Sunday, April 8, 2012

Stems for Sunflowers & Gerbera Daisies

Gum paste sunflowers and gerbera daisies are among the easiest flowers to make, but if you don't add a stem to them…they pretty much just lie there. Here's what you'll need to take your flowers to new heights:
Gum paste in the same color as the flower, florist's tape, a bamboo dowel, a small brush, a container of gum glue adhesive (a pinch of gum paste dissolved in a tablespoon of water), and, of course, a gerbera daisy or sunflower. Start by peeling off enough florist's tape to wrap the length of the dowel. Stretch about an inch of the tape at one end; when the adhesive is activated, the tape's color lightens. 
 Wrap the entire dowel. I wrapped it all the way to the end and then back up to the top to get a deeper green color. If you're planning to stick the dowel directly into a cake, you could stop wrapping a few inches before you reach the end (or wrap the whole thing and stick it into a very large straw or some other plastic food-safe tube inserted into the cake).
 Roll out some gum paste a little thinner than 1/8" thick, and cut it into a rectangle. It shouldn't be so large that it's visible from the front side of the flower. Paint one side of it with gum glue adhesive…
 …and wrap it around the end of the dowel. Use a knife or spatula to make it neat and tidy.

 Paint the gum paste with some gum glue on one side, and press it against the back side of the flower.
 Cut another similarly-sized rectangle, and paint it on one side with gum glue.
 Lie it over the gum paste-wrapped dowel, and firmly press it into place.
 Allow it to dry overnight, and in the morning here's what you'll have. I'm making some leaves to add to it, and will post about them as soon as they've dried!

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