post) at this stage to complete the rose bud.
Completed rose bud

  • To proceed to a half bloom rose, you just need to add another layer of petals around the second layer above. For this third layer, the process is the same as the second layer, but this time, use 3 petals. Again, cut out 3 petals, thin the edges with your ball tool and apply glue to the lower edges. And similar to the second layer of petals, start by placing the bud on one petal followed by the second petal, slightly overlapping underneath the first one.
First of the 3 petals
Add on the second petal.

  • And then wrap the second petal in. After that, add the third petal, slightly overlapping the second petal and wrap in both its sides as shown.
The second petal wrapped in
Add on the third petal.

  • And finish off the third layer of petals by wrapping the left side of the first petal in around the third petal. 
Gum paste rose with 3 layers of petals.

  • This is the top view after the third layer of petals.
Top view of gum paste rose with 3 layers of petals.

  • The process of adding on the next layer of petals is very similar to the third layer above, but this time, instead of 3 petals, use 5 petals. And another important point to note is that I lightened the pink tone of my gum paste at this stage by adding some white gum paste to it. You are free to do that if you want lighter petals on the outer layers of your rose, and if you prefer it to be in the same tone for all layers, you can continue to use the same shade of pink gum paste as your rose bud.
Five layers of gum paste rose petals.
Wrap the petals around the rose.

  • Once all the 5 petals are wrapped,  curl the outer edges of each petal. You can use a toothpick for this process, but I just did it with my fingers. And then loosen the petals slightly with the back of your brush or the thinner end of your ball tool. At this stage, the petals should not be too tightly wrapped around the center of the flower.
Curl the petal edges
Spacing out the rose petals.

  • And this is how the flower should looked from the top. At this point, the gum paste rose in at a half bloom stage, so if you want a half bloomed rose on your cake, you can stop the process of adding more petals and proceed with the calyx.
  • It is also worth mentioning that I normally leave the flowers to set overnight at this stage. That way, the petals have sufficient time to set before I continue adding more layers of petals. 
  • To continue making a full bloom rose, you need to continue adding another layer of  petals. For this final layer, use 7 petals (in the same light pink shade used for the layer before this) and add them to the flower in the exact same way as the previous 2 layers.  
7 gum paste rose petals
Another layer of petals added on.

  • And then to add a bit of natural gap between the petal layers, insert tiny pieces of sponge or soft tissues in between the last 2 layers of the petals to hold the petals in place while the gum paste dries.  I use petal former to dry my rose and use the same sponge pieces to help hold the petals in shape while the gum paste dries. At this stage, again, I leave the flower to set overnight. Since the flower is wired, I place the flower former on an empty glass and if my rose wire is too long, I simply bend it so that the flower former could rest stable on the glass.
Spacing out the flower petals.
Sponge pieces to help the petals set

  • Once the gum paste has set, you can remove your sponge or tissue pieces. I normally use tweezers for this process.
Remove the sponge pieces once the flower is set

  • And this is how the flowers look after the sponge pieces are removed and the petals have dried. Your gum paste rose is literally complete at this stage. The next stages are adding the calyx and making rose leaves.
Completed gum paste roses

How to Add Gum Paste Rose Calyx

  • The next step in making the gum paste rose is adding its calyx. You can choose not add the calyx if your gum paste flowers are arranged in a tightly arranged bouquet on your cake as the back of the rose will not be visible in such arrangements. But if you are using either a single rose or just a few on your cake, adding calyx will not only cover the back of the roses to make it look neat, it will also help make your rose look more realistic. 
  • Adding the calyx is a pretty simple process. All you need is a calyx cutter and petal dusts. 
  • Start by tinting the gum paste in Moss Green (Wilton). And then pinch a small piece of the paste and roll it into a ball. Apply glue to the base of your rose and insert the green gum paste ball into the flower wire as shown. The purpose is to add a small bump at the bottom of the flower before adding the calyx for a more realistic looking rose calyx.
Gum paste rose calyx

  • And then roll the remaining green gum paste and cut out a calyx with your calyx cutter.
Calyx cutter

  • Thin the edges slightly with your ball tool, apply glue in the center and slowly insert the flower wire in the center until the calyx reaches the base of the rose. And in attaching the calyx to the gum paste rose, curl the edges of the calyx tips slightly for a more natural look.
Flower calyx attached.

  • For the final touches, once the calyx has set, use the green and violet petal dusts to create a darker shade of green and with a hint of dark violet hue. If you dust your calyx immediately, the brush bristles will leave marks on the soft gum paste.
Dusting the calyx

How to Make and Color Gum Paste Rose Leaves

  • The gum paste rose is essentially complete once its calyx has been added. But knowing how to make the rose leaves is definitely useful especially when your cake deco involves placing a bouquet of roses with leaves in it. 
  • To make the leaves, you would need rose leaf cutters, leaf veiner, wire and petal dusts ( all these are listed in the top section of this page).
  • To start, tint your gum paste in the same green as that used for the calyx, which in this tutorial is Wilton Moss Green. Take a small amount and form a small sausage-like roll and insert your flower wire (dipped into fondant glue first) into it. And then pinch the end to secure the wire in place.
Making gum paste rose leaves

  • Next, flatten the gum paste roll slightly by hand before using a rolling pin to roll the sides thin. At this stage, avoid rolling on the wire or else the wire will detach from the gum paste. Once the sides are rolled as thin as possible, use the rose leaf cutter to cut the petal out as shown below:
Rolling the sides of the gum paste
Cutting the rose leaf

  • Place the cut out leaf on a leaf veiner and gently press it together to imprint the veins on the gum paste leaf. The veiner I used in this tutorial is a general leaf veiner. I make sure I dust it well with cornstarch before placing my gum paste leaf on the veiner to avoid it from sticking to the veiner.
Vein the leaf

  • After the veining process, the next step is to dust the leaf. Again, similar to the calyx, let the gum paste set a bit before dusting. And you can use the same rose leaf green and violet dust colors as used for the calyx above. Start by dusting the entire leaf in green first. 
  • And then use the violet dust to highlight the edges of the leaf for a darker shade of green.
Dusting the gum paste leaf

  • And here's how the completed leave should look like:
Completed gum paste rose leaf.

And that marks the end of my gum paste rose tutorial. 

Completed gum paste rose

Hope this was useful.

Happy making gum paste roses :)

Gum Paste Rose Tutorial - Learn how to make pretty sugar roses for cake decoratingGum Paste Rose Tutorial

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