The Basics for Beginners
When I originally tried my hand at making gumpaste flowers I equipped myself with the Wilton 10-Pc. Fondant/Gum Paste Tool Set and the Wilton Fondant Shaping Foam Set along with a few other fundamentals. As it turned out, for my needs, I outgrew these items rather quickly. These kits and their accoutrements are useful for beginners who only want to make a few basic-type flowers (such as simple roses, daisies, and calla lilies) and are not particularly concerned about them looking like the real thing. Just remember though that they may not suffice if you have higher aspirations in the field of sugarcrafting. Most of these items are available at major craft stores that periodically offer discount coupons and typically their prices are reasonable. So, if you are ready to get your feet wet, listed below are the items I would recommend for beginners.
Work Surface (#1)
A large flat surface such as a Smooth Surface or Wilton Fondant Roll and Cut Mat - 20” x 20” non-stick
Rolling Tool (#2)
9”-Non-Stick Roller Pin
Smoothing, Shaping & Sculpting Tools (#3)
Wilton 10-Pc. Fondant/Gum Paste Tool Set
Foam Pads (#4)
Wilton Fondant Shaping Foam Set
Shape Cutters (#5)
Coloring Tools (#6)
Paintbrushes (Various sizes of brushes for petal dusting, moistening, detail painting)
Drying Items (#7)
Miscellaneous Homemade Items (Paper Towels, Paper Towel Tubes, Tissue Paper, Pieces of Sponge, etc.)
Gumpaste Protectors (not shown)
Small Clear Containers and Lids to cover unused scraps of gumpaste and/or fondant
Plastic food storage bags
Steaming Tools (not shown)
Electric Hot Water Kettle or Saucepan (For simmering water)(not shown)
Let’s Gear Up
If you plan on graduating to a higher level of sugarcrafting and make more than just the occasional flower or two, you will want to equip yourself with an arsenal of tools that will help you reach your goal. Whether your plans are to make a gorgeous array of flowers or cute figurines, etc. for your personal enjoyment (like me), to adorn cakes, cupcakes, etc. for your family and/or friend’s or you aspire to make these pieces for professional use, there is a whole world of wonderful tools available to you.
I am a big proponent of using the right tool for the job and have made the mistake of spending my money on items that I rarely, if ever, use. I am now a big advocate of individually purchasing items I need. In the long run it is more cost effective and makes sugarcrafting more satisfying and much less complicated.
How many tools and which equipment you will need depends on the type of flowers, the amount of detailing required to make your object(s) and/or the time you have to dedicate to the project. I am convinced that many of you will be like me and become quite addicted to this fabulous creative endeavor and of course will then want to acquire the best tools available.
Above is a side-by-side comparison of four of my go-to tools alongside four beginner’s tools. From left to right: ball tool, pallet knife, Dresden/veiner on a foam pad.
Tools Rule…My Must-Have Tools
After doing project after project, I noticed that a number of specific tools always ended up on the tray on which I keep them during the process. I realized these were my go-to favorites. Obviously not all of my must-have tools are necessarily ones you will acquire, but I thought I would share the list with you anyway so as to enlighten you about what I use to create my floral and other creations.
Several of the big ticket items (see the list below) I have acquired over time. In the beginning I was not always sure if I could justify the price. However, after purchasing the ones I had really coveted I can honestly say I am happy I did. My only regret is that I did not have a source in the beginning that would have guided me to make more prudent purchases. So, I hope my lists this helps you!
My List of Must-Have Tools
Pointed Toothpicks and Skewers (#2)
9”-Non-Stick Roller Pin (#5)
Plain-Edged, Straight Cutting Wheel (#6)
Holy Products Random Veiner (#8)
Small Pointed Scissors (#9)
Needle-Nose Pliers (#10)
Wire Cutting Pliers (#11)
Tweezers (straight and angled) (#12)
CelCraft Non-stick Grooved Celboard 2 (it also doubles as a small work surface) (#13)
Pallet Knife (#14)
Small Clear Lids and/or Containers (#15)
Heavy Duty Protective Mats (#16)
6”-Clear Ruler (#18)
Assorted Cutter Shapes (#19)
Drying Items (Foam Egg Crate, Paper Towels, Paper Towel Tubes, Tissue Paper, Pieces of Sponge, etc.) (#20)
Electric Kettle (not shown)
Some Useful Additions
PME Flower/Leaf Tool
Silicone Flower, Leaf Veiners and Molds
Mexican Hat Foam Pad
Makins Clay Extruder
Assorted-Sized Metal Ball Tools
Large Green Non-stick Board
3 in 1 CelShredder
More Silicone Flower and Leaf Veiners