You will love our gumpaste parrot tulip tutorial this week! It’s so quick and easy to create and creates a wonderfully showy wedding cake flower or for celebration cake, the two-tone variety look spectacular. It’s definitely one of the most underrated wedding cake flowers, especially for spring brides.
The center can be made in pale green or yellow and the brown stamen can be bought from sugarcraft stores to save time but if you can’t find any in your local store, we show you how to make your own.
And all you need you make this wonderfully showy flower is six petals!
So let’s get tulip-making!
Gumpaste Parrot Tulip Tutorial: Material
- Gumpaste in your chosen color plus some yellow (or pale green for the center) and little brown (or aubergine) for the stamen. (Alternatively, you can use all white gumpaste for the center and stamen and simply dust them your chosen colors and steam them before assembling the flower.)
- Long brown stamen (or we show you how to make them if you don’t have any)
- Parrot tulip cutter (or large rose petal cutter with which we’ll explain below how to fashion the petals)
- Parrot tulip veiner (or deep veined peony veiner like the one featured below. If you have neither we explain how to vein and shape the petals with a Dresden tool below.)
- 18 gauge central wire (or a few thinner wires tapes together )
- 26-guage white wires cut into quarters for the petals
- edible glue
- sugarcraft tweezers
- sugarcraft scisssors
- ball tool
- foam pad
- cardboard apple tray or similar shaped petal former
Gumpaste Parrot Tulip Tutorial: Method
- Start by rolling a 1cm ball of gumpaste into a long cone shape. Dip your central wire into edible glue, wipe off the excess, then insert the wire into the gumpaste, twiddling it down the wire to secure it.
- Using a knife, make the top of the center into three sections. Then use a sugarcraft tweezers to pinch each of the segments to flatten the top.
- If don’t have long brown stamen to hand, you can make them by first rolling a 3mm ball of brown paste into a teardrop shape.
- Then thread the cone onto a 26-gauge wire and twiddle it down the wire to secure it and lengthen it.
- To make the parrot tulip petals, roll out your gumpaste on a veining board, position the cutter over the gumpaste with the vein in the center and cut out your petal shape. (If you don’t have a veining board, you can use this quick and easy method for making wired gumpaste petals from our Gumpaste Open Peony Tutorial.)
- If you don’t have a parrot tulip cutter to hand, use a large rose leaf cutter then with a smaller petal cutter go around the edge and nip out little sections to resemble the wavy edge above, or you can use a cutting wheel if you prefer.
- Next, dip a 26 gauge wire (cut into quarters) into some edible glue, wipe off the excess, then insert the wire into the vein of the petal about one inch. Next place the petal on a foam pad and run around the edge with a ball tool to soften the edges.
- To vein the parrot tulip petals we actually used this peony petal veiner we have. The deep veining, flared out edges and cupped shape is more true to real parrot tulip petals than some of the actual parrot tulip veiners we’ve seen.
- If you’re using this style veiner, when you place the top veiner over the petals just press around the edges of the veiner and not all over the petal to keep the veining authentic.
- If you don’t have a suitable veiner to use, don’t worry you can create a very similar effect using a Dresden tool. Run the Dresden tool from the top of the petal towards the center creating a deep veing and also by adding pressure, curling the petal inwards also. Continue to mark veins across the petal in a fan shape curling the petal inwards each time.
- Carefully remove the petal from the veiner (don’t hold it by the wire) and then using a small sugarcraft scissors snip into the petal to create a feathered effect.
- Sit the petal into the cup of an cardboard apple tray to dry overnight. (You can curl some of the three inner petals inwards a bit more with your fingers and to add variety you can let some of the outer three petals hang over the edge of your former a little.) Make five more petals (6 in total) for each tulip. Or you can make an extra petal or two in case of breakages.
- Once the petals have dried and before you start assembling, a handy tip is to tape the wires with floristry tape. This gives the wires a certain tackiness which prevents the petals from spinning loosely around the center when you are taping the flower together.
- To assemble the flower, start by taping the 6 stamen around the center with half width white floral tape adding one at a time. The stamen need to sit about 1/3 of an inch above the center (although tulip varieties vary) and ensure the 6 stamen are equally spaced around the center.
- Next tape three equally spaced petals around the center lined up with the base of the stamen.
- Followed this with another layer of three petals in the gaps between the previous layer of petals.
- You can adjust the petals for maximum dramatic effect and showiness.
- If you wish you can add some color at the stage to the petals. A touch of pale green from the base of the petals upwards along the central vein and fanned outwards a little can add a beautiful highlight to the white variety of parrot tulips. Repeat the coloring both inside and outside the petals. Check out some other color varieties online for more color inspiration.