Sugar Flowers For Beginners: Easy Gumpaste Peony Tutorial – Closed Peony

Gumpaste Peony Tutorial on Cake Geek Magazine, Sugar Flowers for Beginners Series, Part 1

If you’ve been meaning to get started learning how to make sugar flowers, then you’ve run out of excuses because we’ve come up with a super easy, fail-safe gumpaste peony tutorial for you to try.

There are lots of different methods and variations in tutorials on the closed gumpaste peony, but our method is perfect for the beginner. There are no wires, no drying trays, no waiting around and no tissue paper stuck to petals!

The secret to our method is in creating perfectly cupped scalloped petal tips and attaching the petals whilst still pliable so the flower can be easily molded into the perfect cup-shaped peony in your hand.

Using a styrofoam centre and just four rows of petals, learn how to make this easy peony with our step-by-step instructions below.

Gumpaste Peony Tutorial on Cake Geek Magazine Tools and Supplies

Tools & Supplies

Gumpaste Peony Tutorial on Cake Geek Magazine

1. To make the peony centre, start by cutting a 20-guage wire into three sections.

Gumpaste Peony Tutorial on Cake Geek Magazine, taping wires for peony centre

2. Take a piece of white florist’s tape (giving it a little stretch to activate the in-built adhesive), then starting approximately 1.5 inches from the top of the three wires, tape the three pieces together.

3. Insert the taped wire into the styro ball, then remove the wire again. Shoot some glue into the insertion hole with a hot glue gun or craft adhesive, then place the wire back in the ball and secure with a further dab of glue at the insertion point. (The wire needs to be securely attached to the styro ball to hang the flower upside down to dry when finished.)

Gumpaste Peony Tutorial on Cake Geek Magazine, Creating Peony Centre

4. Next, rub a little vegetable fat onto your work board and roll out your gumpaste thinly (but not so thin that you can see through it).

5. Take the smallest of the peony cuttters and cut out 6 petals.

Gumpaste Peony Tutorial on Cake Geek Magazine, gumpaste peony petals

7. Transfer the petals to a foam pad. Take the thinnest end of your Dresden tool and starting from the top and middle of the first petal, draw a line down the centre to create a vein. Draw more lines from top to bottom of the petal, fanning out the lines as you go.

veining gumpaste peony petals with Dresden tool

8. Take your styro ball and add a dab of edible glue at the top. Cover the top of the ball with one of the veined petals

top petal, gumpaste peony tutorial on Cake Geek Magazine

9. Going back to the five remaining small petals, turn them over on the foam pad. Using the large end of the bone tool, thin each little scallop at the top of the petal by moving the bone tool in a circular motion around the scallop, pressing into the scallop so that it curls inwards.

(Curling the scallops of each petal inwards is the key to getting a nice cupped shaped petal when you go to assemble the peony.)

frilling gumpaste peony petals

10. Moving down the sides of the petal, roll the bone tool up and down along the edge of the petal to soften/thin the edges. (The bone tool will be half on, half off the petal as you thin the edges.)

Repeat this for each petal.

softening the edges of gumpaste peony petals with bone tool

11. Paint edible glue on to each of the petals from about half-way down to the petal right down to the pointed end.

painting edible glue on to gumpaste peony petals

12. Insert the the styrofoam ball into a cake dummy for support before you begin to add the petals.

13. Arrange the five small petals in a circle around the top of the styro ball, with each petal overlapping the last one, and leaving the central top petal slightly visible. Tuck the last petal in under the first petal to continue the overlapping pattern.

first row of peony petals, Gumpaste Peony Tutorial on Cake Geek

This first row of petals won’t cover the styro ball completely, but the later rows of petals will so don’t worry about that at this stage.

completed row of peony petals, Gumpaste Peony Tutorial on Cake Geek

14. For the second row of petals, move on to the next sized peony cutter and cut out 8 petals.

gumpaste peony petals

15. Vein each petals with the Dresden tool as before.

peony petal veining

16. Flip the petals over and curl each scallop with the bone tool as before, as well as thinning/softening the edges of the petals.

Apply edible glue onto each petal from half-way down right down to the pointed end.

gumpaste peony petals

17. Starting slightly higher than the first row of petals, arrange each petal around the styro ball as shown below, with each petal overlapping the previous one. Use a cupped hand to support the glued petals (they might be slightly slippy) as your work your way around the styro ball. Tuck the last petal in under the first one.

Gumpaste Peony Tutorial, Closed Peony on Cake Geek Magazine Online

18. When finished, the second row of petals should look they are gently cupping the peony centre.

2nd row of petals, Gumpaste Peony Tutorial on Cake Geek Magazine Online

19. For the third row of petals, move onto the next sized cutter and cut out 8-10 more petals. (You might not use all 10 but better to have them cut and prepped in case you do).

Vein the petals, curl the scallops inwards and soften the petal edges as before.

Apply edible glue from half-way down the petal to the end.

veined and frilled gumpaste peony petals Cake Geek Gumpaste Peony Tutorial

20. Starting slightly higher than the last row of petals, arrange the third row of petals around the styro ball, overlapping each petals over the previous one.

attaching third row of petals, Cake Geek Closed Peony Tutorial

Again, use a cupped hand to support the glued petals as you work your way around the styro ball.

overlapping petals, Cake Geek Gumpaste Peony Tutorial

The third row of petals should also look like it’s cupping the peony centre.

Gumpaste Peony Tutorial, 3rd row of petals

The petals should pretty much cover the underside of the styrofoam ball at this stage If not, we can tidy it up with the fourth row of petals.

gumpaste peony tutorial, top and side view, 3rd row of petals

21. Using the largest peony cutter, cut 8-10 more petals. Vein each petal, curl the scallops inwards and thin the edges as before. Glue each petal from half-way down to the end of the petal.

22. This time, hold the peony upside down as you are attaching the petals to make sure the styro ball is completely covered. As you attach each petal, check underneath that the petal is properly placed and overlapping the previous petal. Finish by tucking the last petal in underneath the first.

23. Bend a hook in the peony wire and hang on a flower drying stand or from a mug tree to dry completely.

hang peony upside down to dry

Below is what the completed peony will look like with four rows for petals. You can continue to add more rows of petals for an even bigger flower, if you wish. (Peony pictured measures 3 inches wide).

(To create bigger petals for additional rows, roll your gumpaste a little thicker than previously. Use the largest size cutter and cut 10 more petals per row. Then take each petal and roll over it again with your rolling pin to increase the size of the petal, length-ways and width-ways.)

Gumpaste Peony Tutorial on Cake Geek Magazine


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