I had never done this before, but it's a lot easier than I thought. Now you too can save your pennies and DIY.
Usually, when I have a cake project, I like to make the 3D toppers myself, and if that's not possible, I search eBay for some other talented person to make it for me. But this time, due to costs, I had to make my own, but they were 2D and not 3D.
In this Instructable, I'd like to show you how I made three 2D PJ Masks character faces for the side of a cake. I do believe you will be able to transfer this process to pretty much any character.
I'm going to make every effort to make this Instructable as short and as simple as possible
- Added at the very end of this Instructable are images of other characters I have used this method for. To date, I only have the Grinch, but there will be more added when I make them
Step 1: You Will Need:
Now, if you don't find yourself in a position to draw, freehand, the character of your choice, here's a tip and some resources you will need.
- An image of your chosen character (I printed two, one for reference or in case I made a mistake)
- A printer, if downloading one (see below)
- Thick paper or thin card, that will go through your printer
- Modelling fondant / Modelling paste / Gum paste - referred to as 'fondant' in this Instructable
- A craft knife - one you have dedicated to food use!
- A cutting board - also dedicated to food use
- Edible glue or water
- A ruler, make sure it's clean
- When looking for an image online, search for colouring pages, these offer simple outlines, usually for kids (or grown ups) to colour in. These, I find, are the best.
- Here are a few websites that offer colouring pages:
Before printing your chosen image, measure the space you will be placing it. Then re-size and print out to match this measurement.
I 'cut' the body shape out of the image I used, as I only needed the heads and faces.
Step 2: Cut Out the Main Image Shape
- Cut out the outline from your card, don't cut out the little pieces just yet
- Use the second image for reference or in case you mess up the first
- Roll out your base colour fondant / paste
- Place your card cutout on top, hold in place gently and cut out the base shape from the fondant
On my pieces here, I needed some texture:
For Owlette I used the half moon shaped fondant tool to create a feather effect on the top portion of the character, just like she has on her outfit.
For Gekko, he's covered in scales, I didn't know how to do this until I found one of my food boards was covered in small squares on the reverse side. All I did was turned the board so the squares became "diamond" shapes and impressed it onto the whole base piece of fondant.
Step 3: Cut Details Out From Card
- Cut the smaller details out from your card, one piece at a time
- Then, using this piece of card as a template, cut them out from the fondant
- Shape and smooth edges so they don't look 'sharp' - do this either with your fingers, with your fondant tools or the edge of your knife
For details on how to ensure you fix the pieces onto the fondant in the right place, see next step
Step 4: Glue to Fondant Base
- Place your main cutout card back onto the fondant base so that the size and shape match - this is your essential guide
- Place edible glue onto the piece of fondant
- Fill the void with the cutout fondant
- Press in place, gently
- Carefully remove the card guide
By doing this, you will be able to ensure the features are correctly in their place and the end product will look right. You can try and do this freehand, but this was not an option for me as this was my first ever try at this.
If you find your small pieces are not quite smooth around the edges, fix them to your base piece anyway, then it should be easier to smooth these out whilst in place
Step 5: Tidy Up Any Sharp Edges on the Fondant Cutouts
If, like me, you find you have some sharp edges on the fondant cutouts, using whatever method you like, smooth them out when in place:
- You can use your fingers, if this doesn't work ...
- Use your fondant tools to smooth out the sharp looking edges
- Or, by using the edge of a pallet knife gently tap the sides of the offending piece. By this time, your base piece of modelling fondant should be robust enough to slide the pallet knife along it to allow you to tap down the sides of your work.
Step 6: Cut Each Piece Out From the Card As You Go
The order you fix the small shapes onto your base piece is up to you.
For me, I found top to bottom and inside to outside the easiest.
Don't forget the little details like:
- White highlights on pupils
- Noses - I rolled and shaped these noses by hand, flattened the 'back' then fixed them on, this was one of my pieces of guess-work, I did this by 'eye'.
- Mouths - I used a fondant tool to create mine, but you can cut yours out or draw them on with edible pen
Step 7: Fix Them to Your Cake
Step 8: Update: How I Made the City-scape
I've been asked, via one of my social media accounts, how I made the city-scape for this cake, so I thought I'd share the answer with you here too.
When searching for ideas for this cake, they all had black city-scapes, but they were all flat upright ones, I wanted a cylindrical one. I did some extensive research here and on YouTube, but the only tutorials that I found to help was one I found by accident, a YouTube video called "How to Make a Princess Tiara Cake Topper". The basics from that video inspired me to make this city-scape, but you might find one suitable for your needs elsewhere
So here goes:
- As my cake was 10", I knew I needed it to be 6". So I covered a 6" cake tin in card and parchment paper. Thee card was to make the 'mould' taller than the tin
- I rolled out 500g of quality modelling fondant / gum paste to about 8mm thickness and higher than the tin. I know this might sound a little 'overkill', but this was going to be a big structure.
- When flat, I cut the bottom straight using a ruler and a pizza cutter.
- I measured the circumference of the tin, leaving a 2" gap for the rear
- Then I cut the roof shapes from the fondant, quite honestly, at random, but they still had to look good.
- I wrapped it around the tin leaving the 2" gap at the back. I'm not sure why I wanted a gap, but it made life easier when unmouling
- It was to be dried upright. Because of the space I was leaving at the back the weight would have distorted the fondant at the rear.
- I gently held the fondant onto the tin but found I had to quickly wrap the outside in parchment as the taller pieces were falling and going out of shape.
- I secured it with sticky tape at first, but, of course, that failed, so I gently tied it with thick ribbon (an extra pair of hand was needed) and some tape right the way around the whole piece in a few places
- Once it had hardened a little overnight, I took the outer layer of parchment off and replaced the ribbon - very carfully
- I left it wrapped around the tin for a few more days - this allowed the air to get at it
- When it was stable and hardened, I fixed on the moon. *See below
- When that was stable and hardened, I fixed on the 'windows'
- Allowed those to dry overnight
- Then I slid it off the tin and card with parchment paper and carefully glued it to the top of the cake.
- Add the glue / water whilst the piece is still on the tin with the ribbons in place
- Slide the tin out and leave the card inside and the ribbons on
- With probably more that one pair of hands - crown your masterpiece
- Take the ribbons off
- Then slide your card out
- Voila! (",)
* The Moon:
- Using the same size tin, I made the moon separately at first before fixing it to the back of the city-scape (see #12 above) - You'll need the card and parchment paper on there too, so that the shape is exactly the same as the back of your city-scape.
- I rolled out some suitably coloured gum paste, but nowhere as near as thick as the city-scape. Maybe about 2mm
- Placed plastic food bag on the top
- Using a large round cookie cutter, I cut out the moon whilst the food bag was in place - this gives a wonderful edge to the cut piece
- I placed the moon on the covered tin and allowed it to dry - place the tin between two objects to prevent it rolling away when the moon is drying.
- Then, with my city-scape still on the tin, added glue to the bottom half of the moon
- I then gently slid it down the back of the city-scape, between the fondant and the parchment paper to where I wanted it to be and allowed it to dry
I'm sorry I don't have any images of this process, I wasn't quite expecting anyone to ask me how I did it. But I hope this helps
Step 9: To Show You Can Use This Method for Other Characters ...
I'm going to use this step to show that is it possible to use this method for other character faces.
I'll be adding new ones here as I make them
- The Grinch - with edible pen detail
- XBox "X" on the cake
- Completed XBox cake with the fondant controller I made
- Father Christmas, with some extra sculpting
I'd love to see yours